Former President John Dramani Mahama says he could qualify as one of the most criticized and insulted presidents in the history of Ghana.
He added, however, that he tolerated all the insults and, for him, that is a mark of a good leader.
“One of the things you need to be a good leader is the ability to listen and to tolerate criticism,” he told a crowd of National democratic Congress (NDC) supporters in Upper East Region capital of Bolgatanga on Saturday.
“When I was president I was probably one of the most criticized and insulted presidents. But a mark of good leadership is that you maintain your calm and you maintain your focus.”
Former President Mahama was speaking in relation to government’s reactions to comments he made last week in the Ashanti Region capital of Kumasi during his party’s Unity Walk.
The two-time NDC leader had questioned the use of the military to combat illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as galamsey.
He told thousands of the party’s followers in Twi that common sense must prevail over the use of military.
But some members of the current government were not enthused with Mr Mahama’s comments with some calling them “derogatory”.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources John Peter Amewu called the former president a “con man” for his suggestions, and that may have piqued Mr Mahama.
“Unfortunately, it looks like the current people in government cannot take criticism,” he told NDC supporters at Bolga Unity Walk.
“When you offer any [suggestions], 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 and so you can call me any name.
“A simple point I made was that we have tried [use of soldiers to fight galamsey] before….It didn’t work.”
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana