The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS), a non-profit organization with an interest in safety, says the decision to provide members of Parliament (MPs) with police guards would compromise the security of the majority of Ghanaians.
The Organization said the decision would shift the attention of the country’s security services from the masses to a few privileged Ghanaians.
This was contained in a petition sent to the President and made available to the media.
Mr Ambrose Dery, the Interior Minister on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, announced that 200 police personnel would be deployed to protect MPs till the end of the year.
This followed the gruesome murder of Ekow Kwansah Hayford, the MP for Mfantseman Constituency of the Central Region on Friday, October 9, 2020, by assailants on his return from a campaign trip.
The Executive Director of the BPS, Nana Yaw Akwada, argued that 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 actually 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 in a vulnerable state.
The Ministry of the Interior has with immediate effect, deployed 200 police officers to serve as guards for MPs until the end of the year. The officers will operate under the Parliamentary Protection Unit.
Mr 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 a police officer as a bodyguard.
He also said that plans were underway to provide 800 additional police officers to protect the MPs’ homes.
“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,” the Minister said.