Major (Rtd) Derek Oduro, the Deputy Defence Minister, has chastised the media for inciting the general public against MPs.
According to the Deputy Defence Minister who is also the MP for Nkoranza North, MPs were voted for by the general public and they deserve to be loved by the public that gave them the mandate to represent them in Parliament and not to be hated by them.
“…As if we are from the Congo River Basin who have been brought to come and put down here to serve the nation. Meanwhile, you voted for us, you’re supposed to love us, get us closer to you but you hate parliamentarians and it is partly because some of you the media you incite the general public against us. We must be frank,” Major (Rtd) Derek Oduro told the Parliamentary Press Corps on Wednesday.
Major (Rtd) Derek Oduro’s comment follows the decision by the Interior Minister to assign personal police protection to MPs following the unfortunate murder of the Mfantseman MP last Friday dawn.
Ambrose Dery assured the MPs that 200 police personnel would be deployed to the Parliamentary Protection Unit to serve as bodyguards for MPs from October till the end of the year.
He said just like other state officials who are given special privileges under Article 71 of the Constitution, including judges, ministers of state, the Speaker and the leadership of Parliament, the 200 additional police officers will “take care of Members of Parliament”.
“Subsequently, we should have 800 police added so that each Member of Parliament will also have security at home in the day and night,” Ambrose Dery added.
This decision has been met with different reactions from the general public, with some individuals saying that every citizen deserves to be protected by the police and not only the political class.
Col. Festus Aboagye, a Security Analyst, speaking on Accra-based Joy FM mentioned that the move will consequently reduce the number of available personnel for patrols and visibility duties.
But Major Oduro insisted that the police service have enough police personnel to provide security for MPs and provide security for Ghanaians at large.
He questioned how many MPs should be killed aside the deceased Ekow Quansah Hayford and JB Danquah Adu before “we ask for this personal security for MPs?”
He argued that Ghanaians should not be annoyed that MPs are requesting for personal police protection.
“Almost 2000 Police recruits passed out last week like they do every other six months. If the Interior Minister says there will be no challenges faced over the deployment of 200 men to serve as guards to MPs, I see no cause to worry because he is in contact with the [Ghana] Police Service,” Major (Rtd) Oduro emphasized.
Major Oduro noted that MPs make laws and are not responsible for the killings in the country, therefore, the argument that until the whole country is safe before they get personal protection is irrelevant.
He added that it is their duty as MPs to question sector ministers on the happenings in the country.
“We don’t have cane here to whip sector ministers. We draw the attention for you and for me and for everybody and they sit up,” an unhappy Major (Rtd) Derek Oduro stated.
He further reiterated the Interior Minister’s claim that crime figures have seen a significant drop due to increased security presence from 2019 to 2020.
“If he is saying [it is] because of the fact that more police and military men have been produced, in addition to being given adequate support and logistics […], you should understand that security has been improved and there will be no problem in providing security for MPs,” Major (Rtd) Derek Oduro concluded.