Story: Yaw Takyi
Chaos erupted at the Finance Ministry on Wednesday when Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta engaged pensioner bondholders who picketed at the premises for the eighth time to demand exemption from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP).
The Minister was seeking to understand the concerns of the picketers but was interrupted by Oliver Barker-Vormawor, a convener for pressure group #FixTheCountry who had come to lend support to the picketers accusing the minister of untrustworthiness.
“It is important because our conversation has been about building a protest culture. A culture where persons affected by public policy decisions by political officers do not sit aside but raise their voice and match that voice with the determination to show up when it matters.”
“When these things are happening, it is also important that persons are inspired by this in the spirit of resilience. So with what these pensioners have shown, it is important that we the young ones also show up for them by mobilizing people to carry forward the message of resistance expressed even with their age”, Barker-Vormawor emphasized.
This interruption infuriated the Minister who was whisked away by security.
The Minister told the pensioners that following the closure of the programme and the attainment of the successful participation rate, the continuous picketing by the pensioners was unnecessary.
“Really, there is no reason for us to be sitting here because that assurance has been given on paper. I want to know what it is that you are afraid of or that you think will not happen. My issue is that, that, now you have very little of the old bonds existing. This means that, in the event of a crisis, your ability to trade your papers is diminished. But that is the choice you made.”