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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Open Society says corruption a threat to national security

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By Olimatou Coker

The head of programmes at Open Society Platform, Gambia (OSPG), has urged the government “to take decisive and definitive steps” to tackle corruption in the country, describing graft as “a principal public enemy which threatens national peace and security”.

Speaking at the launch of the organisation’s newsletter in Kanifing over the weekend, Abdoulie Jadama said “the unabated high level of corruption in the country is exacerbated by the political leadership”.

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“For the past two years, the Anti-Corruption Commission Bill which was envisaged to tackle corruption in the country has been stuck in the National Assembly and is yet to be passed. In addition, there are a series of corruption scandals being uncovered by either citizens or the auditor general, for instance, the case of wasted Covid-19 funds, siphoning of funds at Gam-Petroleum, the recent newspaper report of a US$4 million corruption scandal at the Central Bank of The Gambia and the massive looting of state resources by public servants or political class,” Jadama alleged.

He said the fight against corruption “should involve an increasing national awareness campaign about the existence of corruption in the society as well as building the capacity of the citizens to instil the ethics of honesty, moral uprightness, and value of open and responsible governance”.

Jadama urged members of the fifth estate “to go beyond their comfort zones to search for news about corruption” and urged civil societies “to remain vigilant and watch for abuse of office by government officials”.

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He said his organisation will continue to work with the government and partners to foster a more responsive, accountable and transparent management of public resources and governance.

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