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Deputy Minister Of Youth Affairs Speaks On The Role Of Youth In Fighting Corruption

Deputy Minister Of Youth Affairs Speaks On The Role Of Youth In Fighting Corruption

Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Lusine Kallon, has described corruption as the road block for national development.

He was delivering a speech at Kabala Town, Northern Sierra Leone on, “the role of the youth in fighting corruption” during the 2018 Africa Youth Day Celebration.

Whilst sympathizing with the families of the youth that lost their precious lives during the 2016 riot, Minister Kallon said corruption kills, it hampers development and therefore urged the youth to take the leading in fighting the “deadly virus” in the country.

See full speech below

Mr. Chairman, Members of Parliament, Paramount Chiefs, District Council Chairman , Development Partners, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

I greet you all in the name of God Almighty. Let me use this opportunity to thank you all for coming to Kabala town to celebrate this great day, set aside  to promote and recognize the young people of Africa.

My responsibility here today is to speak on the role of the youth in fighting corruption in Sierra Leone in particular and Africa in general.

Young people in this country should recognize that the fight against corruption is a national fight and that the people who should take the lead in this fight are the youth.

This is because our youth are key agents for social change, key agents for economic growth and key agents for sustainable development in all areas of African Society.

Sierra Leone is in the hands of the youth. They are the makers of tomorrow. Our youth are the center-bolt for national development.

What they do today will reflect on the society tomorrow. To live in a society that is corruption free, we need people with a mindset and progressive thought processes.

If those people come forward to build a strong nation, our dream of a corruption free society is never far away.

The just released Corruption Perceptions Index highlights that Sierra Leone is making little or no progress in ending corruption.

According to the SLPP former Publicity Secretary, Hon. Tamba Sam of blessed memory, “Corruption is an Executive Order” which has become the rule rather than the exception. The late MP was describing the ten years of APC rule.

You will all agree with me that even the youth were not spared during the past ten years of the APC rule.

This was when a sitting President, Siaka Steven said in our local Krio language that, “Wusai then tie cow na dae e for eat.” This unfortunate statement has a negative influence on our society today.

Mr. Chairman, May I state that with the arrival of the New Direction, many historians are saying that the Dark Days of Sierra Leone is over. This has been demonstrated with the appointment of the youngest Anti-Corruption Commission boss in Africa, Lawyer Francis Ben Kaifala.

Like many other youthful appointments, the appointment of the ACC boss by President Julius Maada Bio has strongly demonstrated that the youth has taken the lead to crush and flush this deadly virus.

Corruption in my view is like a communicable disease whose symptoms can be seen throughout the world. Corruption is a world-wide evil phenomenon.

Corruption kills, it hampers development and destroys the growth of a nation.

Corruption is the misuse of public goods by public officials for private purposes.

Because of corruption, civil service has become demoralized, politicized and to some extent criminalized to perform functions for the good of the country.

Corruption has limited our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

I feel proud to say that we should not hesitate to label public officials and their private sector collaborators as mass murderers. Yes they are killers who are killing millions of people through their unpatriotic and evil practice.

To engage in corruption means that monies meant for drugs, roads, hospitals, schools and public security are siphoned/stolen away, making the average citizens vulnerable to premature death and the society more unsafe for human habitation.

The role of the youth in combating corruption is pivotal. The youth should firstly be honest and truthful in performing a national service. This is where integrity comes in to save the youth from engaging into corrupt practices.

Let us stop being wicked and greedy. This create room for dishonesty. To be dishonest means to encourage corruption. As a youth, one of the best practice in fighting corruption is to be content with pride. If you are not satisfy with God, you will never believe that you can become rich without being corrupt.

I will not subscribe to the view that low salaries and poverty are major reasons for rampant corruption in Africa.

If poverty is a major reason for corruption, then former FIFA President- Sepp Blatter and former Minister of Energy-Haja Hafsatu Kabbah would not have been convicted for corruption.

The former Mayor of Freetown City Council; The former Chief Medical Officer-Dr. Kizito Daoh; NRA Commissioner General-Alieu Sesay and Former Chief of Staff-Dr. Richard Conteh are all bad influence to the youth.

I am calling on you all to say no to corruption as under the New Direction, there is no room for corrupt people. Let me salute the youth for joining us to say no to corruption and no place for sacred cows.

I thank you all for your attention.

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