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26.08.2004 Regional News

Media urged to expose corruption in society - Batidam

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Savelugu (N/R), Aug. 26, GNA- Mr Daniel Batidam, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), on Thursday, urged the Media to expose corruption and other social vices in society rather than concentrating on politicians.

He said it was when the Media exposed corrupt practices among the people entrusted with public office that the electorate would come to understand that vote buying, was a criminal act in democracy. Mr Batidam, who was speaking at a two-day workshop to promote Democracy and Good Governance in Ghana at Savelugu in the Savelugu/Nanton District, called on the electorate to be critical on politicians, who approached them with money during elections by finding out how they came by such monies.

The forum is the sixth of district level workshops aimed at sensitising the public to expose corruption and other social vices that militate against the development of democracy in the country. The Social Enterprise Development (SEND) Foundation of West Africa, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) both nongovernmental organisations, and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) are sponsoring the forum.

Mr Batidam said it was unfortunate that the Media was not giving much attention to the socio-economic development needs of the people, particularly, the rural dwellers, saying: "This practice leaves the people in perpetual ignorance and poverty."

He said leaders, particularly; politicians "give cheap talk about fighting corruption to win the confidence of the people without the Media holding them accountable to what they say in order to promote good governance".

He said politicians who were aspiring to become Members of Parliament had already started influencing voting patterns at the primaries by giving money to gain favours of the party delegates, which he said must be discouraged.

Mrs Augustina Akosua Akumanyi, Deputy Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in charge of programmes, said the country had been sustained after Independence through the hard work of rural dwellers but unfortunately, their lives had not been improved due to selfish and corrupt leadership.

She said there had been unfair distribution of the nation's wealth especially in the areas of sanitation, good water supply, school and health facilities between the urban and the rural communities.

Madam Catherine Sulemana, Savelugu/Nanton District Director of NCCE, said corruption was a canker that needed collaboration and will power to fight. She said influencing public officials to do things outside the normal procedure amounted to corruption and that corruption led to favouritism and lack of transparency and accountability, which she said was were attributes of bad governance.

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