Senator representing Bayelsa East Senatorial District Ben Murray-Bruce says he never criticizes anyone but he raises good government and policy issues as a way of driving change.
“I have not criticised any government. I have not criticised APC. I have not criticised PDP. I have not criticised Goodluck Jonathan, neither have I criticised Muhammadu Buhari. I have raised good government issues and policy issues. My views won over the electorate. During my campaign ahead of the election, I never said anything negative about Timipre Silva or insulted him. I did not run him down or any other candidate, either in the PDP or APC because it is not my style. All I did was to speak on key issues such social development, infrastructural development and how to get the people out of poverty and create jobs for the people in my senatorial district. They loved it and voted for me,” bruce told Vanguard.
He wondered why some people are asking why he has not spoken until now, saying he had always spoken about these issues.
“These are issues that I have raised all my life. Maybe these people on social media have just discovered Ben Bruce but, go and check the speeches I made two years ago, three years ago, twenty years ago, even in front of President Goodluck Jonathan to ascertain whether they are different from what I am saying now; maybe they just discovered me. Go on youtube and see my speeches,” he said.
Mr Bruce also dispelled rumours of Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson decamping to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to him, Dickson “is not going to move to APC, he is one of our leaders. He is not going to switch party. He is a PDP member, people will stick to their party, days of moving around are gone.”
Weeks ago, the launch of an electric car by Bruce, who owns Silverbird Group went viral as he advocates for Green Energy in the country. He said the launch have started yielding fruits as some companies have signified interest to convert cars that run on fuel to electric cars.
“…already big companies and institutions like Eko Hotel, Hi-tech, Eko Atlantic have shown interest and ready to convert all cars to electric cars based on the campaign that I started. What is the value of that besides environment benefits? If two or three hundred cars are purchased in the next few months and they don’t buy petrol, how much will Nigeria save from importing petrol? Eko Atlantic’s buildings will use solar power and all their staff will drive electric cars because I raised the issue. I hope President Muhammadu Buhari will drive an electric car and send a clear message to all,” he adds.
Mr Bruce also talked about poverty and unemployment in Nigeria.
“The level of poverty and unemployment is devastating. We need to focus on laws that protect the poor. What is the biggest problem in Nigeria today? It is consumption versus production. Our leaders are guilty of consuming the resources of the majority. What do we have for the poor – the millions of people living on two dollars a day? And then you have governors in large convoys, commissioners driving N20m cars, flying first class in states that cannot pay salaries. The governors fly private jets. Commissioners live like kings. If three policemen guard a commissioner, how many policemen do we have in Nigeria? Less than 200,000. So who is policing the poor when they are being defiled, maimed and killed, their goods stolen?
“It is a class war between the rich and the poor. I have said it for 35 years and I am saying it again because it is worse today. Boko Haram in the North, militancy in the South-South, kidnapping in the South-West and South East; defiling, paedophile, maiming and stealing everywhere, what does that tell you? We have a problem in our hands and everybody must be held accountable.
“President Buhari, who I like, is leading by example. He is a simple man and, because he is a simple man, I expect him to appoint people who will live simple lifestyle, people that will not consume the resources of the people. As lawmakers, we will checkmate their lifestyle. I will remind every minister and appointee of the need to live moderate life,” he said.