North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa has advised the Convener of the FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, to be circumspect in his advocacies as an activist.

According to the NDC lawmaker, even though he sympathises with the calls by Mr Barker-Vormawor for a better country, there is the need for him to be measured in his utterances and conduct.

Speaking in an interview with Samson Lardy Anyenini on NewsFile on Saturday, Mr. Ablakwa expressed solidarity with the FixTheCountry Movement and urged the group to be focused, despite their recent excesses.

“I’ve already condemned what they did. I’ve been an activist for many years as NUGS President [and the] CJA, and we never went on demonstration with arms. I think that it’s good they apologised and they should demonstrate that they really are back on the path of righteousness”, he stated.

He also added that, “They’re raising important issues [such as] Police brutalities. As we speak, the seven people killed during the 2020 elections, no justice. I’m still at CHRAJ with Honourable Buah seeking justice.

[There was] Nkoranza, then there was Ejura, there was Tamale [and] Akatsi, these things cannot continue. So they’re raising important issues [such as] corruption [and] prioritisation. They should not spoil their case”.

The MP continued; “I mean I admire Barker-Vormawor very very well, sharp sharp intellect, a patriot extraordinaire. He shouldn’t mar that image and his great reputation by engaging in things like that. Let’s take it as just one terrible slip and that they can return on the great effort that they’re working on to make our country better and improve the living conditions of our people. It was just unfortunate”.

The North Tongu MP made these remarks on the back of the recent public backlash against Oliver Barker-Vormawor, following his proposed arrangements for a demonstration slated for June 4, 2022.

In a letter to the Police, Mr. Barker-Vormawor requested to have the protestors armed with weapons, amidst their own privately resourced security.

According to him, he and his allies have lost confidence in the ability of the Police to safeguard their interest as protestors, hence their request to rely on their own security arrangement.

This was in addition to a request to also address the nation on the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation during the protest.

Reacting to this, the Accra Regional Police Command announced its inability to shepherd the three-day demonstration being organised by Barker-Vormawor and a group of other aggrieved citizens.

FixTheCountry Movement should not spoil their case - Okudzeto Ablakwa
Convener of FixTheCountry, Oliver Barker-Vormawor

Signing the statement on behalf of the Regional Public Affairs Unit, Chief Inspector, Bright Kwabena Danso revealed that on Sunday, May 29, a group of persons, including Okatakyie Afrifa Mensah, Captain Godsbrain Smart, Benjamin Darko, and Oliver Barker-Vormawor gave notice to the police on a demonstration they want to embark on from Saturday, June 4.

He highlighted that among other things, the notice indicated the following:

  • That the demonstrators intend to embark on a three-day demonstration, starting on 4th June 2022.
  • That the demonstrators intend to contract a private security company to provide protection for the demonstrators.
  • That the demonstrators and the contracted private security personnel will be armed with weapons.
  • That the armed demonstrators will picket at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the Ghana Police Headquarters.
  • That at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), they will demand to speak directly to the nation on GTV and lay out their grievances.
FixTheCountry Movement should not spoil their case - Okudzeto Ablakwa
Page 1 of the Police’s response to Barker-Vormawor and his colleagues on their planned demonstration on June 4, 2022

Chief Inspector Bright Kwabena Danso however noted that after a careful consideration, the Police is willing to provide the necessary protection for any lawful demonstration in the country but not in the nature of what Mr. Barker-Vormawor and his colleagues had requested.

According to him, the nature and character of the demonstration as intended by the conveners is inconsistent with the Public Order Act.

FixTheCountry Movement should not spoil their case - Okudzeto Ablakwa
Page 2 of the Police’s response to Barker-Vormawor and his colleagues on their planned demonstration on June 4, 2022

 “We are therefore unable to provide security for a demonstration which is in flagrant violation of the Public Order Act, 1994 (Act 49) and has the potential to result in a breach of public order and public safety”, the Police noted.

In their letter, the Police therefore disclosed that the Service has reached out to the organisers to reconsider their proposal and work with the Police towards the organisation of a lawful, peaceful and successful demonstration.

“We wish to assure the public that in the interest of public safety and security, the Police are putting in place all necessary measures to ensure that unauthorised persons do not march on the streets with weapons”, the statement from the Police concluded.

Following the release of the Police’s response, scores of citizens expressed disgust with Mr. Barker-Vormawor on social media for his demands. Amidst the widespread sentiments, the activist subsequently released a letter on behalf of the group, apologising for their demands for the June 4 protest.

FixTheCountry Movement should not spoil their case - Okudzeto Ablakwa
A copy of the apology from the convenors of the FixTheCountry Movement

Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa believes that the apology is in order, and hence the group must shake off the dust and resume with their advocacies.