President John Mahama’s outburst following a tag of ‘incompetence’ by his critics has attracted the ire of sections of the public who have described the president as a frustrated person.
The president went haywire on Monday when he was addressing members and supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) as part of his ‘Changing Lives’ campaign in Accra, virtually singling out the vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, for bashing.
President Mahama did not understand why economist and banker Dr Bawumia could refer to him as incompetent and said the NPP vice presidential candidate did not have the qualification to criticise him.
“Did you hear Bawumia say incompetent Mahama? You’ve never held any responsibility anywhere near the presidency before; you don’t know what it is like to be president.
“I’ll take that word from Kufuor or from Rawlings because they’ve been there before. All of you guys [NPP critics] have never ever come near the presidency. Do you know what it takes to be a president? And you stand and say incompetent Mahama administration,” Mahama fumed.
He also said, “I will not allow useless insults to distract me.”
Since his comments, President Mahama has become the most criticised personality both on mainstream and social media.
In spite of what some see as the president’s unpresidential remarks, Communications Minister Edward Omane Boamah sought to justify Mahama’s statements while speaking to Joy FM, insisting that the president did nothing wrong.
Some leading members of the NPP have responded to the president’s comments, describing him as a “frustrated leader whose comments continue to divide the country.”
NPP National Organiser John Boadu said, “He should come out and apologise because it’s going to bring total lawlessness in the country.
“This means that if you are a medical doctor and you do not administer well, Ghanaians cannot criticise you because not all Ghanaians are medical doctors; if you are a civil engineer and you do not do the roads well and people die, you can’t criticise the engineer because not all Ghanaians are road engineers.”
Mr Boadu said if Dr Bawumia, who predicted the woes of Ghana’s economy due to the incompetence of the Mahama administration, did not have the capacity to criticise the president, then ordinary Ghanaians, including kenkey sellers, government workers, trotro drivers and mates “are useless to him (President Mahama).”
“Workers who are not being paid and teacher trainees whose allowances have been stopped by the NDC administration are useless to President Mahama per his comment,” John Boadu told Atinka FM in Accra.
“The president cannot even manage School Feeding; National Health Insurance Scheme is collapsing; cocoa production is coming down… so which description does he want us to use apart from incompetence?” he queried.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the NPP’s parliamentary candidate for Ofoase Ayirebi, said President Mahama was speaking the language of a person who is ‘conceited and frustrated’.
“I think that the calm and measured person that many Ghanaians know Mr Mahama to be…before he rose to become president is not the same person who was speaking yesterday,” the parliamentary aspirant said, adding, “If a political party campaigning against you is saying you haven’t competently handled the problems of this country, you put your record on the table; you don’t launch into these invectives that you are complaining about.”
Former NPP General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John advised President Mahama to refrain from straying into the comments space of party communicators and serial callers.
“The NDC communicators, described as ‘babies with sharp teeth’ by some political commentators, would be pardoned when they make certain unfortunate remarks but not the president who is expected to know better,” Sir John insisted on Adom FM.
“What crime has Dr Bawumia committed if he tells you (Mahama) that you are incompetent and that you cannot run the affairs of the country competently? Why is Mahama crying over this issue?
“In fact, if you cannot handle these criticisms, please allow the babies with sharp teeth in your party to talk and desist from making unsavoury comments and don’t descend in the same gutters with them.
“The energy crisis is an example that this government is indeed incompetent. Businesses are collapsing and if we complain, all you can say as a president is that we have not been president before. I think President Mahama really needs prayers,” he said.
NPP MP for Ayawaso West Wougon, Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko, has noted that President Mahama does not know his job description.
“Even my son in Class 2 will not say what President Mahama said and it shows that he does not understand his job description as the President of Ghana,” the former FDA boss said on Atinka FM.
“ Ghanaians did not beg the president to lead the country; it was rather the president who went round soliciting for votes to enable him lead the country and must therefore respect the people of Ghana,” he underscored.