As a way of raising awareness on corrupt practices in the transport sector and heightening public knowledge on the operations of the ACC, the Public Education and Outreach Unit of the Anti-Corruption Communication, North-West Regional Office on Tuesday 12th April, 2022 held a sensitization meeting with the membership of Bike Riders Union in Port Loko City.
The meeting which as part of the Commission's public education drive was undertaken to bring to light key corruption issues pertaining to the traffic and transport sectors. The membership of the union was also apprised on their roles in supporting the ACC in combatting graft.
Addressing Bike Riders, the Senior Public Education Officer Junisa Sankoh underscored the significance of Bike Riders in society and deemed it necessary to sensitize their memberships on corruption related issues. He noted that obeying traffic rules and regulations relating to wearing of helmets, riding an unregistered and unlicensed motor bike are essential components to road safety. Commenting on traffic regulations, Mr Sankoh emphasized that riders who are pre-informed about the points of entry, exit, turns, and other road traffic signs naturally make less number of mistakes and reach their destinations in a smooth manner.
He pointed out that illegal practices like 'booking - fee' - collecting monies for licenses and other forms of bribery at checkpoints amount to corruption and can only be stopped when riders make a decision to stand against corruption and share cogent intelligence on same. He also pointed out that some members of the union sometimes collude with other members of the public to commit a corruption offence or aid and abet the commissioning of same.
The Chairman for the Bike Riders Union in Port Loko District, Abu Bakarr James registered their challenges with the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and Sierra Leone Road Safety Corps (SLRSC) as they carry out their daily operations. He assured of their support to the Commission to fighting graft and on behalf of his membership called on government to have a Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority office in Port Loko City so as to ameliorate issues relating to vehicle and body licenses for bike riders.
Earlier in his explanation of the purpose of the meeting, the Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah who also served as chairman of the meeting sensitized both memberships on the three pronged approaches of public education, prevention and prosecution used by the Commission to fight corruption.
He informed them that the Commission has made several actions and interventions in the form of raids and sting operations as a result of the numerous complaints and concerns from the general public on the prevalence of corrupt practices at various checkpoints. As he encouraged them to be law abiding, he highlighted various methods of reporting corrupt practices to the ACC.
A question and answer session and the presentation of IEC materials on corruption formed part of the engagement.
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