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Opinions of Monday, 30 August 2010

Columnist: Donkor, Samuel

Culture Of Protectionism And Favouritism

-killers of the rule of law and a menace
to good governance
by Samuel Donkor

Protectionism in political circles, protectionism in governments, protectionism
in institutions, protectionism in families, protectionism in social circles, all
in the name of goodwill and good image, which has become a growing negative
phenomenon in this country, is really a serious menace to the good governance
and the rule of law we are all crying for.

For many years now, the rule of law has never existed fairly in this country
Ghana, hence the bad governance, high rate of crime, endemic corruption,
lawlessness and administrative frauds prevailing. The decadence in the moral
fiber of the people, the care-free attitudes and arrogance, all of which come
with indiscipline, has reached a peak the present government is finding it
difficult to fight against and which no government can fight without pragmatic
exemplary leadership and sacrifice.

All these problems have come about from political, official and unofficial
protectionism and favouritisms that have prevailed under successive governments
which have been unchecked up to this day.

Under many governments in Africa and Ghana inclusive, the rule of law is
perverted. Political leaders and officials involved in corruption and other
fraudulent acts go scott free unpunished. Public officials involved in
embesslements are exonerated by technicalities in the laws. Persons involved in
rape and defilement cases are prevented by families from prosecutions, all in
the name of good family image and compensations.

Criminals with connections in the government and judiciary are never prosecuted
and walk the streets of the cities freely with impunity. Politicisation of
criminal offences is the worst killer of the rule of law.

Such actions has made people in government, their relatives and persons with
connections in government and the police service untouchables and seem to be
above the laws of the land in the eyes of the people. Such is the bad governance
affecting the country's progress , law and order.

The rate of protectionism and favoritism rose high immediately the military
regimes came into governance and has since then developed into a negative
phenomenal practice, which has also encouraged indiscipline, as a result, such
persons walk about with care-free attitude and disrespect for law and order.

How can good governance and discipline prevail, when a few public officials,
politicians and their cronies take the people for a ride, as far as the rule of
law is concerned.It is well known the World over, that one of the basis for good
governance, progress in development is the rule of law, where no one is above it
. When this fails, the nation is doomed.

On the basis of such protectionism and favoritism common in our society, a
reknowned writer, John Rafety wrote enquote: ' Individual criminals are still
thrown behind bars or shot on the streets.But a member of organized crime or a
criminal with government connections is seldom arrested. If arrested, he is
rarely indicted, if indicted rarely brought to trial. If tried, rarely
convicted. If convicted, rarely imprisoned. If imprisoned , quickly released'.

This is what is being practiced in Africa and for that matter, in Ghana for many
years now, and if not checked and discontinued, this country will never move
forward.Persons should be made to account for their own deeds and actions,
commissions and omissions and allow the rule of law to prevail for the country
to move forward.
Governments should stop the practice, where their cronies and relatives are
protected or favored, when criminal allegations and other offences are found
against them The rule of law should be allowed to take its course and
institutions made to perform diligently without official or family interference
and without fear or favor.

Today we see many people who have looted this country, billions of cedis and
other offences, by party faithfuls and public servants against the state,
walking freely on our streets, length and beath of this country, with impunity
and as untouchables.

In countries where culture of protectionism and favoritism are practiced or
prevailing, there is public disrespect for the rule of law, there is endemic
corruption; people refuse to report crimes to the police, and the tendency to
instant justice and mob actions against culprits, become the order of the day.
Police -public relations become strained and the image tarnished. Our leaders
must be serious and stop interfering in the institutions set up to put
discipline and order int our society.
I write you he truth, God is not mocked, 'Whatever that a man soweth, that shall
he also reap.' Galatians 6;7
Samuel Donkor Mob:0242809352 .