Just like what apartheid did to Steve Biko, Ghana is doing the same to Oliver Barker-Vormawor

Oliver Barker Vormawor Cuffs #FixTheCountry convener Oliver Barker-Vormawor is in police grips

Mon, 14 Mar 2022 Source: Joel Savage

The story of Oliver Barker-Vormawor, a critic and a member of the “Fix The Country Movement" is sad. His case occurred at a wrong time when the desperate incompetent NPP government, so scared they will be overthrown has declared war on people they think want to incite a coup in Ghana.

The common Ghanaians, including the youth, are angry with the government which has denied them jobs and common basic amenities for over five years since Akufo Addo became president. Therefore, none is willing to accept the new E-Levy the NPP government wants parliament to pass.

Considering Akufo Addo’s promises to cut taxes and protect the public’s purse, when he was looking for power, the common Ghanaians feel disrespected and fooled when he tries to force E-Levy they are not interested in on them.

The unemployment rate has increased sharply since the NPP came to power and since life in Ghana has become extremely difficult, Ghanaians welcomed the introduction of the E-Levy with hostility, yet Akufo Addo wants to pass the E-Levy at all cost.

This provoked Oliver Barker-Vormawor to comment that if the E-Levy is passed he will make an E-coup and on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport from overseas, he was arrested. Since his arrest, the NPP government has denied him bail based on excuses that he doesn’t want to cooperate.

Even though the court hasn’t charged Oliver Barker-Vormawor yet, according to Godfred Dame, the Attorney General, Mr. Barker-Vormawor is being held on charges of treason and as we know, treason is when found guilty of “the betrayal of allegiance toward one's own country.”

Oliver Barker-Vormawor’s story reminds me of Steve Biko during the era of Apartheid in South Africa. As an active member of the National Union of South African Students, (NUSAS) his heart was increasingly in politics. He left NUSAS and formed the South African Students Organisation(SASO)

Regarded as one of the fearless critics in South Africa, along the line with Nelson Mandela, despite both having different views and options, Biko faced the white regime squarely. Not by violence, but through his writings, which he named "I write what I like."

Just like Akufo Addo being scared of criticism and now declaring war on journalists and critics against his government, the white minority regime considered Biko’s writings as a threat to national security. Biko said, "It urges black people to judge themselves as human beings and not to be fooled by the white society.”

This is what Akufo Addo doesn’t want to hear or listen to as the common people are saying we don’t want any more of your fooling, therefore, we are not interested in your fraudulent E-Levy. Under Akufo Addo's government, nepotism and tribalism have divided Ghanaians similarly to that of the Apartheid era.

To avoid influencing the various black groups in South Africa, which gave Steve Biko much support and recognition, he was arrested and detained many times under Section 6, of the Terrorism Act in South Africa. The same Akufo Addo has in mind to reduce the popularity of Oliver Barker-Vormawor.

Unlike Barker-Vormawor, Steve Biko was arrested many times but always released, however, on August 18, 1977, when he was arrested and detained under the same offense of terrorism act and treason, little did everybody know that he would not be seen again.

He was taken to Port Elizabeth, stripped naked, and tortured to death. His autopsy stated that he died of brain damage, yet those responsible for his death lied that he died on hunger strike in detention. Certainly, this is not what we are hoping to happen to Oliver Barker-Vormawor.

However, it is time we need to caution the Attorney General, Godfred Dame that where the case is now heading is becoming dangerous and, therefore, if anything happens to Oliver Barker-Vormawor, I don’t think they will find it easy to give answers to questions and charges from the international press monitoring whatever is taking place in Ghana.

Columnist: Joel Savage
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