COP Bright Oduro, a former Director General of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, has expressed dissension on a decision by the state to dedicate 800 police officers to protect Members of Parliament (MPs) following the gruesome murder of their colleague Ekow Quansah Hayford.
COP Oduro noted that there have been several killings in the country including police officers and others.
However, no such decision was taken to give special attention to the security needs of those in the same profession with the killed.
He suggested while speaking on the Key Point programme on TV3 Saturday October 17 that conscious efforts must be made to improve upon the general security of the country.
He further noted that this decision will weaken the Police service because the numbers are already not encouraging.
To that end, he suggested that private security agencies should be given contracts to play a role in this plan.
The Interior Minister Ambrose Dery has given the assurance that some 800 police personnel would be deployed to provide security for MPs at home at all times following the gruesome murder of the lawmaker.
Mr Dery said another 200 police personnel would be deployed to the Parliamentary Protection Unit to serve as bodyguards for Members of Parliament (MPs) from October to the end of 2020.
“Subsequently, we should have 800 police added so that each Member of Parliament will also have security at home in the day and night,” he stated.
But COP Oduro told host of the programme Abena Tabi that “I have a difficulty with that because it is not only parliamentarians who have been killed. You have police officers who have been killed, civilians have been killed but there haven’t been any arrangement to protect those whose colleagues have been killed.
“Of course, we understand the work that parliamentarians do but to give them two police officers in the House and then one to travel or move with, I think we have taken a big chunk of the police strength".
“I was thinking that we can bring in the private security organizations to take care of them especially in the house.”
For his part, a constitutional lawyer Martin Kpedu also asked the state to scale up security for the general populace and not Members of Parliament (MPs) alone.
Mr Kpedu told Abena Tabi on the show that all lives matter in the country hence, the need to provide security for all.
There have been concerns among a section of the Ghanaian public that the state is paying too much attention to the security needs of the lawmakers whereas the general security of the country is not the best following the killings of other important personalities such as law Professor Emmanuel Yaw Benneh.
Sharing his perspectives on this development, Mr Martin Kpebu noted that at the moment Ghana does not have enough police officers therefore, dedicating 800 officers to cater for MPs alone will create problems for the security of the country.
He further stated that if the security of the general populace has been better there will not have been a need to give preferential treatment to MPs in relation to their security. To that end, he said the attention must be tilted towards strengthening security of the entire country.
“If we are to increase security in the general population there will be no need for heavy personal security for the MP".
“It is because the Police numbers are down, totally below the required standards that is why you have this,” he said.
He added “So if you increase security for the general populace it will be a less need for the personal heavy security. Let us do that one first because all lives matter.”
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