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ACC gives hope to remote communities n Koinadugu District, Sierra Leone

ACC gives hope to remote communities n Koinadugu District, Sierra Leone

The Northern Regional Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has rekindled the hopes of people living in remote parts of Folosaba Dembelia, Dembelia Sinkonia and Solima Chiefdoms in Koinadugu District for better lives by expressing its commitment in fulfilling its vision of a corrupt free Sierra Leone wherein the socio economic needs of every citizen would be met.  (Photo: Cross section of participants at the meeting in Sinkonia)

This assurance was made by the Regional Manager, Mr. Patrick Sandi during an awareness raising drive in the chiefdom headquarter towns of Falaba, Sinkonia and Musaia from Wednesday 31st October to Friday 2nd November 2012. During the meetings at the respective town Court Barrys, he trumpeted ACC’s recognition of the importance of people living in rural communities in the fight against corruption that was why it was engaging them.

Manager ACC North, Patrick Sandi giving hope to the people of Falaba

Mr. Sandi noted that some people or organizations may want to take advantage of the remoteness of their communities to exploit them and involve in corrupt practices that was why the ACC is making serious interventions. “If ACC does not come to inform you about your roles and responsibilities regarding the fight against corruption, you will be used as prey by corrupt individuals and organizations” Manager Sandi said

The Regional Manager furthered that for the lives of citizens to improve and Sierra Leone to develop, it depends on the effectiveness of ACC that was why they must support the Commission. He told the people of Folosaba Dembelia, Dembelia Sinkonia and Solima Chiefdoms that the country rely heavily on donor support and for such support to flow, the donors must have the confidence that they would not be misappropriated. He called on community members to take up the challenge in fighting corruption in their respective communities.

Cross section of participants at Musaia

Cross section of participants at the meeting in Falaba

Explaining the offences as contained in the 2008 Act, the Regional Manager informed the people of Folosaba Dembelia, Dembelia Sinkonia and Solima Chiefdoms that it does not only cover government officials but everybody including the private sector. He highlighted some corrupt practices relating to the school system and the Free Health Care program. Manager Sandi frowned at the misuse of school subsidies and Girl Child funds by some Head Teachers and Principals which he noted was impeding the improvement of education in the district. He warned that those forestalling the success of the Free Health Care in the district would not be encouraged by ACC.  The Regional Manager also mentioned some corrupt practices in Chiefdom Administration, Local Courts, market places and some sectors of their communities that are hindrances to the development of the chiefdoms and the country.  He used the occasion to encourage those involved in them to desist and do the right thing. He emphasized that if the fight against corruption is to succeed, they must be ready to resist, reject and report corruption. “The fight against corruption is not easy because as we fight against it, those involved in it fight back. But we can only succeed by joining hands together. If we are honest and dedicated to the fight, Sierra Leone will be a paradise” he noted.

ACC District Coordinator Koinadugu Ngobie explaining the purpose of the meeting

Addressing community members at their respective Court Barrys, ACC’s District Coordinator, Koinadugu, Mr. Augustine Ngobie said the engagements were meant to enhance their knowledge and understanding on corrupt practices in their communities and solicit they support towards the fight.  The Koinadugu District Coordinator emphasized that such meetings would help raise awareness about the role of locals in the development of their chiefdoms and change negative perceptions on corruption. He emphasized that the fight against corruption should not be left in the hands of the Commission but require collective efforts.

Al-Hassan Sesay, Public Education Officer giving the overview of the Commission

Giving a brief overview of the Commission, ACC’s Public Education Officer, Al-Hassan Sesay, told the people of Folosaba Dembelia, Dembelia Sinkonia and Solima Chiefdoms that the ACC is not a witch hut institution but working towards ensuring that the socio-economic needs of the citizens of Sierra Leone are met. Mr. Sesay explained the three approaches used by the Commission and mandate of the Commission as enshrined in the 2008 Anti-Corruption Act. He said ACC was embarking on education drive to create awareness about corruption and spread anti-corruption measures, putting preventive measures to enhance transparency and accountability and taking punitive measures against corrupt individuals.

Making their inputs, P.C Salifu Samura III of Solima appreciated ACC’s move of taking anti-corruption messages to rural areas.  He noted that ACC is in the country to help the poor people. The Paramount Chief assured the Commission of their fullest cooperation in a bid towards enhancing transparency in the chiefdom and reporting corrupt practices.

PC Hon Alhaji Alimamy Lahai V of Sinkonia Dembelia Chiefdom welcoming the ACC to his chiefdom

Hon. P.C Alhaji Alimamy Lahai V of Dembelia Sinkonia Chiefdom on behalf of his people appreciated ACC for enlightening them on corruption issues. He noted that it was an opportunity for them in the rural areas to interact with the Commission. He entreated his subjects to take ACC as a friend and not an enemy. The Paramount Chief expressed hope that all what was discussed would be put into practice.

PC Fenda Modu Kamara II of Folosaba Dembelia assuring ACC of his people’s commitment to the fight in his chiefdom

Paramount Chief Fenda Modu Kamara II of Folosaba Dembelia commended ACC for the sensitization drive. He used the occasion to appeal to Government to take up its responsibility of supporting local administration. He observed that if the country’s natural resources are well managed and Sierra Leoneans are honest to themselves, Sierra Leone will develop.  He appealed to ACC to embark on regular sensitization of rural communities.

Questions, comments, suggestions and answers formed part of the respective meetings.

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