Wiaga (U/E) The Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), a civil empowerment organisation has organised a community durbar at Wiaga in the Builsa North District of the Upper East Region.
They would educate community members on acts and effects of corruption and the need to report same.
The durbar was part of activities by the GII to engage citizens at the local level, in which ten mobile ALACs would be organised under the Integrity, Mobilisation, Participation, Accountability, Anti-corruption and Transparency (IMPACT) project in the form of durbars dubbed know your rights, with funding support from Global Affairs Canada, through Transparency International.
The first round of the project would focus on six districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, while the second round would focus on four districts in the Eastern and Volta Regions between June and September 2018.
Addressing the durbar, Mr Joseph Makido Azam, the Project Officer for the ALAC urged participants to report acts of corruption in secret to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the police, chiefs, Assembly members and elders in the community, and cautioned them do not go around telling people you have reported a person found to have indulged in corrupt acts.
Mr Azam reminded them of the whistle blowers act which protected and empowered them to report corrupt acts, and observed that people who reported corrupt officials were hitherto victimised by officials engaged in the act, adding that it put some kind of fear in us in reporting corrupt officials.
You can blow the whistle as a citizen if you have information that a crime or an unlawful act is about to be committed, it is being committed or it has already been committed, he said, and reiterated that such reports must be made confidentially to enable the appropriate authorities mandated to deal with issues of corruption to investigate.
According to him, the country was losing huge sums of money through corrupt acts by some officials, especially in rural communities that were deprived of several social amenities such as hospitals, roads, schools among others.
Mr Jeffrey Adda, the Builsa North District Director for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), said in spite of Ghana’s good governance and democratic credentials, corruption still remained cancerous in various societies.
He observed that corruption continued to pose a big threat to every society in both developed and developing nations, and said even though corruption spared no country, its effects were more felt in developing and poor countries as it worsened poverty, prevented development and undermined the principles of democracy and good governance which formed the bedrock of modern societies.
He said we can concretely say that corruption in Ghana is not just a mere perception, but inherently pervasive in the country as evidenced by the recent Anas expose in the Ghana Football Association (GFA), adding that it was incumbent on all citizens to galvanize their efforts in order to eradicate corruption in the country.
Nab Alloysius Akanfebanyueta Asiuk II, Chief of Wiaga entreated the gathering to spread the message, and encouraged them not to hesitate to report acts of corruption in the community to the appropriate quarters for redress, and thanked the organisers of the programme for the initiative.
Source: Ghana News Agency