Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


Boycott call

I wish to use your medium to appeal to all African Heads of State to borrow a leaf from the Eastern Bloc Countries notably the Soviet Union, to jointly boycott the forthcoming Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Such an action will bring home forcibly to the Western nations that Africans abhor the Apartheid policy of the minority settlers in South Africa.

The racist South African Prime Minister has just finished his tour of many western countries particularly to Britain where he was warmly welcomed by Mrs Thatcher despite the many appeals from various anti-Apartheid organisations. The boycott of the Games by African nations will hurt the West very much and maybe the next time Africa talks, they will listen.

E.A. Adediora, London.

The Rawlings interview

Permit me space to comment on your article about "The Selling of the PNDC", which appeared in your issue of 14 May, 1984. It is quite clear that as a journalist, you write about how you see things subjectively or how you wish things to be. In other words, you force yourself every week to sell your personal ideas, that of your 'correspondents' as well as the unabated canvass of the activities of some 'fighters for democracy'. Sorrowfully, what you fail to recognize and to accept is that Ms Brittain, who you tend to attack at any given opportunity and lately Ms Novicki have the right like you, to write about how they see issues.

In the final analysis, it is the readers who must read between the lines and they do just that. Your equally paranoid nature of wholesale condemnation of everything about the PNDC Government is sometimes too raw for your readers' consumption.

In that fit of extreme disposition to issues about the PNDC, you have contributed to the selling of 'the Rawlings interview' anyway.

Kofi Agyeman, Cologne, West Germany.

Rawlings confirms military failure

Having followed events leading to the toppling of Nkrumah Regime and the subsequent military take-overs in Ghana, I have come to the conclusion that these soldiers do really involve themselves in political administration for their own selfish needs or just to amass wealth, seek vengeance on either their senior officers, or political opponents and last but not the least, to seek fame.

In Ghana we have seen the Afrifa, Acheampong, Akuffo, Rawlings (1) and of late Rawlings (II) and his pseudo-revolutionaries who believe they have the magic wand to turn Ghana around.

Ghana, once the shining star of Africa is now in the doldrums due to these frequent changes of government. The revolutionary process now going on in Ghana and headed by Rawlings is faring no better than the democratically elected government they overthrew some years back.

Our dear country now faces poverty, disease, hunger and moral deprivation yet any Ghanaian who shows his anger to what the soldiers are doing is either thrown into jail or simply murdered.

Due to these happenings in Ghana, there has been mass exodus of Ghanaians to various democratic countries all over the world to seek shelter and safety.

We have had too many military regimes and none to Ghana's advantage and the second coming of Flt-Lt Rawlings can't prove otherwise.

Franklin Osei-Kofi, Dusseldorf, West Germany.

Welcome Akata-Pore

I was surprised at the news of Akata Pore's emergence in London not only because hitherto it had been rumoured that he was in prison with a deteriorating health, but also because of the choice of London as his place of exile.

Why London? Why not Cuba or Libya? I couldn't help asking myself. We saw Chris Atim exiled himself in London. Now it is Akata-Pore. Will Rawlings and Tsikata also come to London when their day of reckoning comes? We all live to see.

It would do Akata-Pore some good if we should tell him that Britain is a country which believes in parliamentary democracy, where the rule of law operates, where it is the unquestionable right of its citizens to vote for a government of their choice within every four to five years. Are these not in marked contrast to his political beliefs? Will Akata-pore now be prepared to live under such a system knowing that it is this same system that he had so violently helped to crush back in Ghana?

It will interest Ghanaians to hear Akata-Pore declare in an interview with the BBC External service that he "was never interested in power at all". My question is, who are the "people of Ghana" who told him they needed this which he detests, and that he should overthrow an elected government and hand over that power to them?

I wish to advise Akata-Pore that it would have been better for him (considering his political beliefs) if he had gone to Cuba or Libya. However, if he is now convinced that this Western Parliamentary Democracy is the best form of government any country could practise, where one could live without fear of being killed, then he must feel at home. He is most welcome.

George Amo, Hendon.

A disgrace to the African Rulers

Why is it that African Heads of State feel insecure with journalists who try to write or say something about them or their administration? Why are they so intolerant about whatever is written about them and anything the press thinks the public should know? Why do they like to challenge, suppress and embarrass these professional journalists?

In any civilized world where democracy operates, professional journalists enjoy what is known to everyone as Free Press.

Heads of State of Nigeria and indeed most developing countries, are afraid of their own shadows, and the public. or are planning to cover up vital information from the public which must be why they have been so critical of the press since they came into power. They are so scared of the journalists that they have waged a war against innocent professionals. But one fact is quite clear: silencing journalists is not going to solve their hidden secrets whatever they may be.

Tunde Oyinada, Maryland, USA

Send your letters to: The Editor Talking Drums, 68 Mansfield Road, London NW3 2HU

talking drums 1984-06-25 why Ghana is not stable - Nigerian journalist's trial Rotimi