Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


The Government, the Ghanaian, and reality

The report on Dr Kwesi Botchwey's press conference in Accra on January 2nd 1986 in the 27th January, 1986, issue of the Talking Drums made interesting reading. Mr Kwesi Pratt was very right in pointing out in very clear terms the deplorable state of misery of the man in the street. He had other issues on his lips but has failed to voice out for fear of being picked up to an unknown destination.

That the people arbitrarily are arrested, sent to Gondar Barracks or wherever and never seen again is an open secret. That the people are surviving not by the rhetorics of the revolutionaries but by Providence is an undeniable fact. That the people whose interest the Rawlings Government claim to be seeking - who asked them to do that, anyway? are suffering and hungry but are frightened to say so is unarguable.

It is most unfortunate that academics like Honourable Kwesi Botchwey and others allow themselves to be used as channels for the implementation of bogus policies from an obviously unwanted, dictatorial and blood-loving government.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the Ghanaian, given the opportunity, would prefer a government which he brings to power through the ballot box and which if found not to be living up to expectations would be removed through the same way at the appropriate time.

K.A Baah London

The suffering persists

On December 31, 1981, when Flt-Lt. John Rawlings ascended to the highest office in Ghana, he promised the people that within two years, he would turn Ghana into a paradise. This deceit was accepted by some workers and students, who after four years have not seen any improvement in the country's economy.

Rather, the cedi which before the so- called revolution stood at C2.75 to $1, has run to C90.00. Those who supported Rawlings from the beginning have turned to be his enemies. Farmers and workers cannot look after their children due to the increase in school fees, ranging from C3,000.00 to C4,000.00 per term, which the revolutionaries have introduced, and increases in hospital fees mean that workers and farmers cannot go to hospital.

Revolutionaries who take their instructions for national reconstruction from IMF, a capitalist institution. What a contradiction!

I think Kwesi Botchwey, the Secretary for Finance and Economic Planning, has forgotten his theories he propounded at the university. If Rawlings, Tsikata and Botchwey have no alternatives why are they still ruling?

I suggest to Rawlings and company to step down and give way to a democratically elected government.

Charles Opoku, West Germany

Leave President Babangida alone

Your editorial comment on 'Babangida Sets a Date' (Talking Drums, January 20, 1986) raises fundamental questions about operation of political parties within a transitional period prior to the restoration of a constitutional rule.

You rightly said that General Babangida had been quick to point out that the ban on politics was still in force, ostensibly to get some peace and quiet to be able to assert himself.

But I am confused by your suggestion that a period of two years should be the minimum requirement in which the President should allow for political parties to operate before the elections in 1990.

The President is reported to have said that his government would make its political programme known, based on the recommendations of the 17-member political bureau he has set up to collate data on Nigeria's political history, identify problems and to offer solutions.

I am of the opinion that the political bureau has an onerous task, not only to draw up a new constitution that can be 'suspended' by a self-appointed saviour another time, but also to find a lasting solution to the chronic problem of military interventions democratic in that have created process, serious developmental difficulties in most African countries.

At a time when the full energies of Nigerians should be engaged in finding an effective means for the eradication of the canker of military rule in their country, it will be suicidal for Nigeria to divide her attention between political campaigns and the removal of the causes of military political adventures in their democratic establishment.

The future political stability in Nigeria is now the responsibility of the political bureau and the entire people of Nigeria and not General Babangida who has already done his duty to his country.

D.K. Apreku, Oslo, Norway

Hurry to Africa

I would like to comment on Irenita Benbow Assensoh's views on "A reflection on Black Americans and West African politics" in the Talking Drums of 16 December 1985 (Vol 3, No 11).

Having read through her views, I wish to make some points clear to our African soul brothers and sisters in America that no matter what history has taught or told them, their ancestors are still lying in their graves in Africa. No matter what they may think of themselves to be they are naturally Africans with the souls of their ancestors in Africa.

I personally have a strong feeling that it is their immediate return to Africa which, Marcus Garvey also rightly said, can help Mother Africa to develop socially, politic- ally and economically. They should not wait for Africa to be developed before they jump in. After all the majority of them are unemployed because the American system does not cater for their welfare and I think that the time being wasted dancing in the streets could be used to help repair the damage which has been inflicted on Africa. A lot of them lost their lives by being drafted into the Army to fight for a cause that has nothing to do with them.

I also feel there should be intermarriage between African-Americans and Africans to enable most of them to retrace their roots to Africa. They should also start adopting African names because these symbolic things help to identify with Africa. To my African-American brothers and sisters, I say hurry to Africa, that mother needs you.

Appiah Agyei, Montpellier, France

Rawlings has failed

Please allow me space in your magazine to comment on the political situation in Ghana.

There is a deliberate misinformation campaign going on meant to throw dust into our eyes, when Rawlings says that Ghanaians have found a reliable medium of expression in his PNDC government.

Is the government not ashamed that the country's socio-economic status has been at its lowest ebb in its history since the PNDC government came to power? Raw- lings once blamed the Limann govern- ment for turning the hospitals into grave-yards. What has he now turned the whole country into? If the PNDC wants to see the country's economy on a sound footing then it should desist from its flirtation with socialist and communist countries, especially Libya.

Practical experience and observations have shown that any country without opposition to its government and without free market economy, always lags behind.

Bryte Ofusu, S.H. West Germany

talking drums 1986-02-17 ghana mystery death of a catholic priest - nigeria the press rules ok