Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Lest We Forget

Daily Times


Panel probes Yar'Adua's land

The allocation of more than 10,000 hectares of land in Kaduna State to retired Major General Shehu Yar'Adua on the eve of his departure from government is being investigated.

The 10,375.61 hectares of farmland which is by Funtua Birnin Gwari Road, is said to have been allocated to the General in a certificate of occupancy No. NC6084 registered last August 30. The law requires an application for farmland to have been submitted to the local government office in which the land is. From there, the application is referred to the district head of the area who is to confirm if the land belongs to the applicant either by inheritance or sale.

The applicant is also required to submit a detailed survey of the land signed by a licensed surveyor for the approval of the surveyor-general of the state. The commission of inquiry will find out if the General complied with the law. Major-General Yar'Adua retired from the Army two months ago to become a farmer.

The members of the land investiga- tion committee are Dr G.E. Mosugu (a private legal practitioner); Malam Abdu Abdallah (senior accountant bursary department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria) Mr D.J. Dagat (head of education, Kaduna Polytech- nic), the Rev. Bawa B. Bijo (Baptist Mission, Kaduna); Alhaji Umaru Tela (a local leader in Zaria); Malam Yusuf Kanbarawa (a local leader in Katsina) and Mr Patrick I. Yakowa (under secretary in the Governor's Office).

When contacted, Major-General Yar'Adua said that he would reserve his comments until after the committee had completed its job.


Volta - man's greatest lake

Volta-man's greatest lake... the story of Ghana's Akosombo Dam by James Moxon. Published by Andre Deutsch Ltd, London.

James Moxon's book 'Volta - Man's Greatest Lake... The Story of Ghana's Akosombo Dam' (first published in US and UK in 1969) has just been re-issued in soft-cover edition by Andre Deutsch Ltd, London with the addition of four new chapters covering the events of the past 15 years (up to 31 December, 1983) with special reference to the Kpong Project, developments in agricultural irrigation, lake transportation, moves towards an integrated aluminium industry in Ghana and the negotiations that have been taking place- especially over the past two years between the government of Ghana and the shareholders (Kaiser and Reynolds) of the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO). As was reported in the Financial Times on 18 July, 1984, these negotiations have now been successfully concluded.

The bulk of this edition is intended for sale and distribution in Ghana where background information concerning the Volta River Project is of particular interest. Bulk copies may, however, be obtained from the publisher direct - Andre Deutsch Ltd, 105 Gt. Russell St, London WC1 and copies may also be ordered through specialist bookshops in UK, Europe and USA.

This very readable book (300 pages of text, 25 of photographs, maps and diagrams) now brings the history of the River Volta and its transformation into the world's most extensive man-made lake, and of Africa's largest aluminium smelter right up to date. Not only does it tell the story of one of the most exciting modern investments in Africa but also fifteen years later summarises some of the traumas that go hand-in-hand with such ventures in industrialisation and the accompany- ing social change. It has much to interest any reader who is concerned with the affairs of fast-changing Africa.

Poets' Corner


My hands are tied behind me,
So I can see my heels
In twilight steel.
I shake out the dust
From my soles;
That tread on worms;
Letting it drop among its own.
The earth licks it.
My stomach is sour,
In restful dissention.
My neck,
Will never turn;
Not yet.
Never again,
In the direction
That gave it strength.
I am solidified
In placaded glory;
Marching on.
Each step,
In measured plots.

written 4/9/84
Akeh-Ugah Ufumaka

talking drums 1985-07-08 nigeria's security boss writes - we reply