Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

A letter to Col. Gaddaffi

Abdulai Alhassan


I greet you in the name of Allah, may the hairs of your head stay for a long time. You have to understand that I am writing this letter in total desperation for I do not know what else to do.

You would remember that when your friend Flight-Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings launched a jihad in Ghana on 31 December, 1983, he was full of praise for you and the marvellous work that you have been doing in your country and to your countrymen. He promised us Ghanaians that he will model our country after your illustrious country Libya.

We all remember that when the rest of the world did not want to hear of Ghana's revolution, you came to our help with food and drugs even though some evil people were suggesting that the planes that brought the drugs in fact contained arms.

But that is not what is agitating me, for, even if the planes did contain arms instead of drugs, so what; at that time we needed arms also since we were beset on all sides by enemies.

I don't know if there has been a quarrel between you and your junior brother Rawlings, but he scarcely speaks about you these days and he is making friends with some strange people like Mr Reagan and co and he seems to have abandoned his earlier promises to fight for the poor people. I am not at all sure that you are aware of what is being done in Ghana in your name and by your representatives in the Ghana-Libya Holding Corporations. Are you aware (Allah forbid that you should be) that the name of the Jamahiriyah is being used to buy whisky from Scotland in containers to be sold in Ghana?

I refuse to believe that when you so generously offered to help Ghana out of the woods, you intended to use precious money to buy whisky and other alcoholic drinks (which you do not allow in Libya) to be sold in my country. And isn't there anything at all made in Libya which can be sold in Ghana instead of 'Sainsbury' goods being sold in 'Libyan shops' in Accra?

Is it possible that you had asked your representatives to come and sell alcoholic drinks, perfume, mashed potato and other imperialist made goods? Dear Colonel, (may your camel never have a bad day and throw you off,) are you aware that the Libyan community in Accra is indulging in the most disgraceful acts, some of which will mean instant death if they were home?

Apart from drinking and drunken behaviour, (Allah save you from such evil people) they have been a source of constant temptation for Ghanaian women, not only our maidens but our wives also.

You see, Colonel, these misguided representatives of yours have access to American dollars which they change on the black market at very inflated rates and therefore have more money to spend than all Ghanaian men!

I admit that some of our women too are bad and should behave better. Would you believe that three weeks ago, a girl took one of your misguided representatives to a jewellery shop in Accra and by the time she had finished with him, he had to pay a bill of 300,000 cedis? Which amount is about 8,571 US dollars at the official exchange rate?

Because they can spend such vast sums, our women are being unfaithful to their men and your misguided representatives have not stopped at single women, they have been having illegal assignations with married women also! Obviously if they dared to indulge in such behaviour back in Libya, they might be stoned to death as decreed by the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Unto Him) but in Ghana they are doing all these and more.

I know that my country was in dire need of moral rejuvenation when the Holy War was launched two and a half years ago. I had hoped that your representatives would set us a much needed example to follow, and instil proper discipline in our lives, but here they are drinking, fornicating, commit- ting adultery, black-marketing, de- filing our women and generally sabotaging the economy they are supposed to be helping to build.

I know your anger will know no bounds if you discovered the kind of life these misguided representatives of yours are living in Ghana. I would expect that your brother Rawlings would have alerted you about the goings-on by now but since they are continuing with their iniquities, I take it that you are unaware of these things. Can you imagine the damage that is being done to the reputation of your country, the people and even your good self? (long may your wives bear your fruit).

Please, this is a cry from the heart, I know you will do something drastic about it once you know. I offer you greetings.

Abdulai Alhassan.

P.S. I don't know if there is any farming in the deserts in Libya, but that is the area in which we really need help, not in shop keeping.

talking drums 1984-07-30 Ghana A Danish Electric car deal - who will lead the parties in Liberia