Let’s fight corruption to ward off violent extremist groups – GII

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of Transparency International, has urged Ghanaians to take the fight against corruption seriously.

Madam Mary Awelana, Programmes Manager at GII, noted that the public fight would help address the negative effects of corruption on citizens, which is likely to drive them to radicalise and join violent extremist groups.

She made the call during a presentation at a meeting with chiefs, religious leaders and members of civil society organisations at Aflao as part of the organisation’s new project, Prevention and Countering Extremism and Terrorism (PCVET): The Role of Civil Society and the Private Sector.

The 22-month project, being implemented by the GII in collaboration with the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), is funded by the European Union under the Strengthening Border Security in Ghana (SBS Ghana) project through the contracting organisation, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).

The project aims at contributing to an effective, transparent and accountable border security management architecture in Ghana.

Madam Awelana called for collaborative efforts to combat corruption in all forms – petty, grand, political and others- because though there were other underlying conditions, corruption remained a crucial part of the narratives used to mobilise and recruit radical and violent extremist groups.

She said the project targeted Ghana’s border communities deemed vulnerable to conflict spillovers from neighbouring countries, requiring that border residents be sensitised on the relationship between corruption, free movement of people and goods and violent extremism to empower them saying, “the fight against corruption is in our hands.”

Chief Supt Kwabena Ampong, a GIS official from the Aflao Sector Command, appreciated non-governmental actors for their support of the Service in areas such as the provision of logistics and strengthening the capacity of officers.

He called on partners and other bodies to help with education on PCVET to increase awareness among the populace.

He said the Agency was mandated to regulate and monitor the movement of people across the country’s borders through various units, including Border Patrol and Counter-Terrorism (Operation Motherland) secured the borders, did some interceptions and kept undesirable migrants away.

He cited the unique nature of the Aflao borderline and appealed to residents to cooperate with personnel to secure the boundary, saying, “security is a shared responsibility and community members should support us in achieving our goals.”

Elder Ken Amedeka, a participant in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, described the meeting as enlightening and promised to sensitise others and get them to know about GII’s corruption reporting platforms – Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) and Eye on Corruption to fight corruption-related practices to keep violent extremists at bay.

Source: GNA

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