Mahama was 'irresponsible' with his reply to Bagbin

By MyJoyOnline
Politics President John Mahama
NOV 5, 2013 LISTEN
President John Mahama

The Head of Political Science Department at the KNUST, Dr Amoako Baah says President Mahama acted irresponsibly with his apparent response to former Majority Leader, Alban Bagbin, when the latter publicly raised issues with the President’s style of governance.

He therefore suggested that instead of stoking the fire and showing a feeling of being betrayed by his comrade, the President could have at least placed a call to the aggrieved former Majority Leader to settle the issue once and for all.

“Homageship and solidarity does not translate into competency and performance. And what Mr. Bagbin is complaining about is about competence and performance...,” he told Joy FM’s Top Story on Tuesday.

Mr. Bagbin, one of the three persons the President appointed to be in charge of government priority projects, is convinced Mr. Mahama has not shown the leadership and political will needed to fight corruption.

But addressing an orientation workshop for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives at the Local Government Training Institute in Accra Tuesday, President Mahama remarked:

“For those who disagree with me and are anxious to see my back, [they are] not to worry, 2016 is not too far away. I will urge them to be patient; in this difficult job the least one expects is comradeship and solidarity.”

But Dr. Baah is not enthused by the President’s response.

According to him, the tone and content of his reply suggest Mr. Mahama has shifted into traditional mood, and instead of bringing in those who are disgruntled, he is rather behaving as if he has given up on them.

The political scientist pointed out that running a government is not the same as managing a personal company: whatever action one takes in government bothers on life and death.

“He is the president and it is not his personal company or business; it is a country that he is running, it does not belong to him. He can’t even say what he said. He shouldn’t say that if you don’t agree with me wait until whatever - no!

“This is a country, a lot of decisions, policies the government make mean life and death for some people [who] cannot make ends meet. You cannot say that all.

“I am sorry, that in itself is irresponsible. Just because you are elected does not mean you can do whatever you want for four years. That is not how it supposed to work,” Dr. Amoako Baah asserted.

Pulling no punches, Dr Amoako Baah claimed how President Mahama handled the issue was an indication of the fact that “he is not well advised”.

Bagbin’s frustration about his inability to access the president was “not a big deal”, rather, Dr. Baah underscored that the one “making it a big deal” was the president himself.

However, Executive Director of the African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption, Daniel Batidan thinks President Mahama should be given the “benefit of the doubt” in his fight against corruption as he assured Ghanaians today.

He said hearing a response from Mr. Mahama is “a first step in the right direction” and it also indicates that the President is mindful of what is happening in the country. But in all, he suggested that the President must give the signal against corruption in a very strong way.

Mr. Batidan also cautioned the President against “reinventing” an institution to tackle corruption. According to him, the establishment of agencies “don’t fight corruption”, and therefore urged the President to make use of existing institutions and policies to tackle corruption.

Story by Ghana | | Isaac Essel | [email protected]