Ghanaian MPs call for Police protection at home after one was held hostage

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Members of Parliament have renewed calls for MPs to be given police protection at their homes as they were informed Kennedy Kankam and his family were held hostage for hours at gunpoint in his house last Sunday as unidentified assailants scaled a wall into the main yard of his residence and used a metal cutter to gain access to his bedroom.

Majority Leader Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told the House the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Nhyiaeso Constituency in the Ashanti Region escaped an assassination attempt when three unidentified gunmen allegedly raided his Nhyiaeso residence and made away with some items from the legislator’s house including a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

The Suame MP said the attacks on MPs have left other Members worried and feeling insecure saying they do not want to risk loss of lives and cited several instances where MPs travelling without security have been attacked.

Kyei Mensah Bonsu stated that the time has come for the state to take a decision on the security of Members of Parliament and that the situation is getting so worse. He therefore urged, with a humble plea, for the Interior Minister that indeed a decision be taken on the way forward about the security of Members of Parliament.

He noted that so many districts have been created and appropriately so, MMDCEs are provided with security and wondered why same cannot be provided for Members of Parliament lamenting that Members of Parliament cannot continue to imperil their lives.

The Majority Leader and Minister of Government Business in Parliament therefore entreated his colleague MPs to take their personal security seriously as the presence of a police officer, while good, is no guarantee for safety.

The Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Tamale South Constituency Hon. Haruna Iddrisu in supporting the call cited Article 71 and said the provision of protection is part of the facilities and privileges MPs must enjoy and therefore should be made available.

He called for the implementation of the recommendations of the Article 71 Committee which was inaugurated by the President to make recommendations on the salaries and allowances payable and the facilities and privileges available to Article 71 officeholders.

He however entreated his colleague MPs that as they get to work, he wants all Members of the august House ready to forfeit the ten per cent (10%) for security added to their salary which doesn’t protect them anyway or provide for their security and demanded that each Member of Parliament is provided with a close security person.

The Tamale South lawmaker therefore called on the Interior Minister to instruct the Inspector General of Police to immediately commence investigations into the attack and submit a report to Parliament for the House to know those who contracted the assailants to attack the MP since a leader of the gang was reported to have claimed they had been sent to kill Mr Kankam.

Members unanimously agreed that they believe it is important for security personnel to be detailed in the homes of all MPs and questioned why MPs are often lambasted when such calls are made.

It will be recalled that in 2016, Abuakwa North MP, Joseph Boakye Danquah Adu, was stabbed to death at his Shiashie residence in Accra in a similar fashion. Similarly, some armed men in April 2018 attacked the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo South, Mr Eric Opoku at his residence at Sankore in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The First Deputy Speaker, Hon. Joseph Osei-Wusu following the requests, directed leadership of the House to meet with the Interior Ministry and security agencies to fashion out a comprehensive plan on how to safeguard the lives of MPs and immediately commence investigations into the attack and submit a report to Parliament within a fortnight.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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