White Paper, Corruption and our Collective Citizenry

White Paper, Corruption and our Collective Citizenry

By Alhaji U. Njai

The government of Sierra Leone Commission of Inquiry (COI) white paper on corruption in high places is a bold first step in curbing systemic corruption. I commend President Bio’s effort and tenacity in this direction, given that his administration will face the same music in the near future. In implementing the COI report, the Government should ensure the process is non-selective, unbiased, non-vindictive, transparent, and just. As citizens, the COI report is an indictment of the endemic corruption prevalent not just among public officials but all of us. Corruption is the monster that we have made, and that has become a societal malaise. We have all aided corruption, and continue to abet it in all segments, disciplines, and functions of society. Our heroes are not the farmers, carpenters, market women, and so on making a living out of legitimate means but corrupt politicians. We hail the corruption as a sign of blessings and worship corrupt public officials as heroes. We support politicians and parties simply because winning means “nah we tem for eat.” It is almost hypocritical now for some of us when we applaud the COI white paper; maybe because we enjoy seeing the downfall of our “heroes” and success for us is still an issue of tokenism rather than the collective. The COI white paper report calls for deep introspection of our corrupt actions as a societal collective, and being mindful of how our actions hurt society; whether its financial impropriety, practice of favoritism, nepotisms, ethnocentrisms, bribery to go ahead, and so on. As precedence has now been set with the current COI white paper, we will only expect that the level of stringency be much tougher in future

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