Don’t cut corners with the law – Justice Dotse
A Supreme Court Judge, Justice Jones Dotse, has blamed the problems of Ghana on the alarming rate at which most Ghanaians bend the laws of the country.
According to him, while some people bend the rules for their personal gains, others are pressurised to vary the rules when it concerns certain people.
In his view, Ghana has some of the best laws in our part of the world but the real problem is lack of enforcement and execution of the laws.
To reverse the trend, he charged all Ghanaians to do everything on merit and totally shun bending the rules.
“If we live in a society and continue to bend the rules, then the time will come when because we have bent the rules, we cannot trust institutions and agencies,” he said.
Justice Dotse was speaking during the launch of the OneGhana Movement, a social action group whose first project is to seek justice for victims of June 3 Flood and Fire disaster victims.
The OneGhana Movement is a thought leadership and social not-for–profit organisation that seeks to promote citizens responsibility, the prioritisation of the national interest over partisan politics and promotion of public policy accountability.
He expressed worry that Ghanaians who insist on merit and strictly apply the rules are perceived by society as bad people.
On the other hand, he said, Ghanaians hail people who amass wealth without questioning the source of the wealth.
According to him, if Ghana is to make meaningful progress, then all must insist on certain minimum standards of behaviour in society.
He observed that religious leaders in the country hardly speak against the ills of leaders because of favours, including VIP treatments when traveling abroad.
Justice Dotse, said victims of the ‘June 3 Disaster’ who left behind families and those, who survived but are currently facing challenges, must be adequately rehabilitated.
He said meritocracy must be embraced in the country to avoid misfortune that are tied to sub-standardisation saying, the situation where individuals are admitted into institutions should be based on merit but not relationships with any person of influence.
He said favouritism has done more evil than good to the nation and there is the need to halt this notion.
He could not comprehend why the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) would extend water and electricity to houses situated in unapproved areas, saying “if it is not an approved place of residence, how come that these utility services extend their services to the place?”.
Dr Joyce Aryee, Founder of Salt and Light Ministry, stated that a combination of policy failures and bad social habits led to the death of 154 persons yet we continue to look on as the city decays.
She said collectively, as a people, we have to indulge in acts and omissions that have questioned the value and sense of worth of the Ghanaian.
Dr Aryee stated that the pervasive decay in social and political fabric continue to eat up any attempt at development and reinventing of our noble past.
“If we all start thinking about Ghana as our responsibility, we must work together to develop it in such a manner that will take care of our present needs without jeopardising the ability of the next generation from meeting their own needs,” she added.
She said the OneGhana seeks to promote informed, responsive and responsible citizenry is key to exacting individual accountability, governance accountability and progressive policy and the building of sound institutions all of which are critical to the sustainable socio-economic development of Ghana.
She added that the power of a country resides in the citizens and the success of policy rests on the responsibility of the citizenry. Dr Aryee said Ghana’s development depends on the extent to which we can maximise this potential.
Mr Kofi Abotsi, the Dean of Faculty of Law at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) said the “June 3 disaster” as an accident that has caused the greatest of pain in Ghana.
He said it caused the greatest of painful memories and experiences that many could not have the opportunity of even having to testify.
Abotsi said this painful opportunity presents another opportunity to redeem the purge.
He said the movement was a call on Ghanaians to rediscover their obligations and work towards the progress of the country.
He said the first project of the OneGhana Movement was the Justice for June 3 “J4J3-Campaign”, which would aim at the pursuit of justice for victims of the June 3, 2015 flood and fire disaster.