Former President John Dramani Mahama has hit hard at some government officials who, in his view, are intolerant of critique from political opponents.
Mr. Mahama said unlike the officials of the current government, he maintained his composure as President and did not resort to the use of “unprintable words” despite the intense criticism from political opponents.
Mr. Mahama’s comments appear to be a direct response to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Peter Amewu who had recently urged small-scale miners to disregard any attempts by the former President to downplay government’s efforts in the fight against illegal mining.
At the eighth edition of the National Democratic Congress (NDC’s) Unity Walk in Kumasi last week, Mr. Mahama described the government’s approach in the anti-galamsey campaign as counterproductive.
“…it is true that if we don’t do something about it, it will destroy the environment. But we need to apply wisdom because we’ve chased young people involved in illegal small-scale mining with soldiers in the past in this country, but it didn’t work,” the former President had said.
Mr. Amewu subsequently rubbished these comments, describing the President as a conman.
The former President who appears not to have been enthused about Mr. Amewu’s comments, expressed his displeasure about the development at the 9th edition of the party’s Unity Walk in the Upper East region today [Saturday], saying “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 must reflect in the language that you use in your political discourse so you can call me any name. The simple point I made is that we have tried it before, we have gone after these young people with soldiers and it did not work and so the best way to go is while you stop them from doing illegal small-scale mining, be working on providing them with alternatives,” he added.
‘Government as you go’
The President also took the government on for what he described as its decision to roll out policies without a clear-cut plan.
The NPP government has so far initiated a number of policies including Planting for Food and Jobs and the Free SHS policy among others since it took power in 2016.
The former President, however, insists these policies were not accompanied with specific guidelines on their implementation, a situation he believes threatens their success.
“There are many other things that this government is doing in an adhoc manner. It is as if they are governing in a manner called government as you go because for every programme that is rolled out, there is no policy, there is no guideline and that is the problem. You[Government] just dream of something.
“Even the promises that you made before the election you have not fulfilled. You [Government] are struggling. I watched a video recently and they spoke about 1 million dollars per constituency per year. Now today, we are told it was a mere thought…” said the former President at the NDC’s latest unity walk in the Upper East Region.