Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


Ghana endorses Iran's struggle

I read with dismay the news item "Ghana endorses Iran's struggle" published in the Talking Drums of August 12, 1985.

It is no wonder that this statement came from Captain (rtd) Kojo Tsikata who is now campaigning for support in countries known for violence and intolerance. How can Ghana, a peace-loving country, endorse the brutalities and the religious fanaticism of Khomeini? Even the Islamic world cannot be said to be proud of Iran's revolution. Ghanaians will not follow the example of a regime built on fanaticism, brutalities and intolerance. It is Tsikata, the PNDC and its associates who want to go the Khomeini way.

Tsikata should be told in plain language that Ghana and Africa's struggle is in no way similar to Iran's Islamic revolution.

George Nkrumah, Sannois, France

A message to ex-Ghanaians

My middle finger goes up to them. They should be given a brass medal, for they are the most patriotic pseudo- Europeans I have ever heard of. These runaways reside in America, Britain, Germany and most European countries. They are always complaining about Ghana and Rawlings, yet you could not give them all the gold in the A.G.C.(GH) LTD. to go back to help in developing the country.

These European countries were built with blood, hard work and tears of Black people from Africa. These people are called Black Americans today. I am an Afro-American and I am sick of these sell-out, weak, die hards, complaining Euro-Ghanaians putting their government and country down, both physically and verbally. These cowardly ex-patriots slither away as fast as they can to get to America and most European countries instead of remaining in Ghana with their minds, muscles and skills to help Rawlings and Ghana to attain their full potential.

These Euro-Ghanaians enroll in foreign schools, get jobs, and pour all of their money into the one way economy of their new masters. They only return to Ghana to show off the trinkets for which they have sold their birthright.

Once they are nested in their host country, they seldom join that country's Black Struggle against world-wide oppression. The only shouts they utter are against Ghana and its leader.

I have special disgust for those that shake the bloody hands of the white South African slave master, these Ghanaians have a degree in their pocket and a grin on their face. I hold your foot runaway slaves, please go home to help fulfill your country's destiny of Greatness.

Zulema, Los Angeles, U.S.A.

In defence of Commodore Opong

I write in defence of Commodore (cdre) Opong of Ghana Navy who has been branded as a CIA informant.

It is pathetic that the PNDC always looks for some crises to arrest or sack its top officials. Anybody who knows that short Torpedo Anti-Submarine (TAS) officer and his outspokenness would know that he is not the type which would be tolerated by Jerry Rawlings' government. In addition, his Anum/Brong Ahafo extraction does not make him a favourite service commander in present day Ghana.

From the day he took over as Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Cdre Opong had never enjoyed the support of the PNDC and a small section in the Ghana Navy for the obvious reason. They had always favoured either Cdre Obimpeh or Rear Admiral Dzang who was recalled from Australia as a High Commissioner for that purpose. Rear Admiral Dzang wisely declined that post at a durbar at Sekondi Naval Base in 1982 at which I was present; and Obimpeh could not be brought back because of his past deeds.

In private conversation with Cdre Oppong in Takoradi it was apparent that he was aware of the lack of support and had always contemplated retiring but for fear of being framed up and imprisoned or executed. Those of us who knew this never gave him a dog's chance at CNS, and now the expected has happened. It's the Ghana Navy which would continue to lose.

Owusu Sarpong (ex-Petty Officer, Ghana Navy) London

Rawlings' outburst on Bishop Sarpong

Jerry Rawlings' vile outburst on Bishop Sarpong, Bishop of the Kumasi diocese of the Catholic Church, is very disrespectful. Rawlings is reported to have said of the Bishop: "If I were not a Head of State, I would have punched him right on his nose, I would have dealt with him physically personally..." (Talking Drums, August 12, 1985). This is the man who disclaims responsibilty for the execution of the former Heads of State in Ghana.

