Beefing up security of MPs is not asking for too much- Patrick Boamah
The chairman of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Patrick Boamah believes it is the right time to beef up the security of Members of Parliament given the latest terrorist attack in London.
Hon.Boamah, who described the terror attack at the British Parliament on Wednesday as unfortunate and indicated that it must be condemned by everyone in the world.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee, however revealed that the attack also raises concern in Ghana’s Parliament with regard to security.
On what Ghana’s Parliament can do to avert a security breach, the Member of Parliament for Okaikwei Central, emphasised that MPs are vulnerable in the chamber.
He said; “It is an issue, we have been discussing for sometime now and unfortunately the way it is played out in the media sets the public against Members of Parliament. But we must understand that we have 275MPs representing over 28m people, so if MPs ask for security, I don’t think they will have asked for anything out of the ordinary.
According to the Member of Parliament for Okaikwei Central, MPs are too exposed to dangers given the easy access to the premises of Parliament.
“That is not to say that MPs are asking for preferential treatment… if some people have taken risks to take up this job, then I believe the state must also ensure that they are well protected.”
This is because it you represent 200,000 people and you are asking for protection at night, the way the press presents it, makes us feel very uncomfortable, so if MPs ask for security they wouldn’t have asked for anything. We are too exposed to dangers…people come to the cafeteria, tea area, gallery, walk to your office, to the extent that the chamber is unsecured, anybody at all can walk to the chamber and start firing because the security here is lax.”he told B&FT in an interview.
He also maintained that the MPs’ call for improved security did not mean a disregard for the security of the general citizenry or “a preferential treatment”.
A ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, also noted the need for a constant review of security protocols in Parliament to preempt possible security breaches.
“It is important to acknowledge that, even before this Westminster attack, we as a House had been presented with a terrible assessment by national security about the security at the precincts of the Ghanaian parliament.
You can never really be sure if the measures you have put in place are adequate, so what I would call for is a constant review. The leadership of the House, the Marshal’s Department and National Security, must always be engaged in a constant review and must always be assessing what the potential threats are.”Hon.Ablakwa said.