By: Alex A. Bah
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), on Thursday 3rd February, 2022, enlisted residents of the Sherbro Town Community (Funkia) Goderich, in the fight against corruption. This took place in an engagement held at the Community Youth Center, which attracted various community stakeholders including, councilors, headman, religious leaders, market women, fishermen, youths from communities based organizations, to name but a few.
Sheku Fornah, Headman of the Goderich Community expressed his delight for such an engagement initiated by the Commission, describing it as an honor and furthered that they are thrilled to listen and provide their support to the Commission.
Dilating on the purpose of the engagement, Alex A. Bah, Communications Officer, ACC informed the participants that the Commission initiated this platform to raise their awareness on corruption, which will further serve to stimulate their consciousness on the dangers of corruption and the very many benefits of a corrupt free society. “As a Commission, we have revolutionized the fight against corruption putting more premium on public education to arrest the mindsets of those who would want to be involved in corrupt acts”, Mr. Bah stated.
“In 2000, the ACC was established after the end of the decade long civil war, with the TRC Report having corruption as a preeminent cause”, he said while explaining the overview of the Commission and the mandate it has. He catalogued the recent activities of the Commission and the milestones it has achieved so far.
Head of the Outreach Unit, ACC, Musa Jawara in his submission, informed the participants that corruption is a key vice that deters foreign investment in a country, and undermines the creation of employment opportunities. He also admonished them that they in various ways participate in that by way of aiding and abetting. “When children asked for monies to give teachers in the form of bribe, parents are the ones that give them”, emphasizing that, such an act is corruption and has damaging effects on the child and the broader society.
Mr. Jawara also explained key corruption offences in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019, and encouraged the people to support the fight against corruption. He maintained that the Commission is poised to continue its efforts to curb corruption, but the onus is primarily on them-community people to support its work.
Alhassan Jalloh, a Civil Society Representative, from the Foundation for Rural and Urban Transformation (FoRUT), who is also a member of the People’s Power Movement, talked about the role civil society practitioners would play in supporting the fight against corruption. He told the community people that they often organize training to compliment the work of the ACC by educating people on the fight against corruption.
Councilor of Ward 390, Mohamed Alafia Sesay noted that he is impressed with the Commission’s efforts in its fight, and pledged the support of his community to its work. Councilor Mohamed Mansaray of Ward 386, similarly expressed his delight and whilst providing briefing on his work, urged his community to ‘Put Salone First’.
The engagement was climaxed by question and answer session and the presentation of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials to the community members.