25th September 2019
Community engagement always provides an interactive platform to enhance public awareness and participation in the anti-corruption campaign. That is why the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) remains resolved to reach out to people of different spectrums of life. It is in this regard that the North-Eastern Regional Office of the Commission held sensitization meetings with inhabitants of Hunduwa and Kagbere Towns in Ndowahun Chiefdom, Bombali District, on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st September 2019 respectively.
Speaking to local authorities and residents of the two communities, ACC Public Education Officer Abdulai Saccoh highlighted the significance of the meetings and disclosed that such engagements have levied a duty on them to keep an eye on all development programmes.
Mr Saccoh said ACC would continue to put the nation's interest above all else and recounted the strides of the Commission to restore the lost glory of public sector institutions in the country including education. He added that the Commission has embarked on a robust crackdown on examination malpractices and those suspected of such misguided practices would face the full force of the law.
Mr Saccoh said 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 admonished his audience to see the corruption fight as a battle for all and sundry, also admonishing them to take the required action to forestall corrupt practices in their communities.
ACC Public Education Officer Jeneba Kemoh, said the primary objective of the engagement was to ensure the Commission achieve one of its core mandate of educating and seeking public support in the anti-graft campaign. She emphasized that poor people have been the biggest victims of corruption, noting that the effects of the scourge affects both current and future generations. She therefore called on all- especially the women of both communities- to take the lead in the fight by ensuring that services that are supposed to be free are not abused by public officers.
ACC Public Education Officer Abdul Karim Bangura said residents of rural communities have a crucial role to play to push the development programmes of their communities forward. Mr Bangura informed his audience that no contribution is considered to be too small in combating corruption. He added that key amongst many efforts that should be made by the public is to report corruption cases to the ACC through the toll-free lines of 077 985-985, 077 986-986 or 515. He affirmed that confidentiality is central to the work of the Commission especially in handling corruption reports. He cautioned his audience to desist from making malicious or false reports as they could amount to an offence under the Anti-Corruption Act, 2008.
In another related activity the Public Education Department also sensitized staff and pupils of Kagbere Community Junior Secondary School and Hudowa Community Junior Secondary School. The team expressed dissatisfaction over the issue of pupils paying bribes for grades, adding that the object of the free quality education could not be achieved in a corrupt environment.