Chiefs and traditional rulers have been urged to use their powers to inculcate into their subjects traditional values and ethics that spurn dishonesty, cheating, and greed.
Deputy Commissioner of Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Richard Quayson, who made the appeal, said the leadership role of chiefs in bringing corruption under control was crucial as they could ensure cultural values and traditions that insisted on honesty.
He said this when CHRAJ and the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) engaged the Central Regional House of Chiefs on special ways of dealing with public sector corruption and safeguarding national resources on Thursday.
The engagement formed part of the National Anti-corruption Action Plan (NACAP) with local authorities to stem the tide of growing corrupt practices which have become widespread in the society.
According to him, corruption is estimated to cost African economies about $100 million annually and “If we don’t fight and bring corruption under control, then our development agenda will suffer”.
Mr Quayson said “corruption has become a major challenge because we have become hospitable and tolerant with corruption. Every aspect of our society somehow is corrupted and we see corruption as normal”.
He noted that the phenomenon was undermining the rights of individuals and called for deliberate action to arrest the situation.
“Our resources are being wasted through corruption, today, we still have children learning under trees and in dilapidated buildings which are a danger to their lives” he stated.
The Executive Director of the GII, Linda Ofori Kwafo, urged the chiefs and queen mothers to help create an appropriate ethical environment to minimize opportunities and initiatives which promote corruption.
She said GII made available platforms that allowed everyone to report issues of corruption and that if the citizenry reports them it would help the campaign to succeed.
Mrs Kwafo added that chiefs had the power of assembling subjects and that it was necessary for traditional leaders to help in the fight against the canker with all the resources they control.
Speaking at the event, President of Central Region House of Chiefs, Obrempong Nyanful Krampah XI, said corruption was the biggest challenge of the country and commended CHRAJ and GII for enlightening the chiefs on the matter.
He declared support of the chiefs in helping the state to deal ruthlessly with the canker saying, “no single institution can fight corruption alone”.