Parliament on Friday, October 9, grieved over Mr Ekow Quansah Hayford, MP for Mfantseman, allegedly shot dead the previous day and summoned the Interior Minister to the House on Tuesday, October 13 to assure members of their safety.
Members on both sides condemned the reported gruesome murder of their colleague, suspected to have been assailed and killed by armed robbers on his return from filing his nomination as the parliamentary candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the next December elections, which he followed with a rally.
News of the murder captured both the local and international airwaves on early Friday morning, following which the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, sent a letter of condolence to the House on the demise of the legislator.
When he finished reading the letter, and after contributions on a brief statement on the murder by Mr Moses Anim, Deputy Majority Chief Whip, followed by contributions from both sides, Speaker of Parliament Prof Aaron Oquaye, directed that the Minister of Interior should be in the House next Tuesday, to assure the House of the safety of members.
“I respectfully direct that the Honorable Minister of Interior should appear in this House on Tuesday, October 13 to assure the safety of Honourable Members, their protection and give explanation particularly in relation to this.”
He described the murder as making the day “sad, for democracy in Ghana”, and wondered what crime the MP committed to deserve such treatment.
Speaker Oquaye reiterated the need for protection and safety of legislators, even in sister West African nation Nigeria, where the safety, protection of legislators is paramount.
“It looks as if it is real danger to say I’m Member of Parliament,” the Speaker noted and urged those who think the safety of the MP should not be enhanced to rethink their position.
Speaker Oquaye promised to write back officially to thank the President for his words of comfort.
Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South Haruna Iddrisu recalled the death of the late college legislator and MP for Abuakwa North J B Danquah-Adu four years ago under similar gruesome circumstance and wondered what had become of inquiry into that matter.
Other contributions from Mr Ebenezer Nii Narh Nartey, MP for Ablekuma Central, Mr Ras Mubarak, MP for Kumbungu, Mr Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central stressed on the need for enhanced security for MPs as benefitted by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.
Contributions eulogized the late Hayford as quiet and respectful MP.
The House observed a minute’s silence for the late Hayford, and the Speaker directed that flags at the House flew inappropriate manner to reflect the circumstances.
The House is planning to visit the late Hayford’s family to commiserate with them.