Kenyan legal luminary and ex-director of Kenyan Anti-corruption Commission, Prof. Patrick Lumumba, has taken a swipe on African leaders that flout the rule of law, saying they contribute in weakening democratic institutions in the continent.
The immediate past Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya School of Law made the remark last week in Lagos at a public lecture themed “Strong men versus strong institutions: strengthening democracy in Africa”, which was organised by Aelex, a full service commercial and dispute resolution law firm.
While bemoaning that those reckoned as strong leaders in Africa are often not comfortable with institutional checks, he observed that because of such thinking they are increasing more intolerant (and) begin to think that they are not allowed to perform because of institutions.Positing that strong men are considered to be inimical to good governance, he said: Because strong men have become so strong they are no longer working in the interest of the people. He added, The danger with strong men is that many times they forget themselves.
Explaining further on how supposed strong leaders in Africa are bane of leadership in the continent, Lumumba, said, ìleaders who are strong without constitutional control are dangerous.
Tracing down to military era, Lumumba said military government in Africa, who came to power on excuse of addressing perceived bad governance of civilian administrations, has their own share of blames for leadership woes bedeviling African countries.†
Stressing that there is a correlation between strong individuals and strong institutions, Lumuba idealized that strong men leads to the creation of strong institutions as long as they are subject to laws.He admonished that the necessity of strong institutions is premised on the need for leaders to be constantly reminded that they are not laws unto themselves.
Managing director of Lagos Security Trust Fund, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms in Nigeria, Dr. Joe Abah and the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mariam Mukhtar were members of the panel that examined the issues at the event.