Deputy Defence Minister, Major Derick Oduro (Rtd), has dismissed concerns that the deployment of 200 police officers to serve as personal bodyguards to MPs will reduce police operational capacity.
He insisted that the police have more than enough personnel and that the decision to seek safety for MPs, as announced by Interior Minister, on Tuesday, will not affect operations of the Police Service.
This follows advice from security analyst, Col. Festus Aboagye, that the move will consequently reduce the number of available personnel for patrols and visibility duties.
But Major Oduro told the parliamentary press corps that such claim is a misnomer.
“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 MP, I see no cause to worry because he is in contact with the Police Service” he said.
He further reiterated Interior Minister Ambrose Dery’s claim that crime figures have seen a significant drop due to increased security presence between 2019 and 2020.
“If he is saying 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 MPs” he said.
Meanwhile, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has also been defending the deployment saying “MPs are also Ghanaians and they deserve protection.”
“MPs are citizens of Ghana, and like all other citizens, they deserve personal safety and security. What Parliament is simply doing, arising out of the need, is to demand an elevation for personal protection of MPs within the meaning of the privileges and facilities guaranteed them as Article 71 officeholders” he said.
Mr Iddrisu said MPs have also asked the Interior Minister to ensure general security across the country is improved.
“Our demands are not to the disadvantage of security and protection for all other Ghanaian citizens” he explained.