When an Election Becomes an Execution!

Since Friday the 4th of December, 2015, I have been in Bayelsa to vote and monitor the vote in what I thought was a gubernatorial election, but what I saw on Saturday the 5th of December was not an election, it was an execution! We must call a spade a spade and not a large spoon. What do you call an election in which National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members were kidnapped by men in military uniform and forced to thumbprint ballot papers a night before the elections?

This is not hearsay. I have the names and details of these patriotic youths who were serving their country only to be forced to serve anti democratic forces. Or what do we call the attack on the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa? Chief Serena Dokubo Spiff’s house was invaded by armed thugs on election day and their visit is immortalised by blood and visible trauma on the occupants of his house and on the premises itself.

Accredited election observers, including foreign diplomats witnessed as Nigeria was ridiculed by thugs almost freely engaged in killings and ballot box snatching. In some cases, these occurrences were not just brazenly but were condoned by security forces. All this only seven months after Nigeria held a most credible and transparent election that brought the incumbent president to power.

This is not the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that former President Goodluck Jonathan and Professor Attahiru Jega handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari. If President Buhari really wants the world to believe that he is a reformed dictator who no longer believes that power flows through the barrel of a gun but from the freely given votes of the people, now is the time to prove it.

The president may mouth all the right words and his new INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, may re-echo what the president says, but what is in a person’s heart matters more than what is on their lips and that is something that we only truly know by what they condone. I would like to draw the president’s attention to what happens in an election where the sitting president is objective by quoting the comments of a leading member of his party.

On July 7, 2012, this is what the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governor of Edo State Adams Oshiomhole said about the election that held in his state the week before. Said Oshiomhole: “What the Edo election has confirmed is that when the president and Commander-in-Chief puts the country first and conducts himself as a statesman, not just as a party leader, credible elections are possible, because people were apprehensive that the Nigerian Army could be misused. But of course, I told them I didn’t think they were right, but the president’s clear directive was that the votes must count. We need to appreciate the president and encourage him to sustain this principle of truly reminding all of us, who hold political office, that we are at the mercy of the electorate, not of the presidency. I think the president has done that. The president has demonstrated statesmanship. I think there is hope for Nigeria.”

After the brigandage that occurred in Bayelsa State recently, can President Buhari honestly expect this type of testimony from any Nigerian? Is this what we are to look forward to during his leadership? Former President Jonathan and Professor Jega delivered us from “do or die” elections and I for one and the constituents of the senatorial zone I represent in Bayelsa East will not return to such an inglorious past. Some people reading this will ask me what I would have INEC do. Yet, INEC is not as powerless as she makes out to be.

The Electoral Act provides that any person, who aids and abets a political party to contravene Section 227 of the Constitution (prohibiting retention, organisation, training or equipping quasi-military organisations) commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine of N500,000 or imprisonment for a term of three years or both. Acting on this provision, INEC can and should make use of evidence currently available to prosecute the individuals who were arrested by the police and by communities themselves.

Better still, INEC can offer them incentives if they will testify against the big fish politicians who sent them on their murderous errands for the sake of power. If INEC can do this, it would send a very clear and unmistakable message to all politicians who have future plans to engage in such behaviour that INEC has the guts to make them a suitable example for maximum impact.

If on the other hand INEC does not do anything and all those whose arrests we witnessed and read about are eventually let go with a slap on the wrist, they would have emboldened others to replicate what they saw happening in Bayelsa in future elections. And if INEC allows that to happen, she would lose the moral high ground she gained during the glorious era of Professor Jega.

And if that happens, I foresee Nigerians going over their head to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague especially when they have evidence that is as blatant as what we witnessed in Bayelsa recently. Some of the election observers in Bayelsa were ambassadors, some were civil rights activists and even others were journalists. On their own, they witnessed and documented the illegality and disgrace that passed itself of as an election especially in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.

Our own domestic activists witnessed the show of shame and likewise gathered evidence. Such evidence is within reach and the souls of those killed in the brute pursuit of power will rest better only if we can send these details to ICC. I hereby urge all youths who captured such evidence on their smart phones and other devices to make it available to me and I will pass it on.

I am on Twitter @benmurraybruce and I am on Facebook as Ben Murray-Bruce.

My name is Ben Murray Bruce and I just want to make Commonsense!

