Let us collectively fight corruption to avert terrorist activities – GII
The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), a non- governmental organisation focused on addressing corruption has called for a collective effort in resisting and fighting all forms of corruption to limit violent extremist and terrorists’ activities in the country.
It said increasing cases of corruption recorded in the country remained a problem and had the tendency to radicalize and influence citizens to join and engage in violent extremism and terrorists’ activities.
Mr Jacob Tetteh Ahuno, Programmes Officer at GII made the call on Monday in Hamile, a border town in the Lambussie district during a stakeholder meeting with non-governmental actors including traditional and religious authorities and community-based organizations.
The meeting was to introduce to the stakeholders GII’s new anti-corruption education project dubbed, “Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism project (PCVET): The Role of Civil Society and the Private Sector”.
The 22-month project is aimed at contributing to an effective, transparent, and accountable border security management architecture in Ghana.
The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Ghana Immigration Service in five border communities comprising Paga in the Upper East Region, Hamile in the Upper West Region, Aflao in the Volta Region, Elubo in the Western North Region, and Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region.
The project is funded by the European Union under the Strengthening Border Security in Ghana project, which is implemented by Center for Migration Policy Development.
Mr Ahuno in a presentation said records from the Ghana statistical service revealed that in 2013, 2015, 2017 and recently in 2021 about 27 per cent people who had contact with public officials had paid or were asked to pay a bribe in Ghana.
He said various corruption indicators including the Corruption Perception Index, and Global Corruption Barometer showed that Ghana’s mark out of a total of 100 was for some time now below the 50 mark and described it as a worrying situation.
Mr Ahuno said as part of effort to fighting corruption in the country, the project had introduced a Mobile App called ‘Eye on Corruption’ to facilitate citizens within the project catchment border communities including Hamile to report corrupt activities and any suspicious activities in the area.
He said the project would also promote civil society and state security collaboration to resolve corrupt reported cases using the GII’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre steering committee model.
Chief Superintendent Edward Owusu-Ansah, the Hamile Sector Commander of Ghana Immigration Service called for an effective collaboration between the Service and the residents of the Hamile community to help assist in identifying and arresting individuals suspected to be engaged in violent extremism and terrorism.
He advised the non-governmental organizations to put up efforts in creating economic empowerment opportunities for the youth to help prevent them from being radicalized and recruited into violent extremist groups.
Participants commended the GII for the initiative and assured that they would educate and sensitize their colleagues at the various communities on the negative impact of corruption and the need to promote peaceful coexistence by curbing violent extremism and terrorism.