#OsunDecides: “I came with words and they answered with bullets” – Ben Bruce

Dino Melaye and Ben Murray Bruce during the PDP protest.
Dino Melaye and Ben Murray Bruce during the PDP protest.

A senator from Bayelsa State, Ben Murray-Bruce, has said the Nigerian police ill-treated members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who gathered at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abuja on Friday to protest the outcome of last month’s governorship election in Osun State.

Gboyega Oyetola, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, was declared winner of the election, defeating his closest challenger, Ademola Adeleke of the PDP.

Mr Murray-Bruce, just like most other PDP leaders, believes their party’s candidate was robbed of victory.

“We will peacefully struggle to get his stolen mandate restored to him,” the senator wrote on his Facebook, on Friday morning, as he and other PDP members embarked on the protest at INEC.

The senator later took to the social media site to allege police ill-treatment of the protesters.

“I have just been teargassed by the Nigerian Police after protesting at INEC’s office. Gunshots have been fired. This was and still is a peaceful protest. How can I be treated like this in a country I have fought for and invested in? This is madness, I came with words and they answered with bullets!” Mr Murray-Bruce said.

The senator posted a video of the protest on the social media site.

Mr Murray-Bruce and a fellow senator, Dino Melaye, are seen in the video struggling with some police officers who probably wanted to stop the protesters. A crowd of protesters could be heard chanting “We no go ‘gree, we no go ‘gree (We won’t agree, we agree)!”

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, though not seen in the video, was among those who led the protest.

The police have since summoned Messrs Saraki, Melaye and Murray-Bruce to appear on Monday over the protest. The police accused them of disturbing public peace and attacking police officers.

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