The North-West Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has held sensitization meetings at Konakry Dee Town in Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom in Port Loko District.
The community meeting held on Monday 5th December 2022 was part of ACC’s public education drive aimed at educating and raising awareness in rural communities on corruption and its effects on the country’s growth.
Addressing local authorities and residents of the town, the Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said the community meetings were undertaken to bring to light corruption prevalence in rural settings and to also solicit community support to the fight against corruption. He stated that Corruption has negative impacts on every aspect of society and has jeopardized social and economic aspirations of the state. As rural communities suffer the greatest effects of corruption, he urged the locals to shore up support and demonstrate the needed commitment to combatting graft and bribery. He accentuated the link between the illicit use of public resources and the increasing poverty gap as he underscored the significance of citizens taking responsibility and cooperation to winning the fight against corruption.
Commenting on the effects of corruption on nation building, the Regional Manager noted that funds diverted and embezzled by public officials and or individuals are public or donor funds intended to improve the livelihoods of citizens.
He highlighted several corrupt practices across various sectors including the local court administration, the school system, the health sector, security including the Sierra Leone Police and other areas of concerns of corruption loopholes in communities. He went on to state that the Commission as a first point of action sensitize, engage, advise and warn all those involved to refrain from these acts.
Earlier in his welcome address to the ACC Team, Town Chief, Pa Adikalie Sorie Suma expressed delight for hosting the ACC team in Konakry and pledged his support to the fight against graft.
Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah who appraised the people on the purpose of the engagements said the community meetings were conducted to educate the people on corruption matters and to also enlist them in the fight against corruption. He stated that corruption has permeated every aspect of society and its devastating consequences have had an untold effects on the state of affairs of the nation.
The Senior Public Education Officer Samuel Junisa Sankoh who spoke on the role of the community in the fight against corruption noted the importance of sustained public education engagement. He highlighted the various reporting mechanism available and emphasized of confidentiality in safeguarding witness and informants protection.
Question and answer session and the presentation of ACCs Information Education and Communication materials formed part of the engagement.