Bureau of Public Safety kicks against police protection for MPs

The Bureau of Public Safety says it would be unfair and an act of injustice if 275 MPs should be protected at Ghanaians’ expense

Ghana News Agency (Accra) – The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS), a non-profit organisation with an interest in safety, says the decision to provide MPs with police guards would compromise the security of most Ghanaians.

The Bureau of Public Safety said the decision would shift the attention of the country’s security services from the masses to a few privileged Ghanaians. This argument was set out in a petition sent to President Akufo-Addo.

On Tuesday 13 October Ambrose Dery, the Interior Minister, announced that 200 police personnel will be deployed to protect MPs until the end of the year.

The decision followed the gruesome murder on Friday 9 October 2020 of Ekow Kwansah Hayford, the MP for Mfantseman in the Central Region, on his return from a campaign trip.

Act of injustice

But Nana Yaw Akwada, executive director of the BPS, said it would be unfair and an act of injustice if 275 MPs should be protected at the expense of Ghanaians.

“The commitment the Interior Minister has made reduces national security, which aims at providing security for the general population and offering such security to politicians and men of power. By so doing, he has left the security of the ordinary Ghanaian to his vulnerable state,” the petition said.

The Ministry of the Interior has deployed 200 police officers with immediate effect to serve as guards to MPs until the end of this year. The officers will operate under the Parliamentary Protection Unit.

Dery 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 the services of a police officer who will act as a bodyguard.

He also said that plans are under way to provide 800 additional police officers to protect the MPs’ homes.

Higher status

“Due to the retooling of the security agencies by President Akufo-Addo, the country has more security agencies and security personnel available,” the minister said.

“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 a 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,” Dery said.

Ambrose Dery was summoned by Parliament to answer questions following the killing of the Mfantseman MP.

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Ghana News Agency
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