President John Mahama
President John Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama has refuted claims by his critics that he has not shown leadership in the fight against corruption and indicated that those criticising him do not know him well.

He said those who disagreed with him and were anxious to see his back should be patient because 2016 was not too far away.

In apparent response to criticisms of him by some people, including the recent one by Mr Alban Sumana Bagbin, a former Majority Leader in Parliament, President Mahama said many comrades had questioned his (President?s) ability to fight corruption.

“I dare say they don’t know me well,” he said to deafening applause from metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) at the opening of an orientation programme for them at the Institute of Local Government Studies in Accra yesterday.

The three-day orientation programme is being held on the theme: “Re-Energising Local Governance for the Attainment of the Better Ghana Agenda”.

“For those who disagree with me and are anxious to see my back, not to worry; 2016 is not too far away. I will urge them to be patient,? the President said.

In the difficult job of Head of State, he said, the least one expected was comradeship and solidarity.

“Leadership is a difficult and lonely task and it will not only stress you but also require all your talent and skill,” he said.

President Mahama said the government had passed many pieces of legislation to enhance the fight against corruption, noting, however, that many loopholes existed which some people took advantage of to perpetrate corruption.

He said in the next few days he would announce new measures to tighten the system, ensure more transparency and make corruption more difficult to undertake.

?Mr Alban Sumana Bagbin, a former Majority Leader in Parliament, early this week expressed concern over corruption in the country, saying he was yet to see a semblance of political leadership and a commitment to fight the canker.

He particularly expressed dissatisfaction at the government’s handling of the findings in the report on the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).

In apparent reference to some of the criticisms, President Mahama said people expected central and local government officials to demonstrate that they were able to deal with the canker of corruption decisively.

That fight, he said, should be both in terms of putting in place the system that made it difficult for corruption to thrive and also dealing decisively with cases of corruption wherever they arose.

“I send you to your posts with my full backing to do everything you can to stamp out corruption,” the President charged the chief executives.

He again tasked them to exhibit a high sense of responsibility and diligently execute their mandates to meet the needs of the people in their respective districts.

President Mahama said he had continued to promote an open system of governance which allowed for the citizenry to follow what the government was doing.

“At the national level, and through my various social media platforms and a special platform, ?Ask the President?, my website, thousands of Ghanaians are eager and willing to join the governance process through contributions, suggestions, feedback and complaints,” he said.

He, therefore, urged the MMDCEs to replicate that by engaging chiefs and communities in constant interaction, seeking their views on projects.

Street naming/jobs

President Mahama told the chief executives that their continuous stay in office would be dependent on the success of the street-naming and house-numbering exercise.

He tasked them not to only create opportunities for investment and employment generation but also make sure that people were engaged in decent work.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Kwasi Opong Fosu, urged the MMDCEs to work with their presiding officers, coordinating directors, security chiefs, traditional rulers and leaders of political parties.

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