Seasoned Ghanaian journalist, Kwesi Pratt Junior, has raised some salient questions following the National Ambulance Service statement after one of the country’s ambulances was seen being used as a cement cart.
The National Ambulance Service (NAS) has been at the receiving end of some heavy criticisms after a viral video captures some unidentified men using one of the government-owned ambulances as a pickup truck to transport cement bags.
The Service, however, in a statement signed by its Head of Public Relation, Simmons Yussif Kewura, said the “said vehicle with registration number GV-537-20, was one of the Ambulances awaiting the fixing of minor faults by the supplier before being received and integrated into the National Ambulance Service fleet”.
According to the statement, preliminary investigations carried out reveal that the said ambulance was in the custody of its supplier, Service Ghana Autogroup Ltd for servicing.
“The said suppliers had caused the Ambulance to be sent to its garage to address a minor fault. The National Ambulance Service had earlier declined to take custody of the vehicle because of the said fault,”
The statement stated that a mechanic of the garage Nana Ofosu, after the repairs, drove the ambulance towards the Mallam-Kasoa-Winneba Road on a test drive, during which he employed the vehicle for his private purposes.
But analysing the statement critically during his submission on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, the founding editor f the Insight Newspaper, Mr. Kwesi Pratt, said the statement was flawed and outlined factors that led him to draw such a conclusion.
“From their press release, this particular vehicle was registered one year later. Check the registration number. It is GV -737 -20. This vehicle was registered after commissioning. If you read the president’s speech he talks about the urgency for the ambulances and so on and yet the registration of the ambulances took one year. That’s exceedingly worrying. What’s happening here?” Mr. Pratt told Randy Abbey.
Additionally, the political analyst questioned how come the National Ambulance Service claims the vehicle is not part of their fleet of cars yet it has Ghana government as its registration number.
“If the National Ambulance Service had not taken delivery of the vehicle why was it registered in their name?” He quizzed
He noted “If you look at the registration number clearly it has been assigned to a government institution. How come the vehicle which has a minor fault and has been rejected and so on was registered in their name? I can’t understand that.”
Making reference to the President’s commission speech again to buttress his point, Mr. Pratt noted “At the commissioning is emphatic about the number of; how it was going to be distributed and so on. Does this release provide the basis for contradicting what the President was? Were there 307 ambulances that were distributed or there were fewer? If there were less than 307 how many of them were not distributed and are still in the custody of the supply?”
For him, it is the opposite of truth the statement seeks to convey and as such it should be taken with a pinch of salt
“Minor fault on a vehicle I think you can build a whole vehicle in less than 28 months. But to repair a minor fault on a vehicle is taking twenty-eight months. What kind of story is this?
Kwesi Pratt asserted that some government communication official authored the statement and he was only asked to append his signature.
“For all you know he was only asked to sign. Look, we cannot sit in this studio today and tell the origin of this press release. It could have come from anywhere. From government communication team,” he stated.
By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Metrotvonline.com | Ghana