The Holy Book tells it all:
'Their mouths are full of
cursing and bitterness
Their feet are swift
to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark
their ways
and the way of peace
they do not know
There is no fear of God
before their eyes'

Rom. 3:14-18
It is not surprising that Jerry Rawlings goes to such extremes in the use of such language on one of the most respected citizens in Ghana who did not acquire eminence in life by default, because other reputable Ghanaians have been brutally murdered and burnt in Rawlings' revolution.

It is known that history is replete with records about narrow-minded, and disillusioned men who only govern to ruin, in contrast to broad-minded, humane and intelligent people who gain their laurels in society by dint of hard work and honesty and who lead to peace.

Surely we continue to pray 'to be protected from men of violence who plan to trip our feet' and to cherish the belief that those who destroy their neighbours to live, live to see to their own destruction according to the prophets.

Mark Amoo, Helsinki, Finland

Ghanaian teachers in Libya

The economy of Libya is now on the decline and Gaddafi regime is taking some harsh economic measures to conserve the country's scarce foreign exchange earnings.

The recent order on the alien workers to take Libyan citizenship was seen as a deliberate attempt to deprive the aliens of their right to send part of their monthly earnings home to support their families. All the foreign nationals working in Libya have their salaries paid into their accounts in foreign countries of their own choice. It is in these countries that they do their shopping and send to their home countries because they are not allowed to send anything out of Libya except clothing.

The Gaddafi regime has embarked on mass development projects which attracted a large skilled and unskilled labour force from African countries - mostly from north African states with the majority coming from Egypt and Tunisia. In the field of formal education much emphasis was placed on the learning of the English language as a compulsory subject in all the educational institutions in the country.

As the country faced the problem of recruiting qualified English language teachers, in 1981 the Libya educational authorities began a small scale recruiting of teachers from Nigeria, particularly Ghanaians who arrived late and could not get appointments in Nigeria. There were many other Ghanaian teachers who went to Libya on their own.

When the PNDC regime came to power the regime gave its full blessing to the recruitment of Ghanaian teachers on a large scale to Libya. In October 1983 the education authorities from Libya went to Ghana to recruit teachers at the time when the nation was facing the problem of getting teachers and most of the schools in rural areas were without teachers.

In October last year the Libyan authorities were again in Ghana to recruit our experienced teachers. Since the PNDC approved of such exodus, officials of the Ghana Education Service (GES) headed by Mr Nicholas Asante, Director of the Secondary Education of the GES, assisted in recruiting the best of Ghana's teachers, (Talking Drums, December 10, 1984).

Teachers from other African countries, especially Egypt and Tunisia who could read in Arabic, were also recruited to handle other subjects apart from English Language.

The mass dismissals carried out by the Libyan authorities has affected all the foreign nationals working in the country and Ghanaians in other sectors were also affected.

As Libya is aiming at reducing her reliance on foreign labour and create more job openings for her nationals, what happened to Ghanaian teachers and many other professionals who went to Nigeria to look for greener pastures, the same thing will definitely happen to the PNDC-GES sponsored teachers in Libya.

The PNDC regime and the GES should do all they can to protect Ghanaian teachers on secondment in Libya so that all their toil and sweat on the desert would not be in vain.

K.S. Owusu Appiah, West Germany

There is time for everything

The Comment entitled 'stones versus guns' by the editor and the letter entitled "Condemnation of apartheid" by Mr K.S. Owusu Appiah (Talking Drums, August 19, 1985) have reminded me of a statement made by a member of the church of Mormons.

I was born a Catholic but because of my curiosity, I have gone into doctrines of so many churches such as Presbyterian, Anglican, Jehovah's Witness and Mormons to mention but just a few. In all the studies with these churches. I faced a question of resolving why blacks appear to be incapable of governing themselves.

Well, different churches gave different baseless and fabricated answers to this question. Out of these answers, I was provoked by a statement made by a man of the Church of Mormons, an American spiritual group that the black race was cursed by God. From my biblical knowledge, there is no verse in the Good Book that supports this mischievous statement. But rather, the correct answers to these questions are found in Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 which says, there is a time for everything under the universe.

Stephen Mensah B, Marseilles, France

talking drums 1985-09-09 Rafindadi's N.S.O. Empire exposed