The Northern Regional Secretariat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed deep concern over recent media reports regarding the alleged auctioning of medical supplies intended for hospitals in Tamale.
According to the Regional Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the auctioned medical supplies were valued at $400,000 meant for hospitals in Tamale.
The incident was reported by various media outlets, including Ghanaweb and Radio Tamaleonline on September 12, 2023.
The supplies were allegedly auctioned off by the Tema Port Authorities, which has caused concern among healthcare workers and the public. The Chief Zosimli Naa is one of the key figures involved in this situation, which has sparked outrage and demands for accountability.
Addressing the media in Tamale, the Northern Regional Secretary of the NDC, Mohammed Abdul-Salam, stated that medical supplies worth $400,000 that were meant to aid hospitals in the Northern region of Ghana were unlawfully auctioned off by the Tema Port authorities, according to recent publications.
The supplies, which included oxygen tanks, dialysis machines, and incubators, were shipped from the United States of America with the intention of improving healthcare services in hospitals such as the Tamale Teaching Hospital, Central Hospital, West Hospital, and other health centers. The revelation has sparked outrage among the public and raised questions about the accountability of the authorities responsible for overseeing the distribution of medical supplies.
The scribe of the NDC noted that the medical supplies departed the United States in July 2022 and reached Ghana on September 22, 2022. Interestingly, these supplies were later put up for auction in June 2023 adding that in order to facilitate the smooth release of these items from Tema Port for charitable purposes, Chief Zosimli Naa’s palace worked alongside prominent stakeholders from the Northern region, such as Vice President Dr. Mahamud Bawumia, Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Saibu, Tamale Municipal Chief Executive, Sule Salifu, and leaders from the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
According to him, the NDC Northern Region found out through their investigations that both the Northern Regional Minister and the Vice President’s office guaranteed the donors that they will obtain a tax waiver for the medical supplies saying; is disappointing to discover that these products were never approved for release.
He added that despite putting in a lot of time and effort towards finding a solution, the medical supplies valued at more than $400,000 were unlawfully sold by the Tema Port authorities. This has led to the Tamale, Dagbon, and the Northern region communities being deprived of essential donations that could have potentially saved lives in our struggling healthcare facilities.
Mr Mohammed Abdul-Salam, stated the appalling condition of healthcare facilities in the Northern region is deeply regrettable, and it’s unfortunate that the generous contributions made by Chief Zosimli Naa and partners to improve these hospitals have been wasted.
He urged law enforcement agencies to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the “medical supplies container-auction” incidence. This kind of misconduct at the Tema Port is unacceptable and may discourage prospective donors from providing medical supplies to needy hospitals across the country.
Mr Mohammed Abdul-Salam pointed out that it is disappointing that Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, did not effectively use his authority to expedite the clearance of the container for the Northern region, despite the waiver obtained by the health directorate, as explained by the Northern Regional Directorate for the Ghana Health Service.
He also questioned why Dr Bawumia, being a fellow northerner, did not personally finance the clearance of the container adding that; these medical supplies were meant to benefit the people of the Northern region, including his own supporters within the NPP saying it raises concerns about whether the Vice President lacks empathy for his fellow northerners.
The NDC Northern Regional Secretary, pointed out that It is important for our leaders to prioritize the well-being of their constituents, especially in times of urgent need such as a health crisis explaining that by not taking swift action or using personal resources to address this situation, it not only reflects poorly on the Vice President’s commitment to the region but also raises questions about his ability to effectively lead and serve his constituency.
He reiterated that the the Vice President’s Office seems to be involved in a situation where they are perceived as not fully committed to assisting the people in the Northern Region.
“Furthermore, we urge for a thorough investigation to uncover the beneficiaries of the medical supplies sold by the authorities at Tema Port. It is essential for the public to be informed about the unidentified individuals or entities who purchased the medical supplies container from the Tema Port”. He added.
Mr Mohammed Abdul-Salam stressed that the Tamale Teaching Hospital is currently without a dialysis machine therefore, the Vice President should have shown particular interest in Chief Zosimli Naa’s efforts to acquire such equipment for the hospital, prompting him to expedite the clearance process for the benefit of the people.
“Furthermore, rather than using their influence to promptly locate and recover the auctioned medical supplies from the port, there are allegations that the Vice President’s aide, Lawyer Akbar Yussif Rohullah Khomeini, has attempted to intimidate Robicon Mornahson and Dr. Sa-ad Iddrisu of the United States, pressuring them to remove the published story from Radio Tamale’s website or face legal action. We strongly advise the Vice President and his aide against resorting to intimidation to silence media practitioners and concerned citizens”. He added.
According to him, instead of pursuing legal action against Robicon Mornahson and Dr. Sa-ad Iddrisu, their efforts should be focused on resolving this critical issue by assisting the people of the north in uncovering the whereabouts of these medical items.
Mr Mohammed Abdul-Salam, appealed to His Royal Majesty the Yaa-Naa, chiefs, opinion leaders, religious leaders, and all concerned individuals in the Northern region to actively engage in this regrettable situation and help in the search for the location of the medical supplies valued at over $400,000, which were shipped by Chief Zosimli Naa.