A senator from Bayelsa State, Ben Murray-Bruce, on Monday said operatives of the State Security Service prevented him from “greeting” President Muhammadu Buhari at a state dinner organised to mark 2016 Democracy Day.
According to Bruce, who joined his colleagues to a dinner to mark the 2016 democracy day, he had attempted to greet the president like a senator did, but the security agent denied him access.
The dinner was hosted by Mr. Buhari, and had in attendance the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, among others.
He did not name the senator that was allowed passage to the president after he (Murray-Bruce) was bounced.
“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,” Murray-Bruce said via his twitter handle on Monday.
“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?
“If PMB’s handlers selectively block access to him, he runs the risk of being surrounded only by sycophants!
“I have nothing against the President, however, nobody is too important to be criticized and my mouth will never be silenced!
Mr. Murray-Bruce, who is a Peoples Democratic Party member, and one of the ardent critics of the Buhari administration, had earlier tweeted a photo of himself in the company of other guests at the dinner.
Few hours before the villa incident, he tweeted: “It’s ‘fantastically corrupt’ that Nigeria maintains a 10 plane Presidential fleet whereas the PM of a rich nation like UK flies commercial!”
On Sunday, the lawmaker alleged that Buhari and his ministers spent the whole of last year giving excuses.