Following the public disagreement that has met the decision to give Members of Parliament personal police protection, the Member of Parliament for Akuapem North, Osei Bonsu Amoah has downplayed assertions that the move is a preferential treatment being given to members of the legislature.
OB Amoah who is a member of Parliaments Subsidiary Legislation Committee has urged Ghanaians to do away with the notion that Members of Parliament are being given a preferential treatment with the deployment of police officers to serve as their individual personal bodyguards considering their role in governance.
“It is only when you move to the Executive before they think about security. But when you are part of the legislature, your security as far as escort and detail are concerned, may be looked at differently. So if the Ministry of Interior thinks that, this should be addressed, I think it is in the right direction. The public should not see it as giving preferential treatment to certain persons. Because we are public persons and play a major role in our governance system,” the MP is reported to have told Citi Fm.
The Minister of Interior, Ambrose Derry announced in parliament that about 800 police officers will be deployed to provide security at the residence of MPs well as bodyguarding service.
This means every MP will eventually receive 3 officers, two of whom will provide security at their private residence while the remaining officer will provide bodyguarding services.
Until the Ghana Police Service is ready to provide the full complement of the 800 plus police officers to be attached to the Parliamentary Protection Unit, the police in the interim have made available 200 officers who will serve as bodyguards to the MPs.
This action comes after the murder of the Member of Parliament for Mfantseman, Ekow Quansah Hayford in a suspected highway robbery attack which prompted the leadership of parliament to invite the Interior Minister to provide a detailed plan for the protection of MPs.
Even though Members of Parliament and the government have justified the decision to provide personal security for MPs, Civil Society groups, security analysts and other Ghanaians are criticizing the move as selfish and self-serving.