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General News of Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

MPs don't need special protection, civilians are most affected by robberies – Festus Aboagye

A security analyst has said available data on incidents of armed robbery and gun murders in Ghana shows it is civilians, and not Members of Parliament, that are the most affected.

Col Festus Aboagye (rtd) said while the Members of Parliament are making a case for special protection, at the same time and with the same degree of vehemence and passion, they must make a case for the creation of a police service that is capable of delivering security to every Ghanaian.

“The point I am trying to make is that security as a commodity must be provided for everybody in this country,” he stressed.

Col Festus Aboagye made these comments to GhanaWeb shortly before the Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery, announced the deployment of 200 police personnel to the Parliamentary Protection Unit to serve as personal bodyguards to Members of Parliament.

He said the 200 officers would be distributed to MPs who did not have any form of police protection.

Mr Dery announced the intended protection of MPs at a joint press briefing in Parliament by Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu after the Interior Minister had a closed-door meeting with the House.

The Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, had invited the Minister to brief members on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, on the murder of Ekow Quansah Hayford, MP for Mfantseman, and measures taken to provide security for MPs.

Before Tuesday’s announcement to provide the MPs with police protection, the Legislators had been pushing for it on grounds that they lack the specialised security provided to the other two arms of government, namely the Executive and the Judiciary.

But Festus Aboagye, a respected analyst attached to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), disagrees.

“A recent study on crime statistics in Ghana…reveals that in 2017, there were 1,772 robberies and 609 murders; in 2018, the robberies went up to 1,919 and the murders dropped from 609 to 500.

“The point I am making is when you disaggregate this data, how many of the robberies were against the politicians and how many were against ordinary civilians? When you look at the murders, 609 in 2017 and 500 in 2018, how many of these, each year, were against politicians and how many were against civilians?” he quizzed.

He added: “The worry I have is that they are saying that we are special, that we are part of the three arms of government so while the two arms have protection, some of us don’t have except that some of us become part of the other two arms…and therefore the remaining members of Parliament must also be accorded security. That is fine. But Parliament is a forum where they represent the people and they know that the people don’t have security so they must find a way of ensuring that the people have security.”

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