By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Gbungbaliga (N/R), Oct 21, GNA – The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has encouraged Ghanaians to report acts of corruption amongst other crimes happening in their communities and not be fear victimisation.
Mr Abass Yakubu, Yendi Municipal Director of CHRAJ, who gave the encouragement, assured that CHRAJ was ready to offer protection to citizens under the Whistleblowers’ Act to ensure that they were not victimised for reporting such crimes.
Mr Yakubu was speaking at a mobile Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALACs) forum dubbed “know your rights” held on Friday at Gbungbaliga, near Yendi in the Northern Region, to engage directly with citizens at the community level on how they could contribute to fighting corruption.
The ALAC’s form part of activities under the Accountable Democratic Institutions and Systems Strengthening project funded by the United States Agency for International Development and implemented by Ghana Integrity Initiative, Ghana Anti-corruption Coalition and SEND-Ghana.
The forum offered members of the community the opportunity to learn about basic human rights and allowed those, who ordinarily would not have the opportunity to access the ALAC services in Accra, to also report and pursue their corruption related cases.
Mr Yakubu, who took participants through the Whistleblowers’ Act explaining to them how to lodge complaints under the law to receive attention, said many of the local people did not report acts of corruption among other crimes because of fear of victimisation in the communities.
He also took participants through the National Anti-corruption Action Plan and the role of citizens in curtailing corruption in the country urging them to be active citizens in the fight against corruption.
Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, Yendi Municipal Director of the National Commission for Civic Education spoke about corruption and its manifestations and effects on society expressing need for all to help fight the canker since it affected development.
Alhaji Alhassan advised community members to do away with some cultural beliefs that made it difficult for people to expose bad deeds by others in their communities.
Mr Joseph Makido Azam, Project Officer, ALAC encouraged members of the community to take advantage of ALAC to report acts of corruption in their communities to help promote development.
Some members of the community, who took part in the forum, cited instances where they were asked to make illegal payments, which included when their children were seeking admission to schools, and renewing their health insurance cards.