Ben Murray Bruce is the Senator representing Bayelsa East in the National Assembly and is also the Chairman of the Silverbird Entertainment Group



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69 replies

  1. It’s great to know that people like Senator Bruce are out there!. To be sincere, Senator Ben Bruce is the only Senator that calls a spade by its real name.
    I am a living witness to what transpired in the Bayelsa gubernatorial elections of 2015!!!!. As a matter of fact, I saw men in military fatigue along side with APC big shots forcing NYSC members to give up sensitive election materials.
    In case you would need the video footage, I can provide them!, this would be possible if my identity would not be revealed!!!!.
    Hoping to hearing from you,
    Daniel.

    Like

  2. Great job our Senator of inestimable value!. I am a big fan. May God bless you beyond measure in Jesus Christ name. Amen. Daniel

    Like

  3. Power truly belongs to the people. Our people must be protected by the government and not executed. Long life to our President, long life to Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said,well done

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  5. Is good to tell the truth but it left for our government. We are still running government of the military by the military for the military. Only God can help us.

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  6. Plz Ben so much admire ur common sense words is very inspiring plz can talk about private universities in Nigeria their and. And I ave extra year and is just one course I need to write bt the fees is too much for me to pay and ave been abadned by my parents the funny thing is dat it keeps increasing everyyear the name of the skul is Madonna university okija plz they should reduce the fees for the xtra year students plzzzzzzz Sir

    Like

  7. All I just want to say is “thank you”. It’s indeed a common sense!

    Like

  8. Well said! Politics is not war, it is a game of choice. If the people want you at a particular time and place to represent them, then you will be elected but if they say no they don’t want you at a particular time, then you step aside. This is what politics should be globally. Come to think of it, we are part of the civilized world and should imbibed globally acclaimed positive cultures, one of which is freedom of choice and the right to choose. The elite should practice positive, progressive cultures that promote free choice, peace and progress in our society and Bayelsa should be a pacesetter in this regard, because of her homogeneity with a common ancestry. How can we collaborate to bring about our aspirations for our people and children yet unborn? I appeal to those who see elective offices as a do or die affair to have a rethink because riding on the back of a people’s blood to political office has consequences both on earth and in eternity. We as a people must live above board by being statesmanly in our disposition to life. To those who allow themselves to be used as instruments of violence, please desist from such and act as civilized people by expressing love for others.

    Like

  9. Very true sir. It makes a lot of #commonsense.

    Like

  10. Very true and well articulated. #commonsense

    Like

  11. gudevening compliment of de seaon and happy new year mr senator my name is richard idama from delta state i have been watching ur programma mostly i only want to make a common sense and i thank u for allow nigerian to use dis medium to share they view with u my only help from u if weather u can help me enter de military bcos i have try it on servera time it was not sucessful and to enter some one need to kwn somebody in dat place like a topman pls help me

    Like

  12. Good post

    Like

  13. Good day sir…i strongly congratulate you on your fight for the poor..May God in his infinite mercy continue to bless you and your family…I’m an aspiring model and i believe God could use you to help me…i humbly plead for your reply back to my email address…Compliments of the season and thank you once again!

    Like

  14. Chairman sir i appreciate you a lot and your bold step towards redressing buhari’s devious ambition backed by rotimi amechi. It is well obvious now that that has plan for Nigeria but to bring about anarchy. Look at his embarassing press conference and how he openly shamed himself before the whole world like a boufoon. Well it glaring that this nation is headed towards break up. Keep up your good work sir. God bless.

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  15. Mr ben bruce i have read all your thought and i came to a conclusion that you are not different from every politicians in Nigeria who are great in enligthen the young and old all in a manner of being a great person, but i feel that’s a lie because one day mr ben you are definitely gonna ask something from us,So i guess you are playing good guy for tomorrow which is the future repution you are building. I’m sorry if you are offended but that’s my own candid opinion.

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  16. Please sir can you frankly answer me this three question : (1) What do you believe is the way forward for Nigeria ? (2) If you are opportuned to rule Nigeria as a day president what would you effectively change about Nigeria? (3) How do you see Nigeria in the next five or ten years.

