...Face up to end it -- Prof Mensah-Bonsu
PROFESSOR Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu of the University of Ghana last Friday, stated that corruption could only be eliminated if people faced up to it and stripped it of “the dignity conferred on it with fond names” for the society to see it for what it was.
She expressed regret that people approved of petty official corruption and had coined fond names for such acts on daily basis.
Prof. Mensah-Bonsu was delivering a lecture at the Saint Peter's Regional Seminary of the Catholic Church at Cape Coast under the theme, “Priestly Formation and the Promotion of Justice and Reconciliation: Challenges and Prospects” as part of the activities making its 7th Theology Week celebration.
Speaking on “Contemporary Societal Attitudes Towards the Promotion of Justice and Reconciliation: Prospects and Challenges”, Prof. Mensah-Bonsu pointed out that corruption particularly in high places disadvantaged the poor and raised the cost of transaction.
“We ourselves participate in such practices in order to secure advantages for ourselves or cause officials to short circuit systems for our benefits,” she stated.
“How can we end corruption in our country if we ourselves are quick to pay bribe and lead delegations to influence our parishioners in positions of responsibilities from doing their duties or encourage them to bend the rules in favour of a friend or relation”, she asked.
Prof. Mensah-Bonsu expressed dismay that the canker had become so accepted that even Prefects in secondary schools took bribes from students who broke school rules and called on Ghanaians to help wage a war against corruption.
Access to legal justices was the right of every citizen, she said and described it as the most important right under a constitutional democracy.
Prof. Mensah-Bonsu, however, noted that the need to institutionalise measures of restorative justice had become prominent and said victims were not only demanding punishment for offenders but were also making claims for restitution.
She stressed that attitudes that promoted justice and reconciliation do not develop on their own accord but must be inculcated in both the old and young.
“Habits of tolerance, respect, care and consideration for people differently situated must be taught young people to enable them not only to empathize with such people but also learn to moderate their own conduct so as not to create offence”, Prof. Mensah-Bonsu stated.
The process of national reconciliation has created awareness but it was a development imperative, she said and called on the people to ensure that it achieved the objectives why it was instituted. – GNA