The Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa North, Hon James Agalga, has called on government through the Parliamentary Service, to resource the Ghana Police Service rather than engagement of additional private security services.
According to him, the police’ presence alone is enough to scare any potential criminal but expressed the view that, the police need adequate and modern gadgets to detect and contain eventualities.
Last Saturday when Parliament was recalled to swear in the Speaker as acting President of the country, some dangerous looking men alleged to have been recruited by parliamentary service were brought into public gallery of the chamber and later at the entrance.
Officers of parliament did not disclose to the MPs about their presence but were only seen in black overall jackets undergoing training on weekends at both the Chamber and Job 600.
Some MPs, especially of the Minority suspected the recruits were being drawn from the dreaded goon squads affiliated to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) such as the Delta Force, Invisible Forces among others.
However, speaking to THE REPUBLIC, Mr Agalga who is the Ranking member on the Defence and Interior Committee of parliament said, though he was not briefed on the peculiar reason for engaging private security in parliament, the move was completely unnecessary since there is state security presence to protect parliament.
He explained that, sometime in 2015, government realized that security of parliament was so porous, so the then Speaker Rt Hon Doe Adjaho with the then Minister for the Interior, through the Police service, established a District Police Command to serve parliament and it’s immediate environs.
He said, since the presence of the police, nothing untoward has happened for which reason one could doubt the capacity of the police to handle security and wondered why Parliament as an institution could be engaging additional security from the private sector when the police have not reneged on their responsibility.
In his considered view, no matter what the concerns may be, the expectation was that the state’s recognized security agencies should be the ones deployed to provide security to the legislators.
“In fact I was not present on Saturday (January 27), I also did not have briefing or information from my leadership, thus we the Minority but as it may be, I think the police presence here is enough. What I think we should be doing is to look other ways as to how to resources and equip our police presence here with more sophisticated gadgets, modern security scanners and others, but not spending tax payer money to engage private security in addition to the police.”
“But one thing we have to ask ourselves is, if we engage the private security and one day there is security lapses, whom do we blame or ask to know what happened,?” Mr Agalga asked rhetorically.
Mr Agalga further expressed doubt on the need for the responsibility of providing security for Members of Parliament to be in the domain of a private security, let alone an entity that it recruiting agency is unknown, stating, “as we speak, we could not tell if the company that train them is a licensed and registered private security company, what are their role in parliament are going to be.”
In addition to that , the former Deputy Minister for the Interior said after the Kwabenya police station incident, it was gathered from the police and the Minister for National Security that, all what our security service and forces needed to be was retooling.
He therefore called on government to rather resource all the various security services and forces to be able to handle crime rather than engaging private security at places where state security are working.
The Builsa North lawmaker also condemned the attack on the police station and noted that citizens ought to help the security services to give up their best in crime combat.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba