Op-ed: Corruption a Menace Worth Fighting Says Omar Kolley

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By Omar Kolley, UK

Corruption, is a kind of allurement, psychologically encourage the human being to do or not to do anything in order to make personal gains whether in kind, cash or otherwise. Corruption undermined investment and economic growth and deepened the extent of poverty.

Corruption is a global phenomenon, found in one shape or the other whether the country is a democratic, kingship, Socialist or Communist, developing or a developed. Hardly a country is free from the clutches of the devil of corruption. The subject of corruption figures in every international summit, as almost all the countries have fallen under its grip. Making reference to the theme at the AU Leaders’ Summit.

A recent World Bank survey reveals that the corruption as on date, involves those responsible for making laws, responsible to execute the policies and laws of the nation that means the politicians, bureaucrats are mostly involved in corruption. Born and bred in Kombo Central and Kombo South been next my door neighbour, where we have Gunjur a Peri – Urban settlement blessed with a natural environment facing the Atlantic Ocean. The present situation faced by the residents and the Chinese company Golden Leads should be a concern for every Gambian. The government should immediately set up a Taskforce that consist of experts in environmental issues, the residents of Gunjur and personnel of Golden Leads to come up with a framework that should result to win, win situation for both our people in Gunjur and Golden Leads.

In as much as youth employment is one of the priorities of the government. In encouraging FDI, government should come up with policies that put more emphasis of environmental issues and include “clause” for Corporate Social Responsibilities for the locals where the company is located. As the issue of Gunjur is still at a stalemate where some echelons within the town and state official statements are contradictory to that of the youths and also the natives of Gunjur in the diaspora.

It is not only shocking but also disgusting that the legacy of honesty, dedication, austerity, public service and patriotism, the ethical and moral values which the leaders of the past like Gandhi, Subhash, and others cherished so dearly, are being squandered away by the corrupt and power hungry political leaders.

  1. Corruption begins at the top and so distorts on developmental programmes and priorities.
  2. Money earned through corruption is smuggled abroad in safe havens and not ploughed back into the domestic economy.

Therefore, to check corruption, we require a high code of morals, extreme vigilance on the part of those who are free from the corrupt practices.

It is worth considering that only ethically pure and intellectually capable persons should be allowed to administer the country. Also of duty of the citizens to see that only the competent are at the helm and that those in power remain ethical and conscientious lest their inherent greed should harm the country.

Various measures can be suggested to kill the devil of corruption like:

  • Transparency in public life, stringent laws to deal with the corruption cases,
  • Electoral reforms to check the misuse of money and muscle powers,
  • Reform in judiciary system, to quicken the disposal of cases of corruption etc.

But the foremost duty and responsibility lies with the common mass. It has become customary to indict the politicians, bureaucrats, police and corporate businessmen for the flourishing of corruption in the society. Undoubtedly it is they who have made the corruption crept into every fibre and fabric of body politic of our nation.

But can we escape the criticism and responsibility when we ourselves are the part and parcel of the social paraphernalia that is actuated largely by materialistic considerations?

  • How many of us, believe in the maxim of ‘Simple living and high thinking?
  • How many of us, value ideals of honesty, dedication to work, and purify of spirit?

To earn money is not a bad thing, but to earn by unfair means, immoral acts, is condemnable. Lofty ideals look good on paper, to fight the menace of corruption prevailed throughout the world, a multipronged actions are required to be taken.

Corruption can be checked when the rulers themselves set an example for the common men to follow. How can we expect the lower rungs of the society to tread the path of righteousness, when the higher echelons are totally tainted? W. Shakespeare, says “Lilies that fester smell for worse than weeds”. People follow the elders, the leaders and the persons in authority. If the so called leaders are fully sunk in the ocean of corruption, then who can save then the nation.

To fight the demon of corruption, not only the politicians but also the common men have to strive hard sincerely, honestly and with determination, Vigilant and awakened people can prove to be competent army under the leadership of an honest and dedicated leader to fight the evil and devil of corruption.

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