Commonsense Senator, Ben Murray-Bruce on Friday applied his commonsense prescription in dealing with the recall process initiated against him by some persons, mainly students, in his constituency. He met with them.
At the end of the meeting, both parties had better understanding of each party’s challenges and constitutional limitations.
The Senator explained the limits of his capacity as a legislator, but made firm pledges on deliverables — particularly opening a liaison office where information flow would be easier — and a firmer pledge to ensure that the Federal Government include the construction of a road project that is dear to his constituents in next year’s budget.
On their part, the students showed remorse and apologised for their adversarial action against Murray-Bruce, whom they had earlier referred to as a Lagos and Abuja Senator, whom they regarded as out of touch with home.
A group, comprising mainly students, had recently issued a 10-day ultimatum for the senator to organise a town hall meeting with his constituents or face mass protests at the National Assembly, and recall.
The meeting, held at the Ijaw House, along Alamieyeseigha expressway, was, however, not without a large dose of drama.
While addressing the people, the Senator appealed for understanding, admitting that the constituents were probably not aware of the many positives he had been doing for them.
To those heckling him, Murray-Bruce said: “Don’t take your anger to the point where you disrupt meetings. If I walk away I will still remain a successful person but it has not helped you in anyway”.
He urged the gathering to note that being a senator, there is a limit to how he can personally dispense favours.
“I do not write cheques, I only speak to make laws that will benefit the people,” he said.
The Senator disclosed that he had been fighting for the construction of the Brass/ Nembe Road which will soon be added to the budget and implementation will follow.
“The Nembe/Brass Road is a priority for us as a people, and I will do everything to see that it becomes a reality. It is a difficult situation that I am in. I have been fighting for the project several times and it has given me grey hairs,” he said.
Murray-Bruce continued: “They said the road is N100 billion but I said even if it is N1 trillion it will be done, because I know the benefits of the road to our country. I am not ignorant, I know what is right. I believe that road will be included in the budget because I will do whatever it takes to ensure that the road is done.”
He spoke further: “I sent engineers here and you can all see the architectural work here. As long as you voted me, that dream will be realised. The Minister has also assured of the shore protection in Brass will also be in the budget.”
While admitting that the youths had the right to be angry, he said: “I feel your pains and we need to sit down and discuss because as a senator I can’t do everything but we can do it together.”
Hr promised to open a liaison office so that complaints and other issues would be addressed.
In his brief response, the chairman of the occasion, Mr. George Fente, said it was wrong for the youths to display what he called “political rascality” by going to the social media to vent their anger, and thanked God that the youths had apologised for their action.
The Deputy Chief whip of the state Assembly, Chief Mitema Obodor, said that the people were proud of the Senator and his wealth of experience despite being a first timer in Upper Chamber, adding that Murray-Bruce had been representing the people well.