September 4, 2020
By Sulaiman B. Sowa
Considering the fact that religion is the central nerve that controls people’s moral conduct and wellbeing in society, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Southern Region Office has, on the 2nd September 2020, engaged religious leaders of both Christian and Muslim faiths in Bo District to collaborate and foster partnership in the fight against corruption. The engagement took place at the conference room of the ACC’s regional office in Bo.
Speaking on the need to collaborate and partner in the fight against corruption, ACC’s Southern Region Manager, Musa J.B Jawara, said because religion was the pivot around which people’s moral conduct revolved, there was every need to partner with religious leaders to robustly fight against corruption. Mr. Jawara continued that religious leaders command a large following of people who are obedient to manifest and translate their sermons into the moral conduct of their daily lives.
Mr Jawara outlined the many convictions secured by the ACC in court, noting that those who involve in corruption were both Muslims and Christians. “Religion, therefore, has a great role to change the bad ways and practices of people to positive ones,” the manager said. He encouraged religious leaders to join the ACC in the fight against corruption, emphasizing that such a call was not only a national one but a spiritual mandate to all religious leaders.
Deliberating on key provisions in the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008 as amended in 2019, ACC Prosecutor, Abubakar Sannoh, said law is an inherent feature in human beings and that to activate its worthiness, some institutions or bodies must trigger the process. He said whilst law was different from morality, the two actually share many similarities than differences and therefore entreated religious leaders to join the fight against corruption as to properly ensure obedience to law. “The moral uprightness of man must be persuaded by religious doctrines,” he noted. Mr Sannoh encapsulated key offences into simplified versions to aid the knowledge of religious leaders in tailoring anti-corruption messages into sermons.
Appreciating the engagement with the ACC, Regional Coordinator United Council of Imams South, Sheikh Dauda Tarawally, said that it was the responsibility of religious leaders to impact healthy moral values into their congregants for the spiritual wellbeing of the nation. He underscored the importance of religious leaders partnering with ACC in the fight against corruption, noting that; “It is the role of religion to educate the people on what is morally right and wrong”.
Pastor Willie Bickersteth, Chairman Ministers Prayer Network, South, reechoed the significance of the engagement with the ACC and said they as religious leaders were resolved to collaborate with the ACC in the fight against corruption.
Other religious leaders appreciated the significance of the engagement with the ACC and pledged total support to the partnership.