Stories from Isaac Akwetey-Okunor
In its quest to stimulate and revive the civic responsibilities of Ghanaians towards accelerated national development, the Akuapem South office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has organised a community durbar on public accountability for the people of Pokrom-Nsaba.
The day durbar was under the theme ‘Whistle blowing mechanism and Anti-Corruption; the Role of the Citizenry, and was heavily attended by opinion leaders, assembly members and other social and recognised groups.
In his presentation, an Akuapem South National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) head, Mr. Alex Owusu, stated that anti-corruption comprises activities that oppose, inhibit and make corruption unattractive.
Explaining the different forms of corruption, the NCCE boss indicated that just as corruption takes many forms, anti-corruption efforts vary in scope and in strategy with preventive and reactive measures being the general distinction.
He continued that education on the negative impact of corruption, or firm-internal compliance programmes, are some of the ways to expose activities that would be breeding grounds for corruption.
Mr. Owusu accentuated that the term ‘whistle-blowing’ originates from the practice of British policemen who blew their whistles whenever they observed the commissioning of a crime. Whistle blowing means calling the attention of the top management to some wrongdoings occurring within an organisation.
When a person encounters wrongdoing in the public sphere, his or her first step should probably be to use the organisation’s internal whistle blowing mechanisms.
Whistleblowers in the public sector often face the unique problem that their disclosure may constitute a crime. This can create an ethical dilemma when the ongoing misconduct is severe and there is no reasonable prospect that the abuse will end in the absence of blowing the whistle.
He has, therefore, charged every well-meaning Ghanaian to hold it as a duty to expose and report any person or group of people who encounter(s) wrongdoings in the public sector to the appropriate organs for sanctions.
He further encouraged them to promote community ownership of developmental projects and policies, increase awareness of the operations of the Local Government offices, and empower the citizenry to demand accountability from duty bearers.
The NCCE boss encouraged the citizenry of Pokrom-Nsaba to get involved in everything that has to do with their governance, in order to express themselves in their socio-political, socio-cultural and economic matters.
On his part, the Assembly Member for Pokrom-Nsaba Electoral Area, Daniel Anaadi Ahwireng, on behalf of the community, expressed his profound gratitude for the community durbar since it has enlarged and increased their understanding and responsibility as citizens towards national development.
According to him, many citizens have developed a lukewarm and I don’t care attitude, because they do not know their fundamental rights and responsibilities towards the development of the country.
He was of the view that, such community durbars if organized at least every three months would go a long way to create the necessary awareness and sense of responsibility to the citizenry and stimulate them for development.
Touching on corruption, the Pokrom-Nsaba Assemblyman attributed the overwhelming corruption in the country to lack of patients and responsibility among the teeming Ghanaians especially the youth.
He took the opportunity to entreat the youth to be patient and control their appetite for wealth and its associate elements since wealth is not made overnight.