Senator Ben Murray-Bruce was, on Monday, May 30, 2016, was prevented from greeting President Muhammadu Buhari by an official of the Department of State Services (DSS) during a dinner organized for lawmakers at the Presidential Villa.
However, instead of taking the incident like a man, the senator ran to social media to whine and complain.
“I was at the Presidential Villa today. Went to the President’s table. DSS would not allow me greet him but let another Senator greet him,” Murray-Bruce said via Facebook and Twitter.
“I have nothing against the President, however, nobody is too important to be criticised and my mouth will never be silenced,” he added.
Ben Bruce’s story was however dismissed by two of his colleagues, Shehu Sani and Sola Adeyeye who were also at the dinner.
“We met with Mr President at the Villa yesternight. He was frank and blunt with us and we were honest with him. He addressed us, and those nominated to speak responded, raised issues and asked questions of which he answered. I actually wanted to speak but I was not so lucky,” Shehu Sani said.
“I was surprised to learn that one of us later disclosed that he was prevented by security agents from coming close to Mr President. I personally experienced NO such. And I don't think Mr President can bar any legislature from coming close to him for holding different opinion on National issues,” he added.
Senator Adeyeye on the other hand said that some senators broke protocol by approaching Buhari’s table and that Ben Bruce wasn’t the only person who was turned away.
“I was at the dinner. I sat in the front row along with other principal officers of the national assembly. I had a vantage view of what transpired. I am disappointed by this comment from a respected colleague,” Adeyeye said.
“I have on two occasions provided robust defense of Sen Ben Bruce. Not this time! It was Sen Dino Melaye who first went to greet those seated at the president’s table, including President Buhari.
“He was well greeted. No one in the senate has criticised President Buhari more than Sen Melaye. But as others rose to do what Dino had done, the scene got clumsy and indecorous because people were approaching the president’s table from different directions.
“I sat between Sen Olujimi and Sen Bwacha. The three of us felt embarrassed by what was clearly a breach of dinner protocol. At that level, if dinner was served or being served, good etiquette demanded that the president’s table should not be approached. One should wait until people had finished eating.
“The first person to be turned back was Sen Gemade who was visibly embarrassed. He belongs to the APC; he is not a known critic of the president. When I noticed that most people had finished their food, I approached the table and offered my pleasantries. Others followed suit. No one was turned back,” he added.
After being turned away, Ben Bruce stayed on at the event and apparently even ate the food which he was served, but he still managed to summon up enough righteous indignation to complain on social media.
Ben Bruce prides himself on being a strong opposition force, with his “common sense” campaign, but this incident has exposed him for what he truly is, an attention seeker.
The honourable senator needs to save his anger for more important national issues instead of turning into a cry baby over such a trivial matter.
Dear Uncle Ben, would you like a tissue?