The senator representing Bayelsa State Ben Murray-Bruce, lashed out his disappointment on Monday about how the operatives of the State Security Service prevented him from “greeting” President Muhammadu Buhari at the state dinner organized to mark 2016 Democracy Day. Mr. Murray-Bruce who is a Peoples Democratic Party member, and one of the ardent critics of the Buhari administration, stated “I was at the Presidential Villa today, went to the president’s table. DSS wouldn’t allow me greet him, but let another senator greet him.” “I have nothing against the President, however, nobody is too important to be criticized and my mouth will never be silenced!” Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Prof. Sola Adeyeye has expressed his disappointment to the criticism of Senator representing Bayelsa East Senatorial District, Ben Murray-Bruce, that operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, prevented him from “greeting” President Muhammadu Buhari at a state dinner. He argued that Murray-Bruce breached protocol and he was turned back along with some All Progressives Congress, APC lawmakers.
The APC lawmaker said: “Dino Melaye who first went to greet those seated at the President’s table, No one in the senate has criticized 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. Which is a breach of dinner protocol at that level, if dinner is served or being served, good etiquette demanded that the President’s table should not be approached. The first person to be turned back was Sen. Barnabas 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,”
According to channels, The dinner was hosted by Mr. Buhari, and was attended by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, among others. Also President Buhari urged the National Assembly to fasten up the passage of the 2016 budgets of the Federal Capital Territory, and the Niger Delta Development Commission.