Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


What is the solution?

I am very impressed with your publication, which I have just seen for the first time this morning (Vol. 2 Number 19). I am also very sympathetic with the opinions expressed by E. Ablorh- Objidja in his article entitled 'Black Americans And The Election 1984'. Unfortunately, however, I can see no solution to the problems which Ablorh-Odjidja raises. Would it be possible for him to write a sequel with his own views in solving the problems he discusses?

Solomon Oden
Battle Bronx, New York

Ghana teachers to Libya

In the December 3 issue of the Talking Drums it was reported that about 500 Ghanaian teachers have been recruited by the Libyan government for a two- year training appointment in Libya.

A week later, in the December 10 issue of the Talking Drums, an official statement from the Ministry of Education in Ghana was issued to explain this agreement between Gadaffi and Rawlings as "an attempt to rationalise the mass exodus of teachers" which was stated as "beyond the control of the government" (of Rawlings). Really things are becoming funny in Ghana nowadays.

The said official of the Ministry was proud to say that "the recruitment, which is only a secondment programme, offers teachers an opportunity to attain certain basic necessities after which they return with stability of mind to continue their services."

The Ministry of Education CAN do better and MUST be able to offer the teachers these necessities to stay at home and stop this exportation.

The honourable official, Mr Nicholas Asante, must remind himself that the mass exodus is not different from the government sponsored mass exodus of the Ghanaian teachers which has been a worry to the previous governments and even that of Rawlings, not forgetting the result that would be brought to Ghanaians.

I shall not be surprised to hear later that these teachers were either affiliates of the officials recruiting these teachers or the poor non-affiliates paid heavy sums of money to be recruited considering the fact that Mr Asante noted with deep concern the RUSH with which teachers applied for the appointments.

It will not be out of context to say that these teachers to Libya will be saturated with the Green Book ideology to poison the minds of the youth on their return to Ghana.

Abubakar Akumfi-Ameyaw
Dusseldorf, W. Germany

After the theories, what abut the realities?

On his rejoinder to Mr Kodwo Mbir Bullard's article of 11th March 1985 captioned "Recycled cliches and empty jargon", I sincerely wish to ask Mr E. K. M. Yakpo, whose article appeared in the Talking Drums of 25th March 1985 to tell Dr Kwesi Botchway, the PNDC Secretary for Finance and Economic Planning "WHAT SHOULD A MARXIST DO, faced with the real situation in Ghana, the monetary and fiscal situation, the condition of the various sectors of the economy... etc, etc, etc," as he is an expert on Marxism.

I. Annor
Dusseldorf, West Germany

Tortuous G.D.M. plans

The 7-point programme of the Ghana Democratic Movement, as presented by Mr J. H. Mensah, seems laudable but far too complicated and not straightforward.

Assuming that Flt-Lt Rawlings may voluntarily hand over power, (I doubt very much) what agency does the Movement suggest to bail the regime out? The Supreme Court and the National House of Chiefs? 'To jointly appoint a Presidential Commission... to appoint an Electoral Commission ... to organise new District Council election ... the representatives from which will form a Constituent Assembly to determine the constitution... the appointment of Government of National Unity by the Presidential Commission to govern until a new government is elected...?

Without disrespect to the National House of Chiefs, (may God forbid) but with total reverence to the institution of chieftaincy, the record of Ghanaian chiefs is so blemished that hardly can they play an impartial let alone effective role in the programme of the Movement. There's hardly any Ghanaian chief; mighty or low, who has since 1966 when the military and police interfered in Ghanaian politics, raised or has raised a finger against the illegitimacy of military rule. The acquiescence and support, sometimes bordering on sycophancy, of chiefs and some retired and knowledgeable grey hairs, have helped in no small measure to legitimize the unwarranted military interventions in our politics. Currently, there are many influential paramount chiefs directly and personally involved with Rawlings and his regime. Our acknowledged but much maligned chiefs like all others, have to purge themselves before our country returns to a civilian rule. When, I'm not sure. The judiciary have not fared much better either.

Why not the Presidential Commission from the leader of the main Christian Churches, who though outspoken in their condemnation of the brutalities of military rule and its illegitimacy, have maintained an impartial and effective stand, while enjoying untainted reputation than the agency suggested by the GDM? Or a Presidential Commission of the leaders of the last main political parties? Or the Rawlings' regime itself, declaring a general amnesty, lifting the ban on politics, appointing an independent Electoral Commission to supervise the general election of which they will not qualify to stand, as part of the 'bail out' provisions? The AFRC though under different situation, did not go through a complicated procedure other than see to it that the Electoral Commission which was before their advent, organise the election which became an open and keenly contested exercise.

What does the GDM fear from a brief period of political organisation leading to a straight fight general election and the operation of the 1979 Constitution than to suggest these complicated and duplicated measures? They smell of the NLC strategy which after mass disqualification of members of a particular party, appointed various advisory bodies, commissions and the Centre for Civic Education that paved the way for a particular party to win a lop-sided general election in 1969. Ghanaians don't intend going through that experience again. The 1979 experience can be followed without much harm.

Finally, unless the Movement is a 'Kokofu Ballkuw' (Kokofu Football Club), let it come into the open other than 'inviting Mr Ntim Gyakari and other concerned citizens' to their cloistered enclave. There are thousands of disillusioned Ghanaians ready to follow our experienced political leaders for the eventual removal of the evil Rawlings' regime. After all, the GDM like other exiled organisations in the UK, is not prohibited from organising debates, meetings and mass demonstrations against the Rawlings' regime.

Kyeame Ko' Oppong, London

talking drums 1985-04-22 doe's ride to the presidency - general hannnaniya - gifex 1985