Ghana Parliament

Members of Parliament (MPs) on Monday called for increased protection for Ghanaians and legislators alike, owing to the flurry of vicious crimes in recent times, urging the police to step up efforts to curtail such horrid offences.

The law-makers contend that the recent spate of armed robberies and suspected contract killings across the country, which the police have still not unravelled, had created a state of fear and insecurity in the public, insisting that the police be given the necessary assistance to tackle the problem.

The MPs were reacting to statements made on the floor of Parliament by Mrs Ursula Owusu, MP for Ablekuma West and Kennedy Osei Nyarko, MP for Akim Swedru, drawing attention to, and condemning, the rising incidence of robbery and brutal murders in the country.

They said even though they were not sure of the definite causes of the crimes, some had the semblance of contract killings, where people settled scores by hiring others to annihilate their rivals.

The legislators expressed the unease that their work exposed them to danger from disgruntled opponents, constituents and the public, saying they could become targets for contract killers.

They said there was the urgent need for personal security for parliamentarians, and urged government to consider their demand.

Mrs Owusu said the get-rich-quick syndrome, as well as impatience and intolerance among some young people and their unwillingness to use established processes and procedures to resolve differences, could be part of the reason for the rising tension in the country.

She noted that while some of the killings could have been carried out on contract basis, some of the perpetrators could also be armed robbers who assaulted their victims before or after robbing them, questioning the preparedness of the police to provide protection for the citizens.

Mrs Owusu urged the law enforcement agencies to conduct thorough investigations, arrest and successfully prosecute the killers as well as the instigators and organisers of the crimes.

She also requested that the police expanded their night patrol coverage, and intensified public education on how the criminals operated, and what the public should do when faced with dangerous situations.

The law-maker called for the provision of security for all Members of Parliament, just as the Judiciary and Executive, adding, ?Let us not wait till one of us falls victim to these marauding ?criminals for hire? before we act,? she said.

Mr Osei-Nyarko praised the Ghana Police Service for being pro-active, commending especially their recent high visibility policing, urging them to intensify patrolling in the neighbourhoods, particularly during blackouts when criminals carried out their nefarious activities.

He also called on the police to speed up investigations into the recent killings, and to make their investigations known to the public, to enable them plan their daily activities in sync with recommendations from such reports.

Mr Dominic Azumah, MP for Garu, called for an effective collaboration between the police and the public through information sharing, to get to the bottom of crimes.

He said the impunity with which crimes were being committed in Ghana in recent times was intolerable, urging the Police to act assuredly and decisively to put the nation at peace.

Mr Barton- Odro, First Deputy Speaker, directed that both statements and contributions made on the matter, be sent to the Interior Minister who should appear before the House to make a policy statement on the issue.

On March 10, 2014, the Chief of Joma, a village near Ablekuma in Accra, Nii Ayitey Noyaatse, was shot dead in his bedroom. And three days later on March 13, 2014, Fennec Okyere, a 30-year-old man, was murdered in his home as he slept.

Other gruesome murders include that of Mr Kwesi Sakyi Prah, the 34-year -old Manager of the Akosombo branch of Zenith Bank; Mr Emmanuel Asante Akuffo, a 41-year-old banker with Fidelity Bank, who was shot and robbed in February, this year.

In December, 2013 Rosemond Nyampong, a 32-year-old woman who worked at Stanbic Bank, was murdered in her house.

Other recent murders include the killing of the Chief of Seikwa in the Brong Ahafo Region, Nana Kwaku Dwomo Ankoana, who was shot in his house; a 26-year-old vulcaniser, Rashid Mustapha, whose body was found in the Aboabo forest in Tamale, and the 29-year- old Network Engineer, who was shot several times at his residence in Tamale. GNA

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