Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of the Interior, has announced the deployment of additional 200 police personnel to the Parliamentary Protection Unit to serve as personal bodyguards to Members of Parliament (MPs). He said the 200 officers would be distributed to MPs who did not have any form of police protection.
Mr Dery announced the intended protection of MPs at a joint press briefing in Parliament by Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu after the Interior Minister had a closed-door meeting with the House.
The Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, had invited the Minister to brief members on Tuesday on the murder of Ekow Quansah Hayford, MP for Mfantseman, and measures taken to provide security for MPs.
The MP was reportedly killed by unknown assailants on the Abeadze Dominase–Abeadze Duadzi–Mankessim road in the Central Region, on his way back from a campaign trip in the early hours of Friday, October, 2020.
Mr Dery indicated that he had also contacted the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to carry through a directive from President Nana Akufo-Addo to look out for the murderers. “The approval to deploy the personnel should be immediate,” Mr Dery stressed.
He said during the closed-door interaction it was proposed that between now and the end of the year an extra 200 police personnel would have to be added to the Parliamentary Protection Unit to attain the status of a Divisional Command that would take care of MPs as bodyguards.
“What we have proposed is that between now and at the end of the year, we are going to provide additional 200 police personnel to be part of the Parliamentary Protection Unit, making it, therefore, attain the status of a Divisional Command that will take care of Members of Parliament as bodyguards,” Mr Derry said.
However: “Ideally we need to have about 800 additional police so that MPs could get police at home, day and night as done for judges and Ministers of State.” Mr Dery said a special team from the Homicide Unit of the Ghana Police Service was deployed to the Central Region, and the crime scene finger prints had been taken but no arrests yet.
He explained that providing security for MPs had always been the principle since 1992, and the protection for MPs was part of the general national security architecture, which was being taken care of by a number of strategies put in place. “The truth on the ground is that the extent of those strategies has been limited,” Mr Dery said.