The Auditor-General of the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Yusador S. Gaye, has called on Liberians to put the country first and make sacrifices in the fight against corruption.
Madam Gaye made the assertion yesterday at a one-day anti-corruption forum at the YMCA hall in West Point in commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9 every year.
According to the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), the objective of the forum was intended to increase citizens’ access to information on the causes, effects, and implications of corruption on society and their lives as well as to enable them meaningfully contribute to ongoing anti-corruption efforts in Liberia.
“If we all have values and a trusted system, we will always succeed and Liberia will become a better place for everyone. We can’t just leave it with the government alone to do the right thing, because the purpose of our audit is to benefit the public and not one person,” Madam Gaye indicated.
She further called on Liberians, residing in the Township of West Point to desist from destroying government property as it would also harm them, indicating that money that should be used to develop other parts of the country will be taken to pay for whatever destroyed.
David K. Yates, a resident of West Point said the seizure of property belonging to anyone that is involved in corruption will eliminate corruption in Liberia.
“We have to start to take serious action against those criminally involved into embezzlement of public funds, because this is the best way we can fight corruption in Liberia,” Mr. Yates added.
Yesterday’s program brought together residents of West Point, James Kingsley, program manager for education and prevention at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), Joseph Davis, civil society actor, Oscar Johnson, Intern at the Swedish Embassy in Liberia, Anderson Miamen, executive director of CENTAL and Absalom S. F. Kendor, policy officer of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC).
Anderson Miamen, executive director of Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) said corruption has been a long standing problem in Liberia, calling on collective efforts to end or reduce it.
“The signs and symbols of corruption are all over the place. We continue to have people taking things that belong to group of people or the state, while being placed in charge or managing it. Corruption has become a serious problem in Liberia,” Miamen said.
Miamen said it’s reported that about U$3.6 trillion remains unaccounted for globally, while U$400 billion goes missing in Africa.
Gerald D. Yeakula, CENTAL’s program manager said lying and lack of integrity lead to corruption, a problem that is seen in every sector of the Liberian society.
Yeakula said CENTAL believes that an informed citizenry would help to make progress in the fight against corruption.
“We frown on the government because of its failure to address impunity. We will reduce corruption in Liberia through working together and punishing people who are involved. People need to feel part of the fight against corruption,” Mr. Yeakula said.
James Kingsley, program manager for education and prevention at the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) highlighted the responsibility of the commission, including investigations, prosecution, awareness and risk assessment.
Kingsley called for ensuring better system, indicating that “It’s the system that creates corruption so putting a system in place should be a priority.”