The Zamfara State Government has reacted to criticisms that trailed its use of tricycle ambulances to fight the deadly COVID-19 disease.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, in a statement on Saturday, said the tricycles were “specially constructed”.
Immediately the images of the tricycle ambulances surfaced online, there were mixed reactions, with some commending it while others argued that it was degrading to use tricycles as ambulance.
Some of the critics also argued that the speed and capacity of a tricycle could not be compared to that of a bus.
Bappa said in the statement: “The attention of the Government is drawn to criticisms from certain quarters of the novel initiative of His Excellency, Governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun) on the provision of specially constructed tricycle ambulances to the state.
“For the purpose of clarification, these ambulances are specially constructed to respond to the emergency situation our country Nigeria and indeed, the World happened to find itself especially with the challenge of COVID-19.
“As part of the measures to bring health services closer to the people, the Government, despite meager resources, took it as a responsibility to provide for the remote areas of the state the facility that can aid the delivery of health care as fast and conveniently as possible.
“Hence, within its limited resources, the Government made an emergency supply of tricycles ambulances, one each to all the 147 Wards in the state. Indeed, we are at a time of epidemic which is akin to the time of war.”
The governor’s aide also disclosed that the state government earlier purchased bus ambulances and other medical supplies to combat the COVID-19.
“It should be noted that His Excellency Governor Bello Mohammed has earlier purchased 17 state of the art, fully equipped and brand new ambulances which were distributed to all the General Hospitals in the State.
“Zamfara is, therefore, addressing a war situation at a time when some of its colleagues are virtually doing nothing. In this regard, therefore, Governor Matawalle deserves our commendation, not our condemnation”, Bappa said.
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