Majority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, appears upset by criticisms against the provision of police protection for Members of Parliament (MPs).
He wonders why some are so dead set against police guard for members of the Legislature, who are the second arm of goverment.
To him, Parliamentarians are more politically exposed to danger than members of the Judiciary and ministers and their deputies who are not MPs but yet enjoy the police protection in their line of duty.
Speaking in an interview on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Kyei Mensah Bonsu pointed out that among the three arms of government it is only the Legislature which does not have police protection, eventhough in their line of work, they directly interact with the media and the public during the campaign season.
“Judges are given protection – even though they are not exposed like Members of Parliament – and this is because in passing judgment in a case they can attract the wrath of aggrieved losers who might feel lost the judge has been bribed to give such a ruling. In view of this, the judge may be ambushed and this is the reason why judges have police bodyguards and it is in this same manner that MPs operate.
“They also pass laws or defend a law in Parliament or even expose wrongdoings of the executive member in the interest of the nation, and in some cases this can generate hatred….They can also be ambushed on their way home or possibly killed”, he stressed.
The Majority Leader further stated that taking into account the order of importance in the governance system, MPs need to be provided with police protection.
Additionally, he said, if there is security presence at Parliament House and MPs are indeed considered as “national assets”, then it falls into line that such assets are jealously guarded.
“If non-MP Ministers and the non-MP deputy ministers are given police protection, why is it that if you call for police protection for the MPs then some become agitated? If we are taking it in order of importance, after the President, the Vice, Speaker, Chief Justice, the next group of people is MPs and not MMDCEs; but even not ministers. In the Presidential system, MPs come before the Ministers but if you call for MPs to be given police protection, some people don’t understand”, he wondered.
“At Parliament House, there is security presence due to the nature of our work. Therefore if security is provided at the House to protect the MPs yet the same people are going home without police protection, does it sound logical?…After spending huge sums of monies to train them both locally and abroad to become assets for the nation, some are agitating against police protection for these assets… This is why we are saying that MPs need police guards around them,” Kyei Mensah-Bonsu argued.