By Iddi Yire/William Fiabu, GNA
Accra, Aug. 9, GNA – Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), on Wednesday urged Ghanaians to take a stand against corruption.
He said Ghana had lost too much to corruption; hence the nation could not afford to continue on that trajectory. “It is time to rein in the people to strap corruption.
“It is time to make our faith count! Time to take a stand against corruption”.
Mr Quayson stated at the launch of the Interfaith Anti-Corruption Project dubbed; “Speak Up, Resist and Report Corruption” in Accra.
He said; “It is time to unleash the power of God in our faiths – the true faithful teachings on godly living – to build integrity in our nation and win the war against corruption”.
The Project, which is a call to action, seeks to enlist the support of religious leaders and faith based organisations to lead the fight against corruption as required under the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP, 2015-2024).
The Project is an initiative of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) with funding support from the Danish Government.
Speaking on the topic; “Faith Based Organizations and the Fight Against Corruption: the NACAP Perspective”, Mr Quayson said one of the greatest strength of the Ghanaian Society and Africa was their faith.
He said records show that about 96 per cent of the Ghanaian population profess one faith or another, and all of these faiths denounce corruption.
“For a people that are notoriously religious, you wonder how come we are so hospitable to corruption, the very thing our faiths consider as abomination. So what has gone wrong with our faith?” he quizzed.
“Has that which should be our strength become our greatest weakness; our nemesis?” He asked.
He again questioned that; “What are the various faiths teaching or inculcating in people that is producing unbridled corruption, indiscipline and lawlessness in every area of our lives?
“Have the houses of faith become shelters and dens for thieves, indiscipline and lawlessness?”
The Deputy Commissioner said NACAP had identified high tolerance or acceptance of corruption as a major factor for the high prevalence of corruption in the Ghanaian Society.
He noted that it had also identified poor attitudes and mind sets as key factors “we have to address if we will make any headway in our anti-corruption effort.
“As long as the people accept corruption and indiscipline as a way of life, it would be next to impossible to make any serious inroads in the fight against corruption. And that is where we are as a people”.
He said one of the key strengths of the faith was its capacity to bring about genuine inner change that found expression in the mind set and attitude of people.
He noted that the teachings of the faiths could influence tremendously to bring about positive or negative change depending on what was taught.
He said what the houses of faith taught were crucial in the fight against corruption. “If we are afraid or reluctant to take a resolute stand against corruption, we will only end up with empty prayers and beggars’ wishes”.
Mr Quayson said if corruption appeared to be widely accepted in society today, it was the product of the values put in by the people.
He said: “It is within our power to build a new culture of zero tolerance for corruption, and make corruption a high-risk and low-gain activity.
“Let the leaders of the faiths take a stand to teach and speak against corruption and hold their members to account for their stewardship in the society”.
Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director, GII, said the project aimed to stir up interest of citizens to speak up, resist and report corruption related issues through existing channels like the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre.
She expressed the hope that at the end of the project implementation, GII, would record a 40 per cent decline in incidences of corruption in the country.
Madam Tove Degnbol, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, said religious leaders had a strong role to play in getting the message on speaking up, resisting and reporting corruption.
The Reverend Dr Nii Amoo Darku, Member of the Governing Board, National Peace Council, urged religious leaders to help transform people, whose hearts were deceitful to become righteous.