Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


Feeding the millions

I read the article "Cameroon: Everyone eats to his fill" (January 14, 1985) in which President Paul Biya made that categorical assertion at the Fifth Agricultural Show at Nkwem, Cameroon. That simple and assertive statement filled my heart with pride for a very good reason - very few African leaders can stand up and claim that with their vast fertile lands, agricultural food products are so abundant that every individual within their national boundaries can feed himself cheaply. This situation is made more poignant considering the raging drought in the Sub-Saharan regions of Africa and the particularly disturbing case of Ethiopia and Sudan.

It fills my heart with pride to know that, a government has been able to channel resources to the appropriate quarters and encouraged its farming community to do what it knows best - producing food for all to eat.

Other African countries have a lot to learn from the Cameroon experience.

Moses Okeke, Surrey

Unite to fight for democracy

Since democracy in Ghana was killed and buried, following the seizure of power by the military in 1982 Ghanaians have asked the coup makers when they would hand over power to an elected civilian government. The answer that was given was "hand over to whom?" Despite this impertinent answer, the situation in the country has grown from bad to worse. In addition to the deprivation of essential goods, Ghanaians have been denied basic human rights by the military regime. This intolerable situation needs to be reversed but the question is how can this be done?

For how long should the military hang on to power? Several factors have in the past militated against a united front capable of effecting a change.

But shall we in 1985 allow things to continue to fall apart? I appeal to all believers in democracy to come together to exchange views on how best to rid the nation of the worst form of dictatorship ever experienced in Ghana and also how to rebuild the nation.

S. J. Opon-Nyantekyi

Whither goeth Rawlings?

I am a Nigerian and I have always had a very soft spot for Ghana. Even though my admiration dates from the heydays of Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory, I have followed the ups and downs of Ghana and have wept inwardly when the country was in the doldrums.

I must say that when Flight- Lieutenant Rawlings came to power, I was very excited by his revolution and I know many of my fellow countrymen were also excited. There are many of us. who have been looking on what is happening in Ghana in the hope that it might serve as an example for Nigeria.

Now however, I am getting confused about what is happening in Ghana. From what I read in the papers, it looks as if Flight-Lieutenant Rawlings is abandoning the revolution. He appears to be reverting to the institutions that he said he would dismantle when the Holy War was launched.

I don't know of anywhere in world where the US government given aproval to a revolutionary regime but these days it looks like Ghana has become the darling boy of the West What, in fact, is happening in Ghana! Those of us who love the country and admire Flight-Lieutenant Rawlings are getting very baffled.

Last week the Nigerian papers carried a report saying that Rawlings had been accused by his aides of having betrayed the revolution? Is that true?

'Sina Adediran, Ilesha

Justice Annan interview

The interview given by Justice Annan to the AfriAsia magazine made interesting reading. If the PNDC have jettisoned their socialist and Marxist principles after three years of experimentation in the political laboratory ie Ghana, and now agrees with Dr Limann when he told the world that his political ideology was Ghana, then I can very well imagine the tense atmosphere in their camp between left and the right..

Now, Justice Annan should not forget that the people are looking forward to hearing from Rawlings to admit his mistakes publicly.

I believe people will never forget the evils done to our society, by the Socialists/Marxists since independence.

There is a growing political awareness in the country despite the present apathy, and if Justice Annan is honest about what he is saying and prepared to be called a statesman then he must choose whom to serve.

The fact is that we need a system of government which truly reflects on our tradition, as was accorded the recognition in the 1969 and 1979 constitutions.

Kwaku Amponsa, London



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talking drums 1985-02-11 open letter to rawlings