Parliament opens police station to protect MPs

parliamentFollowing the recent picketing and attacks on Parliament by some demonstrators, a police station has been established on the premises of the State House to beef up security in the area.

The station, which is yet to be fully resourced, is sited near the entrance of the western entrance to the State House premises.

The Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, announced to the this to Members of Parliament in his welcome address, when the House reconvened from recess yesterday. He said the decision to establish the police station was taken by the leadership to ensure that the House was properly secured.

He said the building, which housed the police station, was released to Parliament by President John Mahama, who was once a member of the House.

About four months ago, residents of Sodom and Gomorrah a slum community in Accra, stormed Parliament and destroyed property, including buses parked at the forecourt of the State House, to protest their force eviction by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

The timely intervention of the police prevented further destruction in the House and the State House premises by the demonstrators.

Months later, a group of retired soldiers also picketed at the House to demonstrate against their unpaid salaries and emoluments. Although that protest was peaceful, the authorities claimed they were not informed of the protest.

Mr. Adjaho urged the members of the House to brace themselves up for the third meeting of the session which, according to him, would be very hectic.

The bills to be considered, include the 2016 budget and financial policy of the government as well as the appropriation bill, he said.

He appealed to the members to be punctual at all times and participate in the activities to facilitate the business of the House.

Mr. Adjaho touched on uncomplimentary public remarks against the House by some members of the public, and advised the members not to be discouraged by the criticisms, but rather, reflect on their duties as law makers and their engagement with the public.

He said the technical committee reviewing the Standing Orders of the House, and the committee developing the code of conduct for the members would soon conclude their work.

“These two documents, the code of conduct and operational manual would guide members in the conduct of their duties,” he said and urged the committees to expedite action and submit their reports without delay for consideration.

The Speaker indicated that by the end of this year, the Office of Scrutiny, which was being established to provide an independent expert advice to the House in the performance of its functions, would be fully operationalized.

He said the Job 600 building, was ready for occupation, and announced the demise of the Member of Parliament of Amenfi West, John Gyetuah. The House observed a minute silence in his honour.

By Yaw Kyei

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