Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North Constituency and Deputy Minister for Defence Major Derrick Oduro (rtd) has slammed critics of a move by the Minister for the Interior to provide Parliament with 200 police officers to serve as bodyguards to members.
According to him, assigning the 200 officers to MPs would not harm police work in terms of patrols and community visibility because the police service has recruited more personnel over the last four years.
He argued that critics of the plan should accept the words of the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, who has given assurance that the police have no problem fulfilling the demands of Members of Parliament for bodyguards following the murder MP for Mfantseman, Ekow Quansah Hayford.
Speaking in an interview in Parliament, Major Oduro, indicated that Parliamentarians have the right to demand this privilege because other Article 71 Office Holders are provided with personal security details to ensure their safety.
“The law says that we should be giving so don’t give two and leave one. This is all that we are saying so you should not be annoyed that we are asking for what we are required to be given because this is what the law says,” he stated.
Mfantseman MP Ekow Hayford was gunned down by robbers last Thursday night when he visited some communities in the constituency to campaign after he had filed his nomination to contest the 2020 parliamentary elections.
According to reports, the robbers after discovering he was an MP, accused him of the problems in Ghana and shot him in cold blood.
His death sparked outrage in Parliament with members reiterating calls for MPs to be given armed police escorts as provided for members of other arms of government namely the executive and the judiciary.
The Major retired argued that per a statement by the Interior Minister, armed robbery has come down by 53% compared to last year while the general crime rate has decreased by 10% from 2019.
According to him, more policemen and soldiers have also been produced over the last few years and have been given adequate support, logistics, and equipment to carry out their duties effectively.
He disclosed that last two weeks, almost 2,000 police officers passed out and that every six months more pass out, which is testimony that the Police Service has enough men for deployment.
He argued that the situation, however, cannot be described as one hundred percent because it is impossible to achieve an ideal situation.
Major Oduro pointed out that if the Interior Minister has evaluated the situation and has concluded that MPs could finally be provided with personal police protection, it simply means the law is finally being applied as required.