Community engagement provides a platform to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to engage inhabitants of rural communities on constructive dialogue on antisocial issues and illegal practices that continue to hold back their growth and development.
In this regard, the Southern Region Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission on Friday 26th August, 2022, empowered residents and chiefdom functionaries of Dambala Community on corrupt practices and its adverse effects on society at the Native Court Barray, Dambala Town, Mokpendeh Section, Selenga Chiefdom, Bo District.
Speaking at the meeting, ACC’s Senior Public Education Officer, Abdulai Saccoh appreciated the community for its willingness to host the Commission in their midst and described it as the right attitude to display if only we are keen to defeat the scourge of corruption. Saccoh furthered that despite the conscious efforts made by the Commission to liberate the minds of the public from the shackles of corruption through it sustained public awareness activities, certain individuals remain reluctant to join the fight against the country’s enemy-corruption. He asserted that even though some of the rural communities are endowed with mineral resources and arable land yet the inhabitants continue to wallow in abject poverty due to greed and selfishness. Saccoh disagreed with some persons who are fortunate to have been called to serve the nation diligently but decided to use such an opportunity to indulge in dishonest acts. The Senior Public Education Officer underscored that a country cannot progress when the people choose to neglect issues of national concern that can affect all.
Saccoh admonished public sector workers not to take advantage of people living in rural communities to extort money from them for services which they are supposed to benefit from at no cost in the areas of; health, education and justice. He advised chiefdom functionaries not to use customs and traditions as guises to wreck untold sufferings on their compatriots. He affirmed the Commission’s commitment to serve justice to anyone who contravenes any provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008 as amended in 2019.
In her statement, ACC’s Public Education Officer, Yangie Deborah Sesay said the Commission continue to engage rural communities in order to increase their understanding on some practices which perhaps they might have suffered from even though they are unlawful. She asserted that public awareness activities would remain a priority to the Commission because such despicable act can only stop when the people are empowered with the right information. Miss Sesay advised residents to listen carefully to the anti-corruption messages so that they would in turn use it to hold duty bearers accountable for their actions or inactions.
Public Education Officer, ACC, Mohamed A. Kabba said in the fight against corruption no excuse is tenable for someone to sit back and allow the corrupt to thrive. Kabba emphasized that every genuine effort to stamp out corruption matters because it affects all and not just few. He implored them to monitor projects and programs that are being implemented in their community either by local council or charitable organizations and use any of the reporting channels to complaint suspected corrupt activities.
Earlier, the Section Chief, Mopendeh Section, Pa Karimu Mansaray applauded ACC’s efforts to take the fight again corruption to their door step noting that, such move would help shine bright light on the growth of the community. Pa. Mansaray assured ACC that they would go by its advice as long as it is for the good of the community. He called on his people to be law abiding and use the appropriate channel to report any wrongdoings.
Questions and answer sessions formed the highpoint of the community engagement.