Reverend Akwa Bonne of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana says corruption is deeply rooted and has eaten into the social fabric of the country and must be fought collectively.
“This social canker is endemic in the church, the home of the Lord, in the educational sector where people allegedly pay bribes to get their wards admitted into schools,” he stressed.
Rev Bonne stated these when he addressed an anti-corruption symposium in Accra.
It was organised by the Christian Council of Ghana in collaboration with Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in West Africa (FECCIWA).
“Corruption is also within the political circles where people gain favours after allegedly offering bribes and in offices where people allegedly pay for services popularly called ‘weight’ otherwise documents submitted might disappear when there is no weight on them or services required would not be provided,” he said.
The symposium under the theme: “Corruption is evil – fight it now,” attracted about 100 participants comprising women and youth groups as well as students and their teachers from the Labone and Holy Trinity Cathedral Senior High Schools, Saint Banabas and Osu Presbyterian Junior High Schools.
Speaking on the topic, “Religious foundations against corruption,” Reverend Bonne, quoting extensively from the scriptures said the Bible was against corruption and God punished people severely, adding “the Bible condemns corruption in the strongest terms.”
He said “corruption is a very old institution that it is very difficult to uproot but not impossible to deal with. It kills and destroys lives.”
He said economies of many nations had stalled because monies meant for development projects, often were diverted into individual private pockets to the neglect of projects and programmes initiated for the benefit of all the people.
Rev Bonne said corruption could be effectively fought and reduced to the barest minimum if people changed their mind set and said no to corruption.
“Let us act justly and be incorruptible as Jesus wants us to be,” he stated explaining that prayer can change the thinking of the people to become incorruptible and schools could be used to change pupils’ mind set to reject corrupt acts and fight corruption.
He said corruption was real and the greatest thing to do to prevent corruption was to make it difficult for people to engage in corrupt acts or practices, adding “vigilance would help curb corruption.”
An Assistant Registrar of the University for Development Studies (UDS) Mr. Michael Ansa said anti-corruption clubs would also be formed in the four participating schools to help instill anti-corrupt practices into the students at that early stage.
He said the formation of anti-corruption clubs would be extended to other institutions saying the fight against corruption must be tackled from all angles.