By: Amie Massaquoi, Assistant Information Officer, ACC
In climaxing this year’s International Anti-Corruption (IAC) Day commemoration on the theme: Deepening inclusivity in the Fight Against Corruption: Persons with Disabilities and the Informal Sector as critical players in the Anti-graft Campaign, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in partnership with the Center for Accountability and the Rule of Law (CARL), on Saturday 10th December, 2022, observed Inter-faith worship and thanksgiving prayers at the Taylor-Cummings Garden, adjacent the Cotton Tree, in Freetown.
Making his statement, the Commissioner, ACC, Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. said, the fight against corruption is both physical and spiritual, as such, the worship is intended to spiritually commit the fight to God and ask for His will, direction, control and protection. “Every year we gather together to have this short, but very important prayer and thanksgiving session, to commune with people who have been ordained as Corruption cannot be controlled if God does not ordain it”, he averred.
Commissioner Kaifala furthered that, 99% of Sierra Leoneans belong to either the Christian or Islamic religions, and a Survey conducted by the Public Financial Management (PFM) Consortium led by CARL revealed that citizens or the public have great trust and belief in religious leaders. He thanked the religious clerics/imams for accepting the Commission’s invitation, and emphasized the need for more efforts on their part to keep disseminating and communicating anti-corruption messages.
Ibrahim Tommy Esq., Executive Director, CARL noted that the fight against corruption is sometimes plagued with persistent challenges that clearly require divine intervention. It is against this background, Mr. Tommy noted, CARL partners with the ACC, to work with religious leaders, so that prayers would be made for the leadership and staff of the Commission and also for the President and people of Sierra Leone, who are providing sustained and unwavering support to the anti-graft campaign.
He furthered that the notable gains made in the past years especially under the current leadership of Francis Ben Kaifala, would not have been possible without the grace and support of God CARL boss also stated that in our religiously tolerant country, religious leaders have a critical role to play in the fight against corruption, by praying also for God’s divine guidance and protection over the leadership of the ACC. He assured all and sundry of his institution’s undivided support to the fight against corruption and the promotion of transparency and accountability.
In his sermon, Sheikh Hillal Amin Turay expressed thanks to Allah and asked for His support in tackling corruption which he described as one of the practices Islam denounces. He underscored that corruption destroys a nation and maintained that while it is our collective responsibility to fight, it is also important that we fight corruption at individual level, noting also that, the ACC alone cannot win the war. Allah will never change the condition of people unless they are ready to change, _“Allah does not love those who are corrupt”, Sheikh Turay furthered.
Concluding, Sheikh Turay emphasized that corruption is prohibited by Allah, and should be despised by all. He prayed for Allah’s support in the fight, and His guidance and protection for the Commissioner, his Team, and all those who promote integrity and despise corruption.
His Lordship, Bishop Julius K. Laggah, Harvest Intercontinental Ministries-Second Diocese of Sierra Leone, whilst delivering his sermon described corruption as a killer,. He stated that Billions of Dollars are lost annually through systemic corruption in Africa. This he said is what interrupts the quality delivery of electricity and many other essential social services. He continued that the world full of dishonest people and it is a problem that has to be addressed. He encouraged all to be intentional in fighting corruption to move the country forward.
”If ACC does not see you, God sees you”, the revered Bishop furthered whilst noting that corruption can be dealt with by electing leaders with good hearts, that know God. He said the problem of square pegs in round holes is the reason why corruption and injustice are pervasive. He noted that it is important to have the right people in the right places.
The Inter-faith thanksgiving prayer session ended with prayers offered for the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Advisory Board Members, Management and the entire staff of the ACC by ordained Pastors and Imams.
©️ Public Relations Unit, ACC