From William Nlanjerbor Jalulah, Bolgatanga .
Ex-president John Dramani Mahama has advised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his appointees to tolerate their political opponents and absorb all manner of criticisms from them and the public at large.
“One of the things you need to be a good leader is the ability to listen and to tolerate criticism. When I was president, I was probably one of the most criticised and insulted. But the mark of good leadership is that you maintain your calm and you maintain your focus. Unfortunately, it looks like the current people in government cannot take criticism. When you offer any decision, they call you all kinds of unprintable names. But, I was not brought up to use unprintable names against my political opponents. The language you use in your political discourse is a reflection of your upbringing. If you were brought up well, it might reflect in the language that you use in your political discourse. And so, you can call me any name.”
Ex-president Mahama’s comment was in response to verbal attacks recently unleashed on him by Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter-Amewu, who described him as a “conman.” The ex-president’s offense was that he had said, during the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Unity Walk in Kumasi, that the use of soldiers in fighting the menace of illegal mining, otherwise known as ‘galamsey’, was not sustainable and that the government has completely failed in addressing the menace.
But, addressing supporters, former appointees under his administration, former and current NDC Members of Parliament and executives in Bolgatanga in Upper East Region, after he led them in the 9th edition of NDC Unity Walk last Saturday, Mr. Mahama said: “The simple point I made was that, we have tried it before. We have gone after these young people with soldiers, and it didn’t work. And so, the best way to go is, while you stop them from doing illegal small-scale mining, be working with providing them with alternatives. If somebody says this, I don’t see why people should get so worked up about it.”
Mr. Mahama also criticised President Akufo-Addo for governing Ghana in what he said is an “ad hoc manner” or “government as you go”.
He said the Nana Addo administration was struggling to implement its major campaign promises because they are not backed by policy guidelines.
According to him, in spite of President Akufo-Addo struggling to fulfill the many promises he made in the run-up to the 2016 General Elections, his government continues to add on more promises as if he was in still in the campaign period.
Mr. Mahama said most of the programmes and policies being implemented by the government have no policy guidelines. “For every programme that is rolled out, there is no policy, there is no guideline and that is the problem – government as you go. You just dream of something, even the promises you made before the elections you have not yet fulfilled, you are struggling,” he observed.
He hinted that he will soon make public his political ambition, because the reorganisation of the party was what he was waiting for, but with the smooth conduct of the party’s branch elections, and the work that has been done by the executives in reorganising the party at the grassroots, he is sure the NDC is still united and strong.