Murray-Bruce breached ‘elementary protocol’ during Villa dinner – Senators

Murray-Bruce breached ‘elementary protocol’ during Villa dinner – Senators
June 01 06:05 2016

The Senator representing Osun Central, Sola Adeyeye has chided his colleague, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce for going public with the claim that he was stopped from greeting President Muhammadu Buhari during Monday’s dinner at the State House Conference Centre.

According to Adeyeye, Murray-Bruce who represents Bayelsa
East Senatorial District, Ben
Murray-Bruce, was stopped  by
presidential security detail during
the dinner with the President because he
breached “elementary protocol”.
Murray-Bruce
had shortly after the event taken to
his Twitter page and Facebook  to protest the
way he was treated, suggesting
that the action was meted out to
him because of his criticism of
Buhari’s policies.
“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!” he said.
He continued: “If Buhari’s
handlers selectively block access
to him, he runs the risk of being
surrounded only by sycophants. My critics say I shouldn’t
criticize the President openly, so I
go and meet him one on one and
I’m blocked. Am I not a Nigerian
citizen?”
His tweets immediately
went viral and divided Nigerians along pro-Buhari and anti-Buhari social media users.
In his reaction to the
news on Tuesday, Adeyeye said he was  “disappointed” by his colleague’s claim, saying he had a
vivid recollection of what
transpired at the dinner because
he was seated at the front row.
“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,” Adeyeye said. “I am
disappointed by this comment from a
respected colleague.”
“I have on two occasions provided robust
defence of Senator Ben Bruce. Not this time!”
Adeyeye offered more explanation about
the events.
“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 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. 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. No senator in the USA would breach
such elementary protocol. We (on my table)
predicted in whispers that colleagues would
soon be barred from approaching the
President’s table and it happened.
“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,” Adeyeye said.
The senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, who was also
present at the dinner expressed shock over Murray-Bruce’s outburst.
“We met with Mr. President at the Villa
yester night. 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.
“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 legislator
from coming close to him for holding different
opinion on national issues. I always have an
independent mind and will always speak my
mind when there is the need to do so.
“For decades, Mr President knows me for that
and still respects me for that. It’s not
everything the security agents do that Mr.
President will know.
“Mr. President’s address to us was
comprehensive and satisfying. Wishing him
Lord’s blessings and good health in this
historic mission to rebuild our great country.
Buhari is a leader we most need and deserve at
this time,” he said.