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Parliament considers inviting Interior Minister over security concerns

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery
Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery

Parliament is considering inviting the Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, to brief the House on the security situation in the country.

The Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, made the application last Friday for the Minister of the Interior to inform the House about the security condition, given the recent kidnappings in some parts of the country.

He said the three girls kidnapped in Takoradi had not been found despite earlier assurances by the police that their whereabouts were known.

Abduction

Mr Ablakwa explained that the Interior Minister may have to brief Parliament following the abduction of two Canadian citizens in Kumasi on June 4.

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Bailen Chitty, 19 years, and Lauren Patricia Catherine, 20 years, were forced into a vehicle at about 8:20 p.m, just when they had stepped out of their apartment at Silver Spring in Kumasi.

He said an Indian business man, an Estonian diplomat and two Canadians had also been kidnapped, adding that the kidnapping of the two Canadians had received wide publication by the international media, including the BBC.

Mr Ablakwa, who spoke further on the issue with journalists, said such publications had the tendency to affect the country's image as a safe haven for investors.

"The three Takoradi girls have not been found. An Indian business man, an Estonian diplomat and two Canadians have also been kidnapped.

"We (MPs) want to appreciate exactly what happened. It does not bode well for the image of Ghana. It drives away investors", he said.

Security

Mr Ablakwa said there was general insecurity in the country, which demanded urgent actions to curb the situation.

He said Ghanaians had entrusted the security of the country to the government, and therefore, it was important for the Minister of the Interior to keep the legislators updated about the security situation.

"One criminal act is not something you can ignore, especially when lives are at stake. It affects our image as a business friendly destination." he emphasised.

"We have entrusted our security in the hands of the government. It has to ensure that we are safe. The government does not have a grip on the security situation," he contended.

Speaker's directive

In his remarks, the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, rejected the suggestion by Mr Ablakwa that there was general insecurity in the country.

 Nonetheless, the Majority Leader said he supported the need to invite the Interior Minister over to brief the House on the security situation, particularly so as kidnapping cases were issues of security.

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, asked the leadership of Parliament to meet on the issue and determine whether to invite the Minister to brief the House on the security situation.