Former President John Dramani Mahama has charged Ghanaians to knock off the use of distasteful words when criticising leaders and instead, ‘package’ the criticisms for ‘easy consumption’.
Mahama, speaking at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Madina Evangelical Presbyterian Church said that regardless of the unquestionable importance of criticism in improving governance, “we must always respect our leaders” such that we present our views and concerns in constructive ways rather than take to insults and jabs.
“We must always respect our leaders. Indeed, if you do not 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”, he said.
John Mahama further instigated that reproval is key in every institution for evaluation and reorganization, however, they should be devoid of insults. “It doesn’t mean that we mustn’t criticise our leaders when they go wrong” We must criticise them but we must criticise them in decorous language.”
He encouraged leaders to also welcome any form of commentary in their term of office and build on them to improve systems placed under their watch.
“Our leaders too must learn to accept criticisms. Criticism is good for progress because if people tell you only the favourable things you want to continue hearing both in your personal life and as a leader of an organisation, you will ran the organisation into the ground or you will find yourself as an individual in a wrong place that you do not intend to be”.
“And so it is important for people who are friends, who know you, who have a stake in your life to criticise you when you’re going astray and we must take that criticism in good faith,” he added.
The former President however maintained that, the reproval directed at leaders should be a well-constructed one which can avail their unhealthy discharge of duties to appropriation.
“It also depends on how that criticism is packaged. If you want someone to accept your criticism you must package it properly and if you package it properly it becomes easy for the person to absorb and when he absorbs it the necessary correction 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 that you want to see,” Mahama noted.
The former President was addressing the congregation at the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Madina Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Trinity Parish, Accra on Sunday, 12 November.