President Nana Akufo-Addo on Friday extended his deepest condolence to the Speaker and Members of Parliament (MPs) over the gruesome murder of Ekow Quansah Hayford, MP for Mfantseman.
“It is a very sad day for all of us in Ghana,” President Akufo-Addo said in a letter to the House.
The late Quansah Hayford, MP for Mfantseman Constituency in the Central Region, was reportedly shot dead by unknown assailants.
According to eyewitnesses, the MP was shot on the Abeadze Dominase – Mankessim road when returning from a campaign trip in the early hours of Friday, October 9, 2020.
President Akufo-Addo assured the Speaker Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye and members of the House that every effort would be made by the law enforcement agencies to apprehend quickly the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
He reassured that government would continue to take and intensify all appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of members and citizens of the country as they go about their lawful duties especially during the period of democratic accountability.
“May God Bless Members of Parliament and us all, May God bless our homeland Ghana and make us great and strong,” President Akufo-Addo added.
Mr Moses Anim, Second Deputy Majority Chief Whip recounted that the House woke up to a sad news of their colleague who was dastardly murdered in a cold blood as he was returning from a campaign trip and expressed the condolence of the House to the wife and children and the bereaved family of the deceased.
“On behalf of Parliament, Mr Speaker we send condolences to the bereaved family, wife and children especially the core family and the rest.”
Mr Anim also reiterated the call for MPs to be provided with security saying that as MPs they were not there only to serve their families or Parliament alone but were assets of the State of Ghana.
“Mr Speaker it is not that Members of Parliament are special from the rest of the people. Mr Speaker it is just that as MPs we are not owned by our families neither are we owned parliament alone but owned the State of Ghana.”
He argued that as a Minister of State can be targeted because of his political position, so also can the MP be a target for anybody who wants to terminate his life or harm him.
Mr Anim said letters written by Speaker Prof Oquaye, Chairman of the Parliamentary Service Board to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to request the Police to provide security to the MPs in this election had not yielded the appropriate response.
He said as MPs they were not calling for a special dispensation because they were special, adding that the safety and protection of every Ghanaian was paramount.
Mr Anim observed, however that MPs were vulnerable, and targeted as much as Ministers of State, MMDCEs or any other political person.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader expressed the condolence of the House to bereaved family saying the circumstances of their colleague’s demise were unnatural and unacceptable.
He said the murder of Ekow Hayford added up to the killing of the late J.B. Danquah, MP for Abuakwa North in February, 2016 whose death was still unresolved.
He said the murder of Ekow Hayford should be a wake-up call to the House to take security of MPs as a primary concern.
Mr Iddrisu argued that there was no group of persons who were under the Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution which did no enjoy police protection, saying that District Chief Executives and Ministers of State were not higher in terms of elevation or constitutional framework above the MP.
“So, Mr Speaker the matter of our personal safety and security should be of serious concern to the House,” he added.
Mr Iddrisu called on the IGP and the Minister of Interior to act on the matter expeditiously and diligently bring a report on it to the House.
“We need to know the circumstances that led to the murder of our colleague,” the Minority Leader said.