The Sirleaf Administration, which declared corruption “Enemy Number One” and pledged to promote integrity in response to repeated calls by the international community and the general public, but was unsuccessful.
Now, several anti-corruption related institutions say they are determined to take this fight to a new level by ensuring consistent and coherent action regarding existing and future instruments and initiatives.
To actualize their quest in the collaborative efforts to fight corruption, the anti-corruption groups on Wednesday, February 12, held a one-day consultation gathering to find a way forward to the implementation of the National Integrity Forum (NIF) document.
NIF is a collaborating endeavor that allows anti-corruption related institutions and other related parties to amalgamate their efforts to fight corruption and create integrity standards in order to achieve its objectives and to derive strategies and structures that implement its activities.
Part of the NIF’s objective is to provide a forum that promotes integrity standards in the public and private sectors through effective collaboration and coordination, to periodically review progress made towards the promotion of integrity standards and to support the fight against corruption in a holistic, systematic and sustainable manner, as well as recommend effective policy promulgation, coordination and implementation mechanism to advance good governance.
The gathering, held at the General Auditing Commission (GAC) headquarters on Ashmun Street, brought together senior staffs of several related anti-corruption institutions including the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and the Governance Commission (GC).
In her opening remarks, Auditor General of the Republic of Liberia and head of the GAC, Yusador Saadatu Gaye, told her colleagues that it is time for them to review the gaps and duplication of roles among government institutions, particularly those involved in the fight against corruption.
“We can only succeed if we collaborate and coordinate our activities by supporting each other; that is the only way we can win the fight against corruption,” AG Gaye assured her colleagues.
“This is how we can voice out the problem in the fight against corruption, because fighting corruption requires teamwork and no institution can succeed alone. It needs collaborative efforts,” she said.
According to her, the discussion would enable them to find a way forward for their collaboration,” if we have everybody working for themselves, we are not going to succeed. All that we need is to work together to succeed in the fight against corruption.”
In his intervention, the chairperson of the LACC, Cllr. Ndubuisi Nwabudike, reminded his colleagues that corruption fight is not one person’s business, therefore, “All of us integrity institutions, including the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), are to work together by sharing relevant information if we want to succeed.”
Cllr. Nwabuidike said, “No single entity should believe that they can succeed without collaborating with the other institutions.”
“We should understand that with a common effort and purpose we can succeed in the fight against corruption,” he emphasized.
Cllr. Nwabuidike also stressed to his colleagues that they are not in confrontation with each other in the fight against corruption. “It is not about winning the battle alone, because if we were to collectively fight corruption we believed that every one of us including the government would take the glory.”
The fight against corruption, the LACC chairperson emphasized, is very much serious and need their collaboration and coordination to overcome it. “We need to share our information about corruption in your agency so that we can prevail against corruption.”
It can be recalled that President Weah, in his inaugural address to the nation, promised to fight corruption and warned his officials that now was the time to work in the interest of the Liberian people and not for themselves, stressing that those found in corrupt acts will face the full weight of the law.