One of the 307 ambulances procured by the Akufo-Addo government in its first term, under the One Constituency, One Ambulance initiative, has been turned into a ‘cement haulage truck’.
A video which went viral yesterday, showed two men busily loading building materials into the life saving vehicle.
The incident, according to checks by The Chronicle, happened in Gomoa East District, on March 25, 2021 before noon.
The originator of the video told this paper that it was taken at Tripple X area,located after Budumburam, close to the Forestry check point, where a big cement depot is located.
Prince Acquah, a journalist, told The Chronicle that he counted 16 cement bags being loaded into the ambulance, which had its engine running and trafficator lights on, whilstloading.
He continued that, he could not see the constituency name written on the ambulance, because of the wayit had parked.
However, when he gave the registration number to the Ambulance Service and it was keyed into their system, it came out that the ambulance had registration numberGV 537-2020and belonged to the Sege Constituency.
At the time of filing this report yesterday, this paper also sighted a statement coming from the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Ambulance Service, Prof Ahmed Zakariah over the issue.
The statement said that: “our preliminary investigations show that the vehicle was sent to a garage for servicing, and after the repairs, was when the mechanic clandestinely took the ambulance for the operation of conveying cements with it. The case has been reported to the police.”
Meanwhile, sections of Ghanaians were appalled at the development and have called on the authorities to swiftly investigate and punish whoever is involved.
This development seems to have justified the position government’s communicators have taken on the popular ‘FixTheCountry’ social media campaign.
It would be recalled that when the campaign started, some government communicators’ response was for the citizens to fix their attitude first.
Monitoring social media since the cement carrying ambulance video went viral, this paper observed a sharp agreement to the ‘fix your attitude’ campaign, as most commentators condemned the act.
Apart from the statement signed by the CEO of the Ghana Ambulance Service, the Public Relations Officer, Simmons Yusif Kewura, in an interview on Peace FM, an Accra based radio station, indicated it was not a staff of the Service who used the vehicle to carry the bags of cement, but a mechanic.
Explaining the issue in the Akan language, he said the incident occurred in March 2021. He also confirmed the ambulance was for the Sege Service Station.
He said that the ambulance in question had a fault with the gearbox and because all the 307 ambulances have a warranty, it had to be taken to the company that supplied it to fix the fault.
According to him, one of the companies that supplied the ambulance is Service Ghana Auto Group Limited, where this ambulance was taken to. They also went for a garage outside where they do their usual servicing, Kewura continued.
That garage, he said, is at Mamprobi [Accra], called Nana Ofosu Gearbox Specialist. He further added that, it was during the test run that they used the ambulance to carry the bags of cement at a depot at Budumburam.
Meanwhile, he said the Service has contacted the company that produced the vehicle and asked for a report on how the ambulance, from the garage, was used to load cement bags.