Convenors of social media movement, #FixTheCountry, say the end game of their campaign to have topical issues in the country addressed is to imbibe a culture of protest among the citizenry.
One of the individuals at the forefront of the campaign, Oliver Barker-Vormavor, maintains that Ghanaians ought not to only admit that the political system has failed them but, also use reasonable force to demand what they deserve to improve their living conditions.
“For us, one of the biggest things we want to do is to institutionalize protest culture in this country. When you put democracy in place, we expect certain state institutions will hold the key to keeping institutional excesses in check,” Mr. Barker-Vormavor said on The Point of View on Monday night.
“But over time, even those have been weakened and undermined, and for the first time, we are seeing outside those institutional structures and individuals who are coming up and trying to hold those structures to account. We must institutionalize the Ghanaian sense and make protest sexy,” he emphasized.
The campaigners have largely lamented the country’s inadequate or non-existent amenities, deplorable infrastructure, poor sanitary conditions, a housing deficit accompanied by exorbitant rent, general high cost of living, and high levels of unemployment with its attendant problems.
On Twitter and other social media platforms, they have expressed outrage about economic hardship and the level of underdevelopment brought on by successive governments.
The protest sparked criticism from some members of the public with regard to the focus and direction of the call.
However, the group’s resolve to protest and pile pressure on the government to get the country fixed has been fraught with challenges, including the police’s refusal to grant them permission to go ahead with their demonstration.
Although some government officials have expressed the state’s commitment to meet the demands of the campaigners, there are those who believe the President, Nana Akufo-Addo in particular must speak on the group’s concerns.
While amplifying the sentiments of his members, Mr. Barker-Vormavor pointed out that only a true and reconciliatory approach will rebuild the faith of many despaired Ghanaians in government and state institutions.
“Systematic issues have caused lives. We need to get fellow Ghanaians to get on TV and speak on how the system has affected them, what they have lost and this is what the healthcare system has cost me. We need to go through that as a process of national healing.”
“This is one of the things we think is important to move the conversation going forward”, he stressed.