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  17. Good day sir i am a Nigeria i was born in Nigeria. I want to talk about unemployed. we are the cause but not we, why because Nigeria kill the Talent of children, i am 20 years old i live in Abuja @ IDU KARIMO Abuja after LIVE CAMP…
    I am born with many talent… I have a way to make the unemployed in Nigeria to get job. SIR MR BEN BRUCE how can i see u. I want to see u face to face. Because i need ur help…
    You are one of the good leader we ever have in Nigeria today…

    I need to see..
    Is all about my new company and many more to come … But only if u we agree my required

    my Regard

    Like

  18. plz sir build an entertainment industry in bayelsa, so dat our youths will not go into robbry,stilling, etc I AM ALOSKY EZEKIEL N I JUST WONT TO MAKE COMMON SENCE. (09039926431) my no.

    Like

  19. plz sir build an entertainment industry in bayelsa, so dat our youths will not go into robbry,stilling, etc I AM ALOSKY EZEKIEL N I JUST WONT TO MAKE COMMON SENSE. (09039926431) my no.

    Like

  20. Politice is a dangerous game and a game of wisdom.But nigeria politician is practising the machiavelli theory of politice which is a do or die affair.

    Like

  21. Politice is a dangerous game and a game of wisdom.But nigeria politician is practising the machiavelli theory of politice which is a do or die affair.my number is08082329066

    Like

  22. Hello
    My names are Akabeli Sunday Oghenakogie Co-founder Conceptual Media Entertainment limited, organizers of African youths festival for peace and friendship.

    A tourist and cultural exhibition project aimed at creating attention to the essence of being an African youth,the opportunities of great exploit,discovery of supreme strength,courage,wisdom,creativity,historical heritage and cultural identification.

    Facilitating entrepreneurship spirit in African art,craft,talents etc.For income provision,national economy building,resuscitating ethical values and promoting peace,unity and friendship among youths in Africa and the world at large.

    The reason for this idea is as a result of the alarming rate of online fraud,corruption and prostitution among youths in Nigeria which is spreading fast to other african countries.

    I used to say to myself Ben Bruce is one of those politicians pretending to be nice with “Common sense” to gain loyalty from the masses with selfish interest of becoming president of Nigeria someday, not until I listened to a speech on silverbirdtv this A.m.

    I gathered you have done so much for the entity Nigeria and that you have the interests of every single Nigerian at heart.

    Kindly visit our website conceptualmel.org to see if our dream resuscitating ethical values and creating entreprenurship spirit among lost youths in Nigeria,Africa and the world at large as Cmel will be happy to work with you to achieve your true dream and liberation of all youths and the entity Nigeria.

    God bless Nigeria

    Like

  23. Mr Ben Bruce i appreciate your comment and i say a big thankyou male the lord bless you goodbye.

    Like

  24. I am partly from Bayelsa State, I am in total support of the five thousand naira payment to the unemployed youth, I may not be among those that meet certain straight criteria at the moment because it has to start from someone and somewhere. I am a trailer driver, who can as well drive other small cars, it’s with great honour I wish to work with your esteemed organization “Silverbird Cinema” to enable me pay my bill’s.
    Good work from you sir, the world is watching and listening to your good messages across. I vote for you as my Silvetbird Man Of The Year. I know if we have more of you in Senate, our Country will maintain it’s Glory. I stand with the saying that said Nigeria people are good people and great Nation.

    Like

  25. Senator, you’re truly distinguished for identifying with the ethos of collective will. The people must freely express their will in the gubernatorial election held/to be re-run in Bayelsa State. Our electoral laws should be enforced accordingly and discourage future negative occurrence. Offenders must be punished. Your views are valid. Let’s start this experiment from Bayelsa State and consolidate the positive outcome in other elections in Nigeria. Our democracy must work. It’s in our will.

    Like

  26. Dear sir we bayelsans need you not all those thugs and criminals that calls their selfs politicials, please come and make us feel like other states

    Like

  27. Just like the way I lost hope for the Nigerian National football team, I also lost hope for the Nigerian Political team. Am 30yrs now and am yet to witness peace in my heart for Nigeria and its politics. However, recently, light started shinning into my spirit when I started hearing you on the radio then I knew that God has not abandoned us totally. I now know that when he wants to save a people, He sends a man just like He sent Jesus Christ. Keep up the good work sir and in no distant time, the spirit of morally dead Nigerians will wake up because Faith comes by hearing and hearing. MY NAME IS Okenwa Abraham Chika. One day sir, am going to work with you. Soon. 08066708730, that’s my no. Feel free to call me… I HAVE AN idea…

