Lagos lawyer , Mr Femi Falana, SAN, has voiced his opposition to much vaunted ‘strong institutions ‘ as a panacea to preserve democracy.
Speaking on the issue, Falana said,
” I don’t believe in strengthening institutions or building strong institutions. Everyone had thought that the United States had built and developed strong institutions to defend bourgeois democracy in that country. But President Trump has destroyed and weakened the strong institutions. The fellow has exposed the myth that strong institutions can defend democracy. Britain is having the same experience under Mr. Boris Johnson. As far as I am concerned, strong institutions can be destroyed by strong men and women. But if you empower and mobilize the people to defend democracy, no strong man or woman can destroy it.
“Institutions are built by the people and not by a few incorruptible leaders or honest leaders. For instance, a nation cannot build a strong or independent judiciary without empowering lawyers to control the legal profession and ensure that only the best among them are appointed judges and magistrates through a transparent process monitored by the larger society. In the same manner, the executive and legislature cannot be strong if patriotic citizens are excluded from participation in public affairs. With the monetization of politics and exclusion of women, workers, youths and physically challenged people who constitute the bulk of the population, democracy cannot be defended by strong institutions in Nigeria.”