The Regional Manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the North-West Region, Al-Hassan Sesay has told Local authorities and residents of Masiaka Town to desist from bribery and other forms of corrupt enterprise whilst accessing or providing services.
He made this statement during a sensitization meeting held on the 29th July 2021 at the Chief’s Court Barray in Masiaka Town. Speaking at the meeting, Regional Manager Al-Hassan Sesay said Corruption continues to remain a critical challenge and obstacle to rural development and have seen public officials and local residents involved in corruption through demanding and accepting bribes from the ordinary people who are in dire need of government services and other opportunities. He described corruption as an impediment to fair and impartial service delivery to majority in rural communities and have also threatened government’s efforts to poverty alleviation.
He pointed out 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. He stated that corrupt practices range from petty corruption whereby bribes are required before normal procedures are accomplished, to large scale corruption whereby considerable sums of money are paid in return for preferential treatment or access to a particular service. Manager Sesay explained offences in the Anti-Corruption Act relating to offering, soliciting and accepting advantage, soliciting an advantage for a public officer, misappropriation of public funds and property, abuse of office and position, influencing a public officer, protection of public revenue and receiving gift for corrupt purpose.
Explaining the purpose of the meeting, the Public Education Officer Mohamed Thullah said the community will be educated on the general work of the commission, the effects of corruption and the need for collaboration in winning the fight against corruption. He underscored the significance of Community ownership and support to the fight against Corruption and encouraged local authorities and residents to resist and report all forms of Corruption to the ACC. He also explained various reporting mechanisms available at the ACC.
Earlier in his welcome address, Section Chief Pa Alimamy B. Kanu thanked the team for engaging members of the community on various issues on corruption. He called on his subjects to support the ACC and report all forms of corruption.
Questions and answers session, and the presentation of ACC’s Information, Education and Communication materials formed part of the engagement.