Mr John Yibile, the Sissala East Municipal Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has stated that corruption does not only undermine democracy and rule of law, but debases the moral fibre of society as well.
“Corruption stifles creativity and initiative; it nourishes mediocrity, demoralises the honest person and robs generation of their future. Corruption violates the individual’s rights to economic and social wellbeing and allows for organised crime, armed robbery, terrorism, vandalism and also threatens human security”, he added.
Mr Yibile was speaking during a community sensitisation durbar at Kong in the Sissala East Municipality of the Upper West Region on the “Anti-corruption, Rule of Law and Accountability Programme (ARAP)” being implemented by the Commission with funding from the European Union.
He noted that all these and others caused citizen’s dissatisfaction with the delivery of social services and development, adding that citizens were considered satisfied when there was high level of social accountability.
Mr Yibile noted that over the years, there had been only one sided effort for public officials and institutions to inform their superiors about their actions, pointing out that this formal sector top-down approach to accountability in many cases had not been very responsive and alienated the citizens from participating in matters affecting their livelihood and total wellbeing.
The NCCE Municipal Director saluted the media, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, Imani Ghana, SEND Ghana, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Action for Sustainable Development (ASUDEV) and Occupy Ghana among others for supporting the course of the Commission by demanding accountability from state institutions and helping restore the vital trust between governors and the governed.
Mr Yibile appealed to the citizens to lead the crusade against corruption in society by reporting all corrupt practices in their localities to the relevant anti-corruption agencies for the betterment of society.
Mr Modestus Dangah, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Director in charge of Sissala West District and Sissala East Municipal mentioned bribery, misappropriation, embezzlement, conflict of interest and padding salaries (ghost names) as some forms of corruption.
He noted that in the fight against corruption, citizens must play a critical role by demanding accountability from public officials; avoid voting for corrupt officials during elections; refuse gifts, cash or liquor during elections and vote for most deserving candidates who refuse to pay bribe for getting their work done.
Mr Dangah noted that with the reward system acting as incentive together with the protection offered to minimize risk and the immunity provided, citizens would feel emboldened to report breaches of the COC and assist CHRAJ to deal with the breaches, corruption and corrupt practices.