Former President John Dramani Mahama has come under fire from a mammoth number of Ghanaians on social media for using what has been described as "insulting words" against his critics who doubt his sincerity to cancel ex gratia payments.
The former President, in an address to NDC party delegates in the Volta Region, said if Ghanaians return him to power, he will scrap the constitutional ex gratia payments to Article 71 holders.
But as one of the longest and biggest beneficiary of ex gratia payments as a four-term MP, Vice President, President and ex-President for the past 27 years under the Constitution, many people have cast doubts on his honesty and commitment to fulfill his promise to cancel what he has benefitted for years.
Also, the likes of Lawyer Martin Kpebu have asked the former President to return his ex gratia payments to demonstrate he truly detests ex gratia and as a show of faith in his promise to the Ghanaian populace.
To the surprise of many, however, former President Mahama went acerbic, launching scathing attacks on those who commented and described their suggestions as "silly".
"I said categorically that we will cancel ex gratia. And then somebody who should know better, a lawyer, he said then I should refund all the ex gratia we took before to show that we are serious about cancelling it. He does not even know the principle in our constitution that says you cannot pass retrospective legislation...if you pass legislation today, it does not affect what happened in the past. And what he says is a bit silly because it's like saying that because we have introduced free SHS, all of us should go and get refund of our school fees that we paid," former President Mahama said.
However, many Ghanaians, apart from disagreeing with the analogy of the Mahama, have also expressed surprise at his disrespect to his critics.
With Togbe Afede and First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo on record to have returned ex gratia payments, many wondered what is preventing former President Mahama from returning his over two-decade ex gratia payments he continues to receive.
Below are some comments from the public: