Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


Akata-Pore's swan song

It surprises me to hear through Talking Drums that the former member and spokesman for PNDC - Akata-Pore has come as far as London to seek political asylum, his reason being that his former masters Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings and former army officer Captain Kojo Tsikata wanted to kill him.

Since Akata-Pore made the coup that brought both men to power, the masters have had no idea of killing him as alleged. Akata-Pore was in jail together with many Ghanaians and as his masters wanted him to escape or leave the country, they released him secretly without any official announcement on the radio for Ghanaians to know. Had it been officially announced on the radio without any trial, the whole world would have called on the so-called 'peoples government' to release other politicians if no charges could be brought against them.

I wonder why Akata-Pore is saying that Rawlings, Tsikata and Dr Kwesi Botchwey took a decision to accept the IMF terms of package without his knowledge which finally led to his arrest and subsequent imprisonment, when he was the head of the PDCs and WDCs, the two organs of decision making process in many institutions in Ghana today. The PNDC claimed to be democratic but constitute a few military and civilians who have imposed themselves on Ghanaians as our leaders. Therefore they should relinquish the throne for us to make our choice between the military and civilian government. They cannot decide for the many citizens.

Moreover, I do not seem to understand why Akata Pore came all the way to Britain but never found his way to any of their so-called socialist cum marxist countries for political asylum. Has he forgotten his criticisms about the Western countries including U.S.A. during his hey-days as member WDC? Akata-Pore wants to enjoy living under democracy in far away Britain. Was his government doing likewise in Ghana? He is now in a safer country to speak his mind against what he helped to build. So Akata-Pore was only spewing out rhetoric to Ghanaians when in power for power's sake. Now has he realised how pitiful it is to be unarmed? He fears for his life even when he has not been threatened by anyone.

The redemption, which he told the whole world was the main reason for staging his coup is yet to be realised in Ghana. Meanwhile let him enjoy the democracy in Britain, a system he helped to kill in Ghana.

A Adu-Poku, Dusseldorf.

The task before the people

I have been reading this magazine for quite some time now and I would like to contribute the following observations to the on-going debate about the future of our dear country.

Some sceptics have said that there is no alternative to the Rawlings Regime. At the onset of the so-called revolution, Brig. Nunoo-Mensah, over-awed by the immensity of the responsibility thrust on him, travelled around the world countering the suggestion of a possible return to civilian rule with the now famous 'hand-over-to-whom' reply.

Are the people who still think like him seriously suggesting that there is no alternative to anarchy? One can go on and list issues upon issues on rights that Ghanaians have been deprived of inspite of the easing of tension that is supposed to be currently prevalent in the country.

Take the Trade Unions for instance. It has been reduced to a totally non-effective body. The PNDC treated the T.U.C's claim for C300.00 a day wage with the contempt that workers of Ghana do not deserve. Yet everybody knows that wages today are not related in anyway to prices in the country. Trade Unions must be allowed to articulate the interest of their members.

The government of Ghana as the largest employer should consult the T.U.C. from time to time in mutual of PNDC and head of the PDC and interest.

National unity has been a process that Ghana as a nation has gone through since the days of the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. What do we now see in Ghana? Tribalism has openly come to the fore. Through patronage, an edifice of tribalistic government has been set up. Cousins, brothers and their social friends have been given very sensitive appointments to perpetuate their interests.

Ghana is one nation made up of Ghanaians with one great destiny above clannish and tribal streaks and should be seen to operate as such. No one should be made to feel that what is happening in Ghana is the beginning of a foundation of a great one nation from some parts of present Ghana's Volta Region to Badagary. Rawlings lacks understanding of elementary science of theoretical and practical politics. This trait is exhibited by his carbon-copy brand of Libyan People's Defence Committees - a framework imposed on predominantly Islamic people after the overthrow of a kingdom under King Idris by an iron-clad leadership.

Writing in West Africa (page 448 27/2/84) Zaya Yeebo, chairman Rawlings first Secretary for Youth and Sports, even though also an infantile revolutionary, correctly asserted that Rawlings speeches "at best give lessons in dishonest, intolerant, dictatorial and modern forms of Shogunic totalitarianism..."

In his brilliant treatise, Colonel Annor Odjidja (Talking Drums 30/4/84) succinctly inferred among other things: "The Ghana Armed Forces is not efficient in the use of its own resources and can therefore make no claims for efficiency. There are worse cases of corruption within Ghana Armed Forces than the coup protagonists ever realize."

From the above two quotations, where is Rawlings claim to honesty, incorruptibility and the use of Ghana Armed Forces to repress Ghanaians?

Countries devalue, among other things, to increase the sale of exportable commodities. The monocrop cocoa is no more in abundance due to lots of factors, minerals production has not been fully embarked upon. If the devaluation of the cedi was to attract foreign investors, they do not invest their capital into ventures where, among other factors, there is the flight of political stability such as Rawlings' regime.

PNDC economic policies are not feasible, as an old friend of Ghana, Mr Douglas Rogers put it in West Africa (page 886 9/4/84) which is quoted inter alia "The lack of serious analysis and precise policies were apparent in Rawlings' March 6 broadcast which was strong on rhetoric and hope, but weak on specific information".

Rawlings has set up special tribunals inspite of the existence of a fully-fledged judiciary chaired by some not-well- baked lawyers. For instance, the non-expeditious-manner in which cases were dealt with, cases of corruption. among members of Bench and Bar, and the facilities and salaries for judges need changes. These issues could have been thrashed out in a freely elected Ghanaian Parliament. What we see now is an attempt to destroy the institution of judiciary in Ghana.

Ntim Gyakari, London.

talking drums 1984-08-13 Commodities on the streets - Happy days in Ghana