THE perception that some state institutions are corrupt and, therefore, not worthy of trust is a worrying scenario for our fledgling democracy.
THIS is because the inherent strength of democracy lies in robust institutions that remain unbending to individual, corporate or even social pressure.
UNLIKE autocracies or dictatorships in which an individual wields extreme power and thus is able to command obeisance from all and sundry as a result of the coercive apparatus of state which could be unleashed on deviants, democracy, which belongs to the people, thrives on resilient institutions.
THE promulgation of the 1992 Constitution and the adoption of our current democracy came about after so many years of stranglehold on freedom and the inability to make informed choices. But, today, we are all grateful for the power to make choices and to freely make our thoughts known publicly without fear of any reprisal from any apparatus of state.
REGRETTABLY, the institutions that constitute the bedrock for the expression of these freedoms have been called into question because through their actions and inaction, their integrity, in the estimation of the ordinary person, has been dented.
THE 1992 Constitution sets up a good number of institutions, such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament, the Judicial Service, the law enforcement agencies and a host of others, all with defined roles and responsibilities which, in concert, hold the entire system accountable and impregnable to destructive tendencies.
IN addition, the President, by acts of Parliament, has set up a number of agencies tasked with such responsibilities that will ultimately enhance good corporate governance and the rule of law. This is in addition to the many laws and statutes that have been passed to govern public office holders and institutions.
HOWEVER, on a number of occasions, some public officials and institutions have acted in contravention of these laws but the political will to deal with these errant persons and institutions has been lacking.
WHAT the country needs now are not more laws but the political courage o deal with those who flout the law, regardless of their position or political affiliation.
SOME schools of thought have said that if the President, as the First Gentleman of the land, is able to summon such political will to deal with members of his administration who are found to have breached the law in any way, it will send good signals to everybody.
THAT way, when the President has to deal with someone outside his administration or party, no one will blame him for being selective in the administration of justice.
TODAY thinks that for confidence in public institutions to be redeemed, the move must start from the top and trickle down to the bottom. Leadership at all levels of national life must be unwavering in cracking the whip when the need arises. It must be resolute in naming and shaming.
NATIONAL pride and trust in our institutions must be redeemed at all cost. That will be the surest way to entrench our democracy, so that some predisposing factors that led to some occurrences in the past will not repeat themselves.