Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bayelsa guber: I’m still in the race- Ben Bruce

Former Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce, Tuesday, described reports that he had been disqualified from contesting November 19, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, primaries for Bayelsa State governorship election as wild rumours and falsehood.

It was reported that PDP Appