‘I spent nearly $15,000 of my savings on #FixTheCountry campaign’ – Convenor
A lead convenor of the #FixTheCountry campaign, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, has revealed the toll that being in the frontline of the pressure group has had on his life.
According to him, there has been a financial toll, political toll and more importantly, as a researcher, he is faced with an academic toll, leaving him at a crossroad.
The University of Cambridge refused an application he put in for year off to focus on his activism.
According to him, he believed that the refusal was connected to bad press the varsity had received due to his activism and instances where other African students have run into trouble in their respective countries over similar activism.
He noted in a recent Facebook post that over the last six months, his life has been consumed by his activism braving all odds including threats of arrest.
“Through it all, nothing concerning my personal expenses have come sponsored. All of this has been carried at great personal cost and only in the belief of an ideal. The belief that change is possible; and that Ghana can reform itself.
“A belief that our democracy has the resilience to renew itself in a way that produces justice for all. I believed it so much, I spent nearly $15,000 of my personal savings, covering all my expenses in connection with this activism. Professionally, FixTheCountry has taken over my life.
“For the past six months, I have done FixTheCountry related activism almost exclusively. I pushed all my consulting projects aside and my research commitments at the University of Cambridge took a huge hit,” he wrote in part.
He also pointed out that far from the monetary consideration, his love for his research work and belief in the #FixTheCountry mission and message was what had left him conflicted.
“I am honestly conflicted. People make more fetish of doctoral degrees in Ghana in a way that doesn’t align with my values of the world. So that isn’t what conflicts me.
“I am conflicted most because I love my research and what I am doing. And letting that go feels like launching myself into a void. It’s not about money; or the promise of it. I will be fine and I have always been fine. In fact, Money has never really motivated me much,” he added.
Recently, a group of young activists emerged under the banner of #FixTheCountry campaign, a largely online group that leveraged on social media to demand good governance and accountability.
A planned march was torpedoed by Police months back before they managed to secure a court order that allowed them protest in Accra in August. A second protest took place in Sekondi Takoradi on 21st September.
The #FixTheCountry campaign has been accused of political bias on several occasions by pro-government persons who say the group tilts towards and is even funded by the main opposition National Democratic Congress.
But the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer and former president, John Dramani Mahama, during his ongoing ‘Thank You Tour’ dismissed talk of financing the group stressing that its activities was as a result of collective political failure.