Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


Tawiah Adamafio's book on Nkrumah

I would like to make a few observations on Mr Tawiah Adamfio's book on Nkrumah, published by West Coast Publishing House, Accra and Rex Collins, London.

The author authentically shows his active involvement in early Ghanaian politics - United Gold Coast Convention (U.G.C.C.), Committee on Youth Association (C.Y.O.) and then Con- vention People's Party (C.P.P.) of I which he became the last but one General Secretary. Mr Adamafio held many important posts in the Late Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah's Government Minister of Presidential Affairs, Information and Broadcasting Estab- lishment to mention only a few.

Mr Tawiah Adamafio was linked with the dastardly Kulungugu bomb attack on Late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Was he really involved? It may be recalled that he was still a prisoner at Nsawam Medium Security Prison in 1966 but was one of the few colleagues of Late Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah who appeared at various probes and never disowned his leader.

In PANAF GREAT LIVES: Kwame Nkrumah this biography relates among other things the revelation that the late Osagyefo upon reflection, in Conakry, Guinea thought Mr Tawiah Adamafio might have been framed.

Narrating his own version since 1962, Mr Tawiah Adamafio in his book throws light on, among other details, how Ghana's former Police boss Mr E.R.T.Madjitey conducted thorough investigations and revealed that the bomb throwers were some Northerners from Ghana stationed in Lome. Yet his political enemies within the Convention People's Party hier- archy ganged up and cooked up stories and succeeded to implicate him.

He was kept in prison for sometime, though all his colleagues were pardoned, because of his pro-Nkrumah stance at the various commissions. It could be inferred from the book that in spite of his ordeals he is not bitter. He remains Pan-Africanist.

Mr Adamafio's book is required reading for all those interested in Ghana in relation to Pan-African revolution.

Kofi Owusu, London.

Learn to live with democracy

For the sake of readers who did not have the chance to read Captain (rtd.) Baah-Achamfour's rejoinder to Colonel (rtd.) Odjidja's three part article in the Talking Drums (of June 1984) captioned "Military servants or masters?" I would like to quote a little portion of the captain's article before proceeding any further.

"Unless and until our future national leaders genuinely strive to strengthen the national apparatchik, govern with a little more efficiency and fairness, and to cater for the very limited needs of the majority of our people, we are likely to continue to live with forcible intervention in politics".

My dear retired captain, experience in our country Ghana has shown that anytime groups of soldiers or persons forcibly intervene in our politics, they wreak more havoc on the country than their predecessors. The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council of which you were a member, ruled for about 100 days and yet the millions of cedis you collected from tax defaulters, customs etc. are still nowhere to be traced. In addition to this gross inefficiency, these groups of soldiers or persons also come in to spill innocent blood, all to no avail.

Let me at this juncture inform my dear retired captain that 'Democracy' is the most common food one can buy in the streets of Britain, and as you have had the privilege to live here for some years now, it is high time you learnt how to eat it and stop making such pro-militarist statements which may inspire some group of soldiers or persons to forcibly take over power from properly elected governments in future.

Emmanuel Dapaah, London.

We are thankful for small mercies

I recently got hold of a well-thumbed June 4 issue of Talking Drums magazine and I thoroughly enjoyed reading its contents. Your brilliant articles on the increasingly embarrassing refugee issue, "What makes people leave Ghana?" made interesting reading and so did a reader's letter on Lord Tony Gifford, Q.C.

However, it seemed to me that you need to be filled in properly on what is currently happening in the country since you do not appear to have a local correspondent's angle to events.

With the lifting of the curfew and opening of the borders, normality has been restored but nothing much is happening. It rains a lot, even without an Acheampong-style week of prayer. Food prices are really coming down. The papers still blurt from time to time revolutionary slogans but the media no longer attempt to cover up the growing rift between various revolutionary institutions (PDC, WDC, IMC and whatever abbreviations there are) and the government.

Looking around certain areas in Accra like Osu R.E. one would rather think one were in a super-capitalist state, with little Lebanese shops which sell virtually everything one can imagine... at a price. Perhaps 'R.E." really stands for "Revolutionary Engineers"!

Actually, if one does not compare those prices to salaries but to those prevailing in U.K. or Togo, they are (converted at the current black market rate) surprisingly low. Which situation makes one wonder what the revolution has achieved since these were the very same methods previous governments used to fill the shops and were condemned by the people in power at the moment.

Another striking feature in Accra, these days is City Council chairman, Mr E.T.Mensah's "face-lift" cam paign, which can briefly be described as "feeding of the hungry masses of termites. It started at the Circle but is now spreading to all corners of town: the erection of low fences of roughly hewn and white-washed pieces of wawa-board. This large scale plantation of dead wood is supposed to be parallel to a re-planting scheme but of the latter I haven't seen a sign yet.

Much in the news is however a row of newly planted seedlings along the Labadi Road which seemed to have withered untimely, poor things. Part of the face-lift seems also to be the beating up of people who happen to be in the way of the revolutionary Council Workers, City Guards and occasional warrant officers.

So as you can see even though there is nothing much happening, Ghanaians are busily engaged scrapping whatever they can from the wreckage. I suppose we all have to be thankful for small mercies.

Kwame Asante, Kokomlemle, Accra.

talking drums 1984-07-16 where was Dikko going when kidnapped Rawlings the man behind the mask