By Martina George, Communications Officer-ACC
The Director of Public Education and External Outreach Department, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Patrick Sandi on Wednesday 14th December, 2022, conveyed Integrity and Accountability messages, to pupils, market women, bike riders and motor drivers at an engagement organized by the People Power Movement (PPM), in commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption (IAC) Day 2022, at the Bishop Johnson Memorial Secondary School Hall, Fourah Bay Road, Freetown.
Speaking at the International Anti-Corruption (IAC) Day event on the localized theme: ‘Uniting Sierra Leone Against Corruption for Development, Peace and Security’, Director Sandi gave an overview and origin of the International Anti-Corruption (IAC) Day, noting that it is a Day that the ACC recognizes and commemorates every year, with specific messages and targeted audiences. He informed them that last year’s celebration focused on women as critical players in the fight against corruption, and this year’s commemoration has its focus on, Persons with Disability and the Informal Sector.
“The fight against is so important to Development, Peace and Security because when we successfully fight corruption then we will be able to attain development, peace and security”, Director noted, whilst establishing the importance of fighting graft to achieve development, peace and security. He referenced a school of thought that posited that peace is a fundamental incentive for development. Endemic corruption he emphasized undermines peace, security and sustainable development.
Mr. Sandi furthered that the gains made in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone can well be attributed to the unreserved Presidential Will that provides the enabling and required space for the Commission to do its work. He said His Excellency Brigadier (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio has often stated that, corruption is not only a governance issue, but a national security issue. Therefore, as citizens it is imperative to fight corruption in order to achieve sustainable peace, security and development, Director averred.
ACC’s Director Sandi further stated that corruption does not only undermine state security, it also distorts justice and threatens the realization of the rule of law. This he said thwarts democratic accountability and the attainment of good governance.
Mr. Sandi underscored that fighting corruption is a fundamental cornerstone for progress and development noting that, when there is endemic corruption, public and donor resource are siphoned into personal pockets. He indicated that, the Government spends huge resources on education to develop the human capital, the health sector and many other projects. He disclosed that to ensure integrity and transparency in these sectors, the ACC plays a critical role in the implementation of projects.
Concluding, Director Sandi updated them on the many positive strides, gains and successes the Commission has recorded especially during the four years reign of Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., as Head of the ACC.
He admonished his audience and the general public to reject and refrain from corruption in all its forms, and encouraged them to provide support to the ACC by making complaints, cautioning them also against making false and malicious reports.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairperson of the program, Fodie Sheku Koroma, Meal Manager, Pikin to Pikin Movement, stated that the fight against corruption must be embraced by all Sierra Leoneans irrespective of region, color, tribe or political persuasion, stressing that, its negative impacts are wide-ranging and indiscriminate.
Questions and answers session formed part of the sensitization program.
People Power Movement (PPM-SL), established in 2016, is a movement of citizens and organizations that popularizes people power (nonviolent) approaches and uses them to stimulate citizens’ demand for accountability, the promotion of human rights, democratic good governance and the fight against corruption at all levels.