‘It cost 10 times more to replace MP than minister’ ‘Napo’ wants security for MPs

Manhyia South MP Matthew Opoku Prempeh says the demand for state protection for parliamentarians can no longer be trivialized following the murder of Abuakwa North MP JB Danquah-Adu.

He said Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu’s fatal stabbing in his bedroom last Tuesday dawn has added to several dangerous, though not tragic, attacks on MPs.

“In a short while in parliament, not less than seven MPs have been attacked in the bosom of their bedrooms which could have easily ended up in murder”, he said on Multi TV/Joy FM Newsfile Saturday.

Picking out examples of MPs who have found themselves in harm’s way, the Manhyia South MP popularly known as ‘Napo’ recalled that Lower Akim West MP Gifty Klenam was attacked by five armed robbers right in her bedroom.

“Benita Owusu Bio was sleeping on the bed when armed robbers entered the bedroom” and MP for Atwima Mponua Isaac Asiamah Kwame was robbed twice in his bedroom, the out-spoken MP said.

Napo mentioned that Abokobi-Madina MP Alhaji Sorogho and Bia West MP Michael Kofi Boampong have all been robbed.

Matthew Opoku Prempeh said the ‘excuse’ made in sections of the public, that improved general security will translate into better security for MPs is unsustainable because Prime Ministers have been shot dead in countries with better general security.

According to the Manhyia South MP, many more MPs have had to hire security men for their private protection, a situation he considered unfair.

The 1992 constitution under Article 71 lists certain public office holders who are required to be protected by the state. It includes ministers, judges and parliamentarians.

But Matthew Opoku Prempeh suggested that between the executive, parliament and the judiciary, MPs have suffered discrimination when it comes to security entitlements. Judges and ministers plus their deputies have police protection but the MP is left to take care of his security, Napo lamented.

Making a comparison, Matthew Opoku Prempeh said “the cost of replacing an MP is probably 10 times more than replacing a cabinet minister because you have to go and do a bye-election”.

“Ask all government the cost of conducting a bye-election” the MP built his case for state protection.

More soon…