A Ghanaian Catholic Nun-Lawyer and Human Rights Advocate, has cautioned Ghanaians against involving themselves into acts of corruption, which could likely bring them shame and condemn them to a life of bondage and slavery.
“Corruption has it consequences that brings shame and regret, also it brings unnecessary competition for power supremacy and imbalanced allocation of resources,” Sr. Regina Ignatia Aflah, HDR said at a Town hall Meeting organised by the Arrupe Jesuit Institute and the Catholic Professionals Guilds in Accra on August 19, 2021.
Speaking on the topic for the meeting “combating the virus of corruption in our country, my commitment as a Christian Professional,” she enumerated some root causes of the canker including the abuse of power, compromise, disobedience to God’s law, greed and loss of the sense of sin.
She noted that conduct of corruption comes in a form of bribery, extortion, and the misuse of one’s office for self – enrichment.
According to her, corruption is perceived as unlawful conduct intended to secure a benefit for oneself or another and lamented that some Christians had lost their senses of right from wrong.
Sr. Aflah, who is currently working for Caritas Ghana as the Coordinator, Human Rights & Justice, in-charge of Anti-Trafficking Project with International Justice Mission in strengthening the Criminal Justice System’s Response to Human Trafficking in Ghana, expressed worry that they (Christians) often justify wrong actions because others are also doing it, due to that the minds of people had become dull.
“As a committed Christian Professional in the fight against corruption, you have to be God-fearing and value driven, and must be transparent and accountable, and your lifestyle must reflect Christ,” she counselled.
“one must be a role model and to be faithful in the discharge of duties, upright in finances, loyal in service and honest in a speech at work and home” she said.
According to her, integrity should mark actions and words so that honesty and truthfulness would ensure a just legal system, saying that in order to follow the rule of law, all must be seen as equal before the law, and ought to be a shining example of justice and speak against vices in society.
For instance, she stated that culprits must be punished because punishment is part of the administration of justice.
“In Ghana, we have outfits like EOCO, the Special Prosecutor’s Office to combat corruption and others, but we cannot go far if each one of us would not take the bold step to hit their chest to say NO to sin. As Christians, we are to take the first step to put off our old self and put on a new self by eradicating corruption from our way of life,” she noted.
“Let’s check our homes, the cheating that goes on there, at the office or marketplace where we work, at the school, even children are becoming corrupt, deceiving their parents to collect money,” she lamented.
Adding, she said, “Our most cherished treasure should consist in having a proper relationship with God and not in wealth. Our personal lives should be governed by the golden rule of Jesus Christ.
“We must be ready to be whistle-blowers by acting with the proper attitude,” she encouraged.
She urged Christians to take the parable of the rich fool seriously as stated in Luke 12:13-21 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be taken away from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
She also made reference to the biblical test which states that “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Mt 16.26.
In view of that, she called on Christians and Ghanaian in general to make Ghana “a corruption-free country; our hope is for our country to develop like the west. God bless our determination.”
Sr. Regina Ignatia Aflah holds a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Human Rights Law and Post Graduate Diploma in Public International Law from the University of London, UK, Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Rwanda, Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) and Bachelor of Science (BSc) (Honours) in Information and Communication Technology, GIMPA, Ghana, Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) (Honours) from Mountcrest University of College, Ghana, and Certificate in Conflict Analysis and Mediation, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Ghana.
Sr. Regina is a lawyer by profession, a member of the Rwanda and East African Bar Association. She belongs to the Handmaids of the Divine Redeemer of Accra, a Religious Congregation under the leadership of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, CSSp.