Police Guards for MPs: Deputy Minister for Defence dismisses public outcry


Deputy Minister for Defence, Maj. (Rtd) Derek Oduro, has dismissed concerns that the deployment of 200 police officers to serve as bodyguards for Members of Parliament will compromise the security of all Ghanaians.

Following the killing of the Mfantseman MP in a robbery attack, the Interior Minister on Tuesday announced the government’s decision to provide police protection for MPs.

However, the decision has been criticized by some Ghanaians, civil society groups and security analysts.

Speaking to Citi News, the Nkoranza North MP suggested that the criticisms are misplaced.

“The laws that we have made provisions for the security of parliamentarians and Article 71 holders. They must all be given protection. You don’t give some and leave others. This is what we are saying. If the laws say that a journalist must be given protection, the law must be applied. Security has been beefed up. We have soldiers helping immigration along the borders of Ghana. That is why terrorists have not been able to penetrate in Ghana. Haven’t they attacked all the surrounding countries?”

READ ALSO: 200 police officers to be deployed to protect members of Parliament

“Burkina Faso is a no-go area because terrorists have taken over the whole country? Isn’t there a coup in Mali? But here in Ghana, have we been attacked as predicted by the developed countries that said we were under imminent attack? It is because the security is up and doing. When we put people at the borders, other politicians complain, but they don’t know that it is for protection”, he added.

At least 800 police officers will be deployed to enhance the security of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the coming years.

This is according to Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery.

The officers will operate under the Parliamentary Protection Unit.

Speaking to the media, Ambrose Dery indicated that the additional number of police personnel will provide security for MPs at their residence.

“Subsequently, to get to where we want to get to means that, we should have 800 police added so that each MP will also have security at home in the day and night,” he said. Judges have that, Ministers have that. Indeed, the leadership of Parliament has that. Thanks to the retooling we did, we got adequate police personnel to deal with the 200, but we have to move it further”, the Minister said.

The officers will operate under the Parliamentary Protection Unit.

Under the new arrangement, every MP will be entitled to a police officer as a bodyguard.

Police protection for MPs will compromise public security – Bureau of Public Safety

The Bureau of Public Safety says the decision to provide Members of Parliament with armed police guard will compromise the security of the masses.

The Bureau says the decision will shift the attention of the country’s security services from the masses to a few privileged Ghanaians.

Executive Director of the Bureau of Public Safety, Nana Yaw Akwada, in a Citi News interview, said Ghanaians have been short-changed by that decision.

“The commitment he has made actually reduces national security which aims at providing security for the general population on offer to politicians and men of power. By so doing he has left the security of the ordinary Ghanaian to his vulnerable state. This is appalling, offensive, indecent. This single decision sends a wrong signal to the many lives which have been lost in a similar fashion”, he said.

Source: Citinewsroom