Parliament has directed the Interior Ministry and the security agencies to meet with the leadership of the house to fashion out a comprehensive plan to safeguard the lives of Members of Parliament (MPs).
This follows renewed calls made by Members of Parliament (MPs) that each member should to be given police protection in their homes after an attack on New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Nhyiaso Constituency, Mr Kennedy Kankam and his family.
The MP and his family were held at gunpoint in his house for close to three hours last Sunday by three unidentified gunmen who scaled a wall into the MP’s house and broke into his bedroom using a metal cutter.
They made away with some items from the legislator’s house, including a four-wheel drive.
In 2016, Abuakwa North MP, Joseph Boakye Danquah Adu, was stabbed to death at his Shiashie residence in Accra in a similar fashion.
The Majority Leader, Mr Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, who raised the issue on the Floor of Parliament, on Wednesday, questioned why district chief executives had been given police protection but MPs had been ignored.
“We have so many districts that have been created and yet, appropriately so, MMDCEs have been provided with police protection, why can’t we do same for Members of Parliament”, he asked.
He said the attacks on MPs had left other members worried and feeling insecure, adding that “I think going forward, the country should make a determined effort and be decisive about this because we cannot continue to imperil the lives of Members of Parliament”.
According to the Majority Leader, many MPs had suffered robberies because many of them were not accompanied by security personnel.
The Majority Leader also chronicled several instances where MPs travelling without security had been attacked.
“I think the time has come for the state to take a decision on the security of Members of Parliament as the situation is getting worse, I will urge the Interior Minister that indeed a decision be taken on the way forward about the security of Members of Parliament.”
The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, agreeing with the submission made by the Majority Leader, cited Article 71 of the Constitution and said the provision of protection was part of the facilities and privileges MPs must enjoy and so it should be made available.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Tamale South MP said the Article 71 Committee had been inaugurated by the President to make recommendations on the salaries and allowances payable and the facilities and privileges available to Article 71 office holders.
He advised that as the committee got to work, MPs must be “ready to forfeit that 10 per cent for security added to their salary which doesn’t protect them in anyway or provide for their security.
The Minority Leader wanted the Interior Minister to instruct the Inspector General of Police to immediately commence investigations into the attack on the MP and submit a report to Parliament within a fortnight.
He said members wanted to know who contracted the assailants to attack the MP since a leader of the gang claimed they had been sent to kill Mr Kankam. – GraphicOnline