The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) continues to heighten public understanding on why citizens should not choose to suffer in silence and allow rogues to perpetrate dishonest acts in their communities. These anti-corruption messages were conveyed to residents and chiefdom functionaries of Gerihun Town, Baoma Chiefdom, Bo District, in a sensitization meeting organized by the Southern Region office of the ACC, on Tuesday 16th, November, 2021, at the town’s Multi-Purpose Community Center.
In his statement, the Southern Region Manager of the ACC, Momodu Sittar recognized the collective resolve of citizens for the fortitude they have demonstrated towards the fight against corruption. Mr. Sittar said that corruption remains one of the greatest threats to the survival of the socio-political, and economic gains we have attained as a nation. He said that the adverse consequences of corruption transcend border and often affects the most vulnerable people in society.
Corruption, he said, deters investment and development, undermines trust and confidence in public institutions and erodes democratic tenets of a country. He admitted that despite the enormous resources that have been directed by Government and its development partners to improve on the wellbeing of rural communities yet they still remain deprived due to corruption.
“It is time for rural communities to take conscious stance against corruption by ensuring that they set up neighborhood accountability structures to monitor how public and donor funds are used,” he said. The Manager mirrored on the remarkable increment of the country’s very high score in the “Control of Corruption” indicator in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard for the last four consecutive years. He said, in 2021, Sierra Leone scored 83% on the MCC, which placed the country above many nations in Africa.
Speaking at the meeting, ACC Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh, acknowledged that despite several efforts to improve service delivery in Ministries, Departments and Agencies, some unscrupulous individuals are held bent to throw spanner in the good work of patriots. He described the state of affairs in public institutions as miserable because few greedy ones continue to enrich themselves at the detriment of providing quality social services for the public.
Mr. Saccoh admonished the audience that ACC will continue to chase corruption wherever it is taking place regardless of the individual and amount involved. He expressed dissatisfaction over the attitude of some local court officials and other public officers who seek pleasure in causing untold suffering on their lives. He warned that public/donor funds entrusted to anyone must be utilized judiciously or face the wrath of the law.
Public Education Officer of the ACC, Yangie Deborah Sesay, said the engagement was intended to liberate inhabitants of rural communities from the shackles of corruption through public education and outreach programmes. Miss Sesay said that this strategy has not only enabled ACC to share anti-corruption messages but also converted many people from their unprogressive ways of doing things. She said public participation in the fight against corruption is crucial and therefore requires the collective support of everyone to report the occurrence of corruption to the ACC through the various reporting channels. Miss Sesay assured them that the Commission guarantees the protection of any person who reports incidences of corruption.
Earlier, Paramount Chief of Baoma Chiefdom, Alfred H. Demby Ⅴ, described the Commission’s sensitization drive in rural communities as a positive step as it helps to enlighten people on practices which they have been suffering from due to ignorance. PC Demby shared his dissatisfaction over the attitude and behavior of some public sector workers who sometimes treat inhabitants of the chiefdom with disrespect. He called on the people to break their silence and confront rogues who choose to wreck havoc on them.