Suppliers Owed ¢8 Billion
All Operations & Official Vehicles Grounded
It appears , the pledge by the officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to defend the country by air, water and land to the peril of their lives, might just be a mere rhetoric, if Ghanaian soldiers are today asked to make real that promise. Because, they embarrassingly have no fuel to move their vehicles.
The soldiers, are said to owe an amount in the region of ¢8 billion (old cedi), hence a decision by the suppliers to halt fuel supplies to the highly revered state security agency, for its operations throughout the country.
The decision to cut off supply to the soldiers, was taken exactly two weeks ago, forcing a large number of operational and official vehicles, including those meant for night patrols to be grounded nationwide.
Additional information available to this paper is that some senior officers, have resorted to purchasing fuel from their private pockets to enable them to go to work and attend to official assignments.
It is not clear, whether there is aviation fuel for the Ghana Air Force and bunker or diesel fuel for the Ghana Navy for emergency military operations. The situation at the 37 Military Hospital, is also unclear with respect to their ambulances, generators and life-support equipment in the face of electric power rationing.
Though this is not the first time that fuel shortage has hit a state security agency, this appears to be the very first time suppliers, have taken a drastic decision not to supply.
In the past, the National Security outfit and the Ghana Police Service, had problems with their fuel supply, and had to ground most of the vehicles and cut down key operations, including training and Highway Patrols.
The Police Service in particular, had many times park its Patrol cars and close temporal barriers.
The embarrassing news is nationwide, except the Volta Regional Regimen, which is known to be a very small unit of the GAF.
“The Herald’s” military sources, inside the Burma Camp, told the paper that a promise by the head of Defense Mechanic Transport Unit, Lt Col. B Kwao that fuel supply would be supplied by close of work yesterday, never happened.
But in an interview with the Director of Public Relations of the GAF, Lt. Col. Eric Aggrey-Quashie, he earlier denied the claim, but said it would not be news if his outfit owed, because it is a public institution.
“Oh, as for this question, I don’t know how else to answer. The government self even owes……so if you owe, I don’t think it is a crime to owe. I don’t even know how much somebody is owing because I don’t deal with fuel [department] but whatever it is, remember that the Armed Forces is not a private institution, so whatever money you think the public institution is owing, it goes back to the public debt”.
So if there is any debt, all of us are owing, you are included, am also included because, the Armed Forces is working for all of us”.
Asked if the no fuel situation, has contributed to the absence of soldiers on usual night patrols and temporal road blocks he said, “the night patrols are not everyday thing, it depends on the urgency. The patrol business is a Police duty. All of you think that it is an Armed Forces thing, it is an internal operation we are doing to help the Police”.
He went on that “So we assist the Police. We just help them. He argued that if there is an area that the night patrol has stopped, it did not mean that the operation has stopped. It could be that they have moved to a different place”.
In an answer to a question as to whether their huge debt and fuel cut, has affected their job in anyway, Col. Aggrey queried if the military has failed on their task.
“Has anybody given us a task that we have not performed? You don’t know our work schedule, so how do you say that because we don’t have fuel that is why we are not doing patrol and which patrol have you been looking for that you didn’t see?
The point is that, we have our operational activities and we determine which one is of priority at any particular point in time”, he said.
Effort to reach Mr. Senyo Husi of the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDC); the institution mentioned to have cut the fuel supplies to the men in uniform proved unsuccessful as he could not pick his MTN number. He also did not answer a text message sent him.
More to come!