Former President John Dramani Mahama has admonished government officials to be open to criticism and correction from opponents and the general public as this is a major key for development in any country.
Speaking at the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Madina., Mr. Mahama emphasized the absolute significance of criticism and reproval to every government and institution. Criticism he explained will bring to fore, the dents and loopholes in the institution which can be corrected to foster development. Rather than shunning or discrediting these concerns he maintains, they must be considered for reorganization.
“Our leaders must learn to accept criticism. Criticism is good for progress because if people keep telling you only the favorable things you want to hear, both in your personal life and as a leader of an organization, you will ran the organization into the ground or you’ll find yourself as an individual in a wrong place that you did not intend to be and so it’s important for people who are friends, who know you, who have a stake in your life to criticize you when you are going astray and we must take that criticism in good faith”, he said.
He however highlighted the importance of having these concerns presented modestly void of insults and denigration to make it easier for the leaders to accept.
“It doesn’t mean that we must not criticize our leaders when they go wrong, we must criticize them but we must criticize them in decorous language…..it depends on how that criticism is packaged, if you want somebody to accept your criticism, you must package it properly and when you package it properly, it becomes easy for the person to absorb and when he absorbs it, the necessary corrections will be made. Even if at the time he doesn’t appear to have accepted it, because you packaged it well it will be in the back of his mind and unconsciously or consciously, he will make the corrections you want to see”.
The former leader also admonished all and sundry to accord respect and reverence to leadership such that victimisation and belittling just because of political talk is avoided.
“We must always respect our leaders. Indeed, if you don’t even like the personality in the position or in the office, you must show respect to the office because you don’t know when you yourself will find yourself there or your son will find himself there or your relative will find himself there or even somebody you like will find himself there. If you have developed the culture of denigrating the office, you’ll find that when you get there, you have so denigrated the office that you cannot command the kind of respect that you also think you deserve”.
Mr. Mahama was speaking at the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Madina Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Trinity Parish, Accra on Sunday, 12 November.