Police protection for MPs ‘appalling’ – Bureau of Public Safety

Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery

The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) has described as appalling, the decision to provide MPs with security following the murder of a colleague.

“This single decision sends a wrong signal to the many lives which have been lost a similar fashion”, Executive Director of BPS, Nana Yaw Akwada.

After repeated calls by the MPs, Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery showed up in parliament to announce that 200 police personnel would be deployed to the lawmakers.

The armed police guards would protect MPs till the end of the year, he explained the temporary arrangement.

The MPs have been at a loss to understand why ministers and even District Chief Executives have security but not the representatives of the people.

And when the Mfantseman MP, Ekow Quansah Hayford was killed last Friday dawn by suspected armed robbers, the anger of the MPs seethed.

While the MPs appear appeased for the moment, an organisation, the Bureau of Public Safety has expressed disappointment.

Executive Director of BPS, Nana Yaw Akwada

The BPS called the decision “appalling, offensive, indecent.”

According to BPS, the decision would not serve the interest of the masses; rather, the few privileged Ghanaians.

“The commitment [Ambrose Dery] has made actually reduces national security which aims at providing security for the general population and offering such security to politicians and men of power.”

Executive Director of BPS, Nana Yaw Akwada, said that decision has short-changed Ghanaians.

“By so doing, [the minister] has left the security of the ordinary Ghanaian to his vulnerable state.”

The Ministry of Interior said the officers would operate under the Parliamentary Protection Unit.

Ghana’s parliament has 275 MPs. But the latest protection unit would guard MPs who are not members of the Executive.

Slain Mfantseman MP, Ekow Quansah Hayford

He told members of the Parliamentary Press Corps after an in-camera session with MPs that under the new arrangement every MP will be entitled to a police officer as a bodyguard.

He also disclosed that plans are underway to provide 800 additional police officers to protect the homes of the MPs.

“Due to the retooling of the security agencies by President Akufo-Addo, the country has more security agencies and security personnel available. So we have proposed that, between now and the end of the year, we are going to provide an additional 200 police personnel to be part of the parliamentary protection unit. We are making this arrangement to ensure that the unit attains the status of divisional police command to take care of the Members of Parliament as bodyguards.”

“Ideally, to get to where we want to get to means that, subsequently, we should have 800 police added so that each MP will also have security at home in the day and night.”

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