    Like

  28. Keep making common sense. God bless you.

    Like

  29. At last PDP has prevailed in bayelsa, even though they rerun election in bayelsa 20times pdp will continue to prevail, am not saying former president Goodluck Jonathan did 100% well when he was in government, but he tried in his own bit, APC watchword change change has it taken effect yet ? The shocking news am hearing reduction of minimum wage of 18k , well that’s part of change

    Like

  30. Oga keep the Common sense Programme UP and Running Don’t Stop

    Like

  31. A pleasant evening my senator,i jst wishd dt d goverment should listen 2 ur common sense ideals nd hear d cries of d poor ones like us,Sir in most part of dis our great country dia re some dt can’t evn eat three square meal a day nd is very bad nd God blesses us with so many things bt we re lacking nd starving,Sir am an electrician bt i cnt meet up with my family needs i only feed them with my okada money cos dat is d only means of survivng,Sir pls help me find a job so dt i can b able 2 meet up with my family needs may God always bless u nd add more ideals 2 u.HPY BD MY SENATOR ND MORE YRS 2 COME

    Like

  32. Am very hpy 2 see dt we ve some1 in Nigeria who loves nd alz hear d tears of d poor masses like us Sir make God bless u nd strengthen u d more,sir pls am an electrician nd i knw my work very wel bt i cnt find a job 2 help with my family needs sir pls help me in any way u can pls.God bless u nd may ur days b long.

    Like

  33. BOBO ENOCH Sir dis is my number.08064196119

    Like

  34. BOBO ENOCH 08064196119 Sir pls i need help 4rm u pls.

    Like

  35. hi Seen Ben I appreciate ur input God bless ur voice.

    Like

  36. Please can some one help me with SEN. ben murray bruce email address. I am inspire by his talk. This is my email address; kellyonabor@yahoo.com

    Like

  37. I listen every day to the common sense you make sir. I wonder when this madness will stop. Political thugs used during the election now kidnap ,rob and kill innocent people. When will our youths learn. When will this madness for power stop.

    Like

  38. Yes indeed you are making a common sense keep it on our senetor God is with you

    Like

  39. I like mr ben a lot bcos he tells the truth at all time and I pray he live long to see the impact

    Like

  40. Inventor of Afro Beat, Fela, called this “Army arrangement”
    A system where we witness military transfer power to themselves. What then do you expect?

    Like

  41. I have been reading your write ups with keen interest but I sincerely wish we have only ten people like u in the house then I will know that Nigeria is heading somewhere. Right now where is the hope? The change is in the uniform to quote Wole Soyinkas Jero Metamophosis.still the same looters passing the baton.

    Like

  42. Mr Ben we need more of your kind and just soon our country will be in good health because your post inspires young hearts like me and many others also kudos to this statement is not the party but doing what is right.

    Like

  43. Our Senator, you are really making common sense.

    Ride-on sir,,

    More blessings

    Like

  44. Good Evening Senator, I appreciate what you are doing, so you have to keep on. Nigerian need to be told the truth ,only discussions and lectures like this we make them aware of their present predicament. The mind set of all Nigerian need to be re-set for the real change to emerge . As a secondary school graduate back in 1993, I observe a very appalling event during the national common entrance examination, where young kids were exposed to examination malpractice. Teachers and Parents exposing children to this devious act ,should only expect the children to turn out to be corrupt adults. Your continuous preaching will go a long way to change way the average Nigerian think and act. Big Ben keep keeping on it. Thank you very much.

    Like

  45. You are doing well, and I truly appreciate you concern to better our country through transforming our mindset.

    Like

  46. people like Bruce is what Nigeria needs in sensitive positions and national advisers.
    common sense they say is not common but with bruce, its a way of life. cudos big ben

    Like

  47. Ben is 100% right. He is making common sense indeed.

    Like

  48. The people of south south are known to be violent and this has now been transferred to the political arena.
    Thank God for Christianity if not it would have been worst than Afghanistan
    We need prayers in that region and less ogogoro.

    Like

  49. Good job sir. I can boldly tell Nigerians that people with Christ-like attributes exist in Nigerian government! 4 d 1st time in history.

    Like

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