The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has tagged the continuous picketing by pensioner bondholders for an exemption from the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme as unreasonable.
He maintains that the voluntary exercise has concluded and that the government will honour its obligations to bondholders, including retirees who voluntarily opted not to participate in the programme.
For the past eight days, the group has been picketing at the Finance Ministry, demanding that the government excludes them from the domestic debt swap.
Addressing pensioners on Wednesday, February 15, the Finance Minister stated that the picketing is now 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 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,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
Meanwhile, chaos erupted as Mr Ofori-Atta was addressing the pensioner bondholders who picketed at the premises.
His engagement 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.
This interruption infuriated the Minister who was subsequently whisked away by his security.
“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.