Former President John Dramani Mahama has described the current New Patriotic Party government as intolerant and unable to take criticism.

This comes on the heels of what he says are attacks on his person for criticizing the approach adopted by the government in the fight against illegal mining.

He believes there are many other things that government is doing in an ad-hoc manner, describing the Akufo-Addo regime as a “government as you go” one.

Speaking at the ninth Unity Walk of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Upper East regional capital Bolgatanga, he said a good leader must be able to listen and tolerate criticisms.  

“When I was President I was probably one of the most criticized and insulted Presidents, but the mark of good leadership is that you maintain your calm and your focus.

“Unfortunately, it looks like the current people in government cannot take criticisms…whe you offer any decision, they call you all sorts of unprintable names,” he said.

Related: Mahama's anti-galamsey comment disgusting, repugnant – Boadu

Mr Mahama said he was not raised to use such words on his political opponents as “the language one uses in his/her political discourse is a reflection of your upbringing.”

Addressing party supporters at the eighth Unity walk-in Kumasi last week, the ex-President said he will not go after the illegal miners in the way the government was doing.

This pronouncement drew some heavy backlash from government appointees including Land Minister, Peter Amewu, who described the former President as a "conman".

John Peter Amewu, Lands Minister

Related: Galamsey war: Mahama is a "conman"- Amewu fires back

The incensed minister said attempts by the Mr Mahama to criticize government’s anti-galamsey activities is dishonest and a dent on his own reputation.

“It is rather an unfortunate statement that is coming from some political leaders…he cannot use galamsey at this time, thinking he can come back to power.

“I respect that man so much but for today I am disappointed in the kind of words he used in Kumasi…I am telling the small-scale miners this gentleman is a conman; he is deceiving them. If they dare go for him just because of galamsey this country will go down,” Mr Amewu fired.

But the former President has responded to the comments at the Unity Walk saying "you can call me any name, the simple point we have made is that we have tried it before, we have gone after these young people with soldiers but it didn't work."

He suggested that the way to go is that while government stops the illegal miners from engaging in such activities, it should be working on providing them with alternatives.