The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has made a strong case for the state to take steps to provide security for Members of Parliament (MPs) to protect them against attacks by unguarded members of society.

He said per the nature of the work of MPs in terms of their investigative and inquisitorial functions, they incurred the anger of some members of society who would want to harm the MPs.

Therefore, he said, it was crucial for the legislators to be given adequate security to guarantee their safety.

The Speaker's comments followed a statement made by the MP for Abuakwa North, Ms Gifty Twum-Ampofo, to mark the one-year anniversary of the demise of a former MP for Abuakwa North, Mr Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu.

He was stabbed to death at his residence in Accra on February 9, 2016.

Two people are being prosecuted for the murder of the legislator.

The Speaker said he had given the House Committee and the Privileges Committee of Parliament two weeks to examine the issue of MPs’ security and make recommendations on how to improve the situation.

"So we want these committees to look carefully at the fact that we have inquisitorial, investigative functions in the oversight arena and make appropriate recommendations to include personal police security for MPs in their homes.

"They are also to examine further matters concerning our entire security in this area and the fact that Parliament does not own the properties surrounding Parliament," he said.

Prof. Oquaye asked the committees to consider the possibility of asking the Executive to release the surrounding properties to Parliament to have an enclave to ensure security and decency in and around Parliament House.

"I pledge we will all assist to let the Executive understand and provide the relevant security for members," he said.

Public reminder

The Speaker noted that MPs, in doing their work with vigilance, might fall foul of certain sectional and selfish interests in society.

For instance, he said, the work of MPs at the Appointments Committee and the Public Accounts Committee might appear unpleasant to certain persons at any given time.

"So is it with all oversight functions. When this House is examining contracts and perusing them effectively, some people may not want that to happen. In this connection, members' lives may be like the lives of auditors. When members ask for protection, it is something that has to be put in the appropriate context," he said.

Other contributions

Ms Twum-Ampofo had said one year on, not much had been done on the case and called for a reopening of enquiry into the murder.

The Minister for the Interior and MP for Nandom, Mr Ambrose Dery, said he would liaise with the police to know how far they had gone with investigations, after which he would brief the House.

The MP for Tano North, Ms Freda Akosua Prempeh, asked the Judiciary to expedite action on the trial of the alleged murderers of the MP.

The First Deputy Minority Whip and MP for Banda, Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, said Mr Danquah-Adu’s murder had created awareness of the need to improve security for MPs.