Lead Convenor of the #FixTheCountry movement Mawuse Oliver Barker-Vormawor is unsure whether or not to continue to pursue the cause of the movement following his university’s refusal to grant him some time off his doctoral studies so that he can continue with activities of the movement. According to Mr Barker-Vormawor, the University of Cambridge, where he is a researcher and doctoral student, has refused to grant him a year’s time off after he put in the demand.
This, he says, has put him in a dilemma on whether or not he should get committed to his studies or abandon it altogether. Read parts of his post on Facebook below: “I wrote to the University of Cambridge asking for a year off to stay in Ghana and focus exclusively on FixTheCountry. I did it because I consistently maintain hope. “Yesterday, the University responded. That based on the advice of the University’s Safety Office, they are denying my request. As I have come to understand, the University has been very worried about the negative Press they have received after one of our doctoral researchers was abducted and killed in Egypt while following labour unrests in that country. “Also, because another Cambridge Researcher Peter Biar Ajak was arrested by the South Sudan authorities and kept in jail for over two years in connection with his activism; there has been a lot of attempts to dissuade me from this path. “The University has given me the option to withdraw, temporarily if this is the cause I want to pursue. I understand that the University after having reviewed the conduct of the security authorities in Ghana, Ejura, and the persistency of the calls by members of the current administration for me to be arrested and charged with treason; felt compelled to reject my request,” he revealed on social media. He added that even though he is not motivated by money he truly loves his work at the University. “There is an option on the table that I could be reinstated after I come back in a year’s time; but an temporary withdrawal could have a huge implication on my funding. It will also mean a withdrawal of all support to me by the University. (Eg. If I am unjustly arrested, they won’t press for my release; as I won’t be their affiliate)
“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 feed like launching myself into a void,” he explained. Many social media users have advised him to pursue his studies and probably return later to continue with the cause of the #FixTheCountry