Former President and Flagbearer for the NDC, John Mahama has backed plans by the government to provide MPs with bodyguards.
Speaking to the media after commiserating with the family of the murdered Mfantseman MP Ekow Quansah Hayford, John Mahama said there is a need to provide the MPs with armed bodyguards for the meantime while we work to make the country safer for all.
"It is unfortunate that in a time like this especially in a runup to an election that somebody like him, an MP who has filed his nomination for re-election should die in a way that he did. It is a call to us the leaders to make sure our people are safer, for somebody like him to die in an incident like this means that we need to wake up and make sure that we deal with the issues of armed robbery so that all our people are safe.
"I think that in a meantime we need to give some protection to our leaders like the MPs and provide them with some armed guards so that they are able to protect them while we work to make the country safer for all of us," he added.
But security Analyst, Col (rtd) Festus Aboagye said 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 in parliament on Tuesday 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"
Reports from the Central Region indicate that some two persons have been picked up in connection with the murder of Mfantseman MP Ekow Hayford Quansah.
The reports further indicated that the two were picked up by police investigators from the Central Regional Police Command.
The police have been working tirelessly to bring the perpetrators to book.
According to a Joy FM reporter in the Central Region, details of the two suspects remain sketchy and are yet to be disclosed.
One week observation service for late Mfantseman Member of Parliament, MP Ekow Quansah Hayford was held today October 15, 2020.
Mr Hayford was shot by persons believed to be highway robbers in the early hours of October 9, on the Abeadze Dominase – Abeadze Duadzi – Mankessim Road on his return from a campaign trip.
The family has announced that the final funeral rites will be held from the 27th to 29th of November.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) have replaced the late MP with his wife Mrs Ophelia Hayford as their Parliamentary Candidate for the upcoming elections.
John Boadu, General Secretary of the NPP says they engaged in a wide consultation before coming to a consensus on the decision to replace him with his wife.
The NPP sent a letter on October 12, 2020, to the EC to invoke section 13(4) of CI 127 to allow a 10-day extension of the nomination period within which period the party will file her name.
Ms Ophelia Hayford was an Assistant Superintendent of Police and has resigned from the Ghana Police Service.