By: Hawa Deen Conteh, Public Education Officer, ACC
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday 16th November 2023, engaged the Bike Riders Union at Lumley, in the Western Urban Area at the Union’s office in Lumley, Freetown. This engagement is in recognition of their crucial significance to the informal economy and to also more importantly enlist them into the anti-graft campaign.
Making a statement, Head of the Outreach Unit, ACC, Al-Hassan Sesay commended these young entrepreneurs who have taken upon themselves to create employment opportunities in the informal sector, despite the numerous challenges they might be facing. He added that the friendly face of the Commission which is its Public Education outfit is charged with the responsibility to enlighten the public on the ills of corruption, and it is in that spirit that such a meeting was organized.
Mr. Sesay continued that the Commission is keen to having these young entrepreneurs become integrity ambassadors which will also prevent them from coming into conflict with the law, as that will jeopardize their businesses.
He furthered that the engagement is to empower and stimulate their consciousness on corruption and corrupt practices. “This event is equally aimed at bridging the gap between law enforcement agencies and the informal sector with a view of fostering partnership as we wage a war against the plague of corruption,” he underscored.
Communications Officer ACC, Dolly Aminata Issa explained the various channels of reporting corruption to the ACC and protection of informants. She read out the toll free lines of 077-985985 and 077-986986 and informed the bike riders that they can also visit any of the Commission’s offices in Freetown and nationwide to make their reports. She assured them of maximum protection against reprisal as provided for by the provisions in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019. She equally discouraged them against making any false or concocted reports borne out of malice, stating that it is also an offence that attracts very stiff punishments.
Explaining the purpose of the engagement, Public Education Officer ACC, Hawa Deen Conteh recognised the importance of bike riders in the transport sector. She said the meeting was to educate them on the dangers of corruption and empower them to report corrupt practices. Whilst soliciting their support towards the fight against corruption, she reminded them of their responsibility to be law abiding and conform to traffic rules.
Earlier in his welcome address, Nat S. Ansumana, Chairman of Bike Riders-Lumley Branch, appreciated the ACC for recognizing their association and the sensitization drive. He admitted that the sensitization meeting will help them desist from corrupt practices and also empower them to support the fight against corruption in the transport sector.
The meeting ended with an opportunity given to the bike riders to ask questions and make suggestions.