Former President John Dramani Mahama has taken his time to humbly preach to Ghanaians and politicians the right attitude to exhibit towards leaders and leadership positions respectively. Mahama specifically touched on the issues of respecting public offices and the occupants, as well as making respectable criticisms.
The former president was actually speaking at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Madina Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Trinity Parish, Accra, on Sunday, November 12.
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Mr. Mahama who was allowed to mount the pulpit and talk to congregants at the occasion, seized the opportunity to caution the people to ensure that they respect persons occupying positions of authority. Mahama advised the people against denigrating government offices just because the person occupying it at the moment is not their favorite, pointing out that the way one treats someone in authority could turn out to be the same way he, his son, friend or family member would as well be treated when he or she eventually occupies the same position.
“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”.
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Continuing, the immediate past President of the Republic made it clear that he is not in any way discouraging Ghanaians from criticising leaders when necessary because failing to criticise them will not bring out the best in them. He however, pointed out that criticisms should be done with acceptable and savoury language.
“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”.
On the other hand, Mr. Mahama admonished politicians to be ever ready to heed criticisms and learn from them as it is an indispensable part of progress.
“Our leaders too 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 run 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 advised.
Ex President Mahama since after leaving office in January, has been in the habit of seizing every given opportunity to teach Ghanaians and the world good morals in various aspects of life. Recall that the former president not long ago, spoke to youths about how to strike relationships that could lead to marriages.
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