By: David Yusuf Kabia, Public Education Officer, ACC
“It is the responsibility of everyone, everywhere--from governments, international organizations and civil society to young people and individuals--to oppose this crime that is blocking communities’ development pathways. , we can ensure that our ladder to a better world is unshakeable.”
No country the world over is free from corrupt conducts which deprive their citizens of deserving opportunities. That general similarity is evidence that each and every one of us are victims of corruption regardless our global position. While many are of the belief that corruption is a political or governmental creature, Kpundeh(1993) and BankoleThompson (1994) have reasoned otherwise, holding that corruption permeates societal levels. The assumption that the big economies are free from corruption cannot be substantiated by any evidence. In fact, corruption is believed to have more convenience in those large economies than their counterparts due to the many resources and opportunities open to the public. The 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in fact only noted Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and Sweden as the least corrupt countries in the world while countries with bigger economies struggle to make it to the top due to blemishes of bribery and other methods. Corruption in the United States of America for example “has been a perennial issue, peaking in the ‘Jacksonian’ Era and the ‘Gilded’ Age before declining with the reforms of the Progressive Era.” In 2023, Transparency International (T.I) ranked the United States 24th and the United Kingdom 18th among 180 countries. The United Kingdom’s fall from the top 10 less corrupt countries ignited the enactment of several laws to deal with public corruption. Relevant among those Laws is the Bribery Act 2010, which punishes both the bribed and briber. Similarly, bribery and other forms of corruption are so prevalent in Africa, Sierra Leone to be specific, which said conduct by public officials have cost Sierra Leoneans their lives and the valuables. Corruption has deprived all kinds of person: the Abled and those living with disabilities too. It is responsible for the breakdown of law and order across the globe, making the lives of many miserable. Corruption does not discriminate in its attack on humans nor their countries yet, some find conveniences of tribe, patronage, race and other factors to habour it and pretend it does not exist because someone else is involved that must be made a sacred cow. This reasoning too, is not limited to any region, race or tribe. It cuts across. And it is in that division that corruption finds the greatest solace to breathe a sigh of relief while destroying the rest of us.
Therefore, the need for all hands to be put on deck in dealing with graft lives beyond the convenience of personal self rather, it is the only pillow on which the rest of the world will find peace, security and development. Corruption must be treated with equal dissent by the rest of the world. A break in the chain of unity in condemning and working towards its barest reduction if not eradication,is always the door through which corruption suppresses, hinders and eliminates human beings and the opportunities.
In celebrating this year’s International Anti-Corruption (IAC) Day with special attention to the two decades anniversary of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) with the theme “Uniting the world against corruption” is a call made by the UN at the right time in the fight against corruption. As the world commemorates these great feats achieved, it is of essence that we all be reminded of the scar corruption has left with us, which deepens our hurt and continues to deprive our wellbeing. Uniting now for a combined punch on the face of corruption is the only way the world can achieve the victory ever desired in the fight.