The Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the North-West Region, Al-Hassan Sesay has told Local authorities and residents of Lokomasama Chiefdom to resist being involved in corruption and embrace the fight against graft.
He made this statement during a sensitization meeting held on the 28th January 2022 at the Local Court Barray in Petifu Junction. Speaking at the meeting, Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said foremost effect of corruption is that it leads to a reduction in economic growth and development as well as impeding the state from improving the social welfare of the people such as providing social amenities like quality education, potable water, infrastructural facilities, medical care etc. He pointed out that national development must involve the aggregation of national resources of the country for the general wellbeing of the citizenry in terms of their social and economic advancements.
Manager Sesay expressed dismay that even though the Chiefdom has produced prominent people, the reality on ground do not resonate or give a representation on the development of the Chiefdom. He said that public funds allocated for rural development are embezzled by corrupt public officials and in collusion with local authorities, depriving society of the much needed social services.
Outlining the forms and nature of corrupt practices inherent in rural communities, the Regional Head noted that the meeting was largely informed as a response to intelligence gathering relating to corrupt practices in the Chiefdom. He made a precise explanation of several corrupt practices across various sectors including the local court administration, the school system, the health sector, the Sierra Leone Police and other areas of concerns like donor driven projects implemented by Non-Governmental organizations in rural communities across the country and the Port Loko District Council. He pointed out corruption demands in the aforementioned areas including but not limited to exploiting the people through extortionate demand and levying of exorbitant fines outsides the confines of the law in the Local Court Act of 2011, payment for bail and obtaining statement, corruption demands in health centres, misuse of public funds and illegal charges that are rife in public schools.
The Senior Public Education Officer Samuel Junisa Sankoh spoke on the role of the community in the fight against corruption and highlighted various methods of reporting corrupt practices to the ACC. He also encouraged them to resist and reject demands of corruption.
Earlier in his welcome statement the Regent Chief of Lokomasama Chiefdom Bockarie Bangura expressed profound happiness to have ACC officials in his chiefdom and for taking anti-corruption messages to his chiefdom particularly so when the effects of corruption have had a devastating effects on the country's socioeconomic development. He urged his subjects to support the ACC and embrace the fight against graft.
Presentation of IEC materials and question and answer session formed part of the engagement.
© ACC North- West Office