Prime News Ghana

Assigning bodyguards to all MPs will affect police visibility operations - Festus Aboagye

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Security Analyst, Col (rtd) Festus Aboagye says the decision of the Interior Minister Ambrose Dery to assign bodyguards to all MPs will affect the operations of the police service.

Festus Aboagye said the new arrangement will require the IGP to withdraw police officers from some operations to be assigned to these MPs.

"What the MPs have done amounts to an MP grievance... the areas of operations of the police let's say patrolling and rapid response are going to suffer. Because the IGP will necessarily have to withdraw police officers from some of the operational elements, it may entail a reduction in the number of patrols, a reduction in the 24 hour patroling somehow police visibility operations will suffer."

The Minister for Interior Ambrose Dery yesterday in parliament announced that all Members of Parliament will be given personal bodyguards to protect them.

He also announced that henceforth some 200 police personnel will be deployed to Parliament to protect individual MPs.

This was announced after a close-door meeting meant to brief Parliamentarians on the plans for them over security.

Ambrose Dery speaking to the media after the meeting said plans are in place to improve security.

"We have been abreast with happenings in parliament which resulted in my invitation to come and talk on the floor about measures put in place to protect Members of Parliament. First of all, I want you to note that security for Parliamentarians has always been the principle. From 1992 we had the Parliamentary Protection Unit of the Police Service here. What has remained over the years is the extent to which the security has been provided which relates to the capacity of the agencies to do so among others. I want you to understand that protection of parliamentarians is part of the general national security architecture which is being taken care off by a number of strategies put in place. However so far the extent has been limited, the security at parliament has always there but when we leave we have no protection. When you look at the category of persons given bodyguards, residential protection by the police for day and night they fall in the group that we deal with in Article 71 and so the security is part of the facilities available to members of parliament. What we have proposed is that between now and the end of the year we are going to provide additional 200 police personnel to be part of parliamentary security but ideally, we would have 800 personnel so they provide the MP with security for day and night"

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye on Friday summoned Interior Minister Ambrose Dery to appear before the house.

This was as a result of the killing of Mfantseman MP Ekow Quansah Hayford.

The lawmaker was shot and killed instantly on a road last week, with the initial reports linking the shocking death to a possible robbery case and his death has generated a lot of talks.