Heightening public awareness and understanding on anti-corruption issues is one of the effective strategies employed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to empower residents of rural communities with correct and cogent information, not only to speak against graft but also to hold duty bearers to account.
On that basis, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Southern Region office on Friday 28th October, 2022, conveyed anti-corruption messages to residents and chiefdom functionaries of Gandorhun in the Native Court Barray, Gandorhun Town, Fakunya Chiefdom, Moyamba District.
In his statement, ACC’s Regional Manager, South, Momodu Sittar underscored the significance of the meeting noting that it seeks to inspire them to take appropriate action to improve their wellbeing. Manager Sittar admonished his listeners to see the corruption fight as a battle for all because its damaging effects do not discriminate. Mr. Sittar assured them that the Commission will continue to mainstream anti-corruption measures in public institutions to enable them provide effective and efficient services to the public. He highlighted some of the successes that the ACC has been achieved in the recent past, especially in the area of recovery of stolen monies amounting to over Thirty Billion (Old) Leones-funds, he noted, could have been better utilized to provide essential social services to many rural communities across the country, but nearly gone down the drains, except with the intervention of the ACC. He informed them that the ACC has embarked on a robust crackdown on examination malpractices and those involved in such misguided practices would face the full wrath of the law.
Speaking at the meeting, ACC’s, Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh reminded his audience that corruption is a sinful act comdemned by both Holy books-The Bible and Quoran. Saccoh urged the community people to own up to their civic responsibility by ensuring that wherever crime is detected within their communities they should report same to the appropriate authorities. He asserted that in a society where corruption is rife, the pillars of integrity would be weakened and undermined. He added that the provision of quality social services, such as, in the health, education, energy, water and justice sectors would be an illusion when corruption is deep-rooted. Mr. Saccoh mentioned that the aforementioned services are crucial to human existence but the public can only benefit from them more, when few greedy individuals are not tolerated to continue their unpatriotic behaviors. He recognized that mediocrity, nepotism, unhealthy competition, low educational standard, poor health service delivery etc. are the by-products of corruption. He called on the public not to sit back and allow rogues to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses.
ACC’s, Public Education Officer, Mohamed A. Kabba in his submission said, the meeting was intended to increase public awareness on some corrupt activities that perhaps have negatively affected decent livelihoods in rural communities, seek the commitment of local authorities and public support in the fight against corruption. Kabba emphasized the importance of the meeting and described it as a sustained drive to increase the number of converts in the fight. He said anti-graft fight is a national campaign, therefore, it is mandatory on all and sundry to resist, reject and report corruption to the ACC.
In another engagement, the team also educated staff and pupils of Fakunya Agricultural and Vocational Secondary School, Gandorhun Community on some of the ill-practices that are taking place in schools which do not only amount to corruption but have contributed to the decline in the educational standard. Pupils were advised not to pay bribes to get good grades but rather to take their academic work seriously so that they too would become useful citizens in the future.
Earlier, the Chiefdom Speaker, Fakunya Chiefdm, Pa. Kanga A. Lappie commended ACC for its public sensitization drive to rural communities and appealed for such activities to be replicated in other parts of the chiefdom. Pa. Lappie called on his people to join the Commission in the fight by reporting suspected incidences of corruption and corrupt practices to the ACC.The engagement was climaxed with questions and answers session.