President John Mahama appears to have responded to comments by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu that he is a conman, saying his political discourse is a reflection of how he was brought up.

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“…it is true that if we don’t do something about it, it will destroy the environment. But we need to apply wisdom because we’ve chased young people involved in illegal small-scale mining with soldiers in the past in this country, but it didn’t work,” the former President had said.

His comments drew furious response from Mr Amewu who warned the miners against the words of Mr Mahama, saying he is a "conman."

The ex-president's spokesperson rebuffed the Minister, saying she sense "paranoia" from government anytime Mr Mahama speaks and urged the government to be tolerant.

Speaking in Bolgatanga Saturday after leading a "unity walk," Mr Mahama personally responded to Mr Amewu's onslaught against him, suggesting he wasn't properly brought up.

He said: “Unfortunately it looks like the current people in government cannot take criticism. When you offer any decision, they call you all kinds of unprintable names but I was not brought up to use unprintable names against my political opponents.”

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“The language you use in your political discourse is a reflection of your upbringing. If you were brought up well, it must reflect in the language that you use in your political discourse so you can call me any name. The simple point I made is that we have tried it before, we have gone after these young people with soldiers and it did not work and so the best way to go is while you stop them from doing illegal small-scale mining, be working on providing them with alternatives,” he added.