Constituents of Bayelsa East Senatorial District of Bayelsa State have threatened to begin a process of recalling Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, representing the constituency in the Senate.
The angry constituents, comprising mainly students, accused the ‘common sense’ Senator of neglecting them as well as having no plans for his constituency. Murray-Bruce’s constituency comprises Nembe, Brass and Ogbia local government areas of the state.
Leaders of student bodies for the three LGAs dropped their recall threat in a statement on Tuesday. The statement was signed by Samuel Tari (Nembe), Ambrose Joseph (Brass) and Mark John (Ogbia).
They lamented that the Senator was not in good relationship with his people and had allegedly continued to shy away from his constitutional responsibilities.
They cried out that the senator was donating relief materials to people in other states whereas his own constituents were wallowing in abject poverty with many students from the constituency unable to pay their school fees.
Besides, they (constituents) claimed that since Senator Murray-Bruce was elected as their representative in the National Assembly, he had yet to visit his people.
They said, “Since Murray-Bruce became a senator, he has failed to look into the basic needs and challenges currently bedeviling the Bayelsa East Senatorial District, such as issues of education, as most of our students cannot access good quality education.
“He has failed to attract a single project to the district in terms of infrastructures, roads, and others. He has continuously and deliberately ignored efforts by the people to create a working relationship that will bring out purposeful leadership for our people.
“He has yet to fulfill any of his campaign promises; painfully, he is an Abuja-based Senator. He refuses to visit his constituents, except only once when he visited his hometown and couldn’t even stay for up to four hours.
“Sincerely, we are tired, other places are enjoying the benefits that come from having a national representative. Our case has been a curse rather than a blessing. We are just like a district without a senator. This why we have decided to change that narrative”.
The student leaders have, therefore, given the Senator a 10-day ultimatum, to change his ways or face consistent protest and the recall process.
They asked the senator to organize a town hall meeting with his constituents and take out time to tour his constituency in order to know their basic challenges.
The constituents added, “We are, hereby, giving him an ultimatum of 10 days, starting from August 21, 2017. If he fails to meet with us, we shall take our protest to the National Assembly.
“We will mobilize all the students, our mothers, and our fathers. We will initiate his recall process. Our people deserve a better treatment from him. We request to have a town hall meeting.”
However, the Personal Assistant to the Senator, Mr. William Bruce, said the allegation was untrue, stressing that Senator Murray-Bruce is a man of the people. William said Murray-Bruce had been offering assistance to many people including his constituents as much as he could.
The Senator’s PA stated, ”We do for people as much as we can all the times. They (those complaining) have not come to approach us for any help or anything. We try as much as possible to help everybody in everywhere in whichever way we can.
”We have been offering assistance to people who call us for help every day. If they want to have a meeting with the Senator, they can have a meeting. What are they complaining about the Senator? Have they approached the Senator? If they say he is not having plans for his constituency, is that possible?
”With all the things we have done is that possible? We have done a lot of things and put them on the radio for everybody to hear.
”That (allegation) is far from it. However, we would like to see them. They will have a meeting with the Senator. The Senator loves people generally. What we will like to do is to meet the people who have complained and take it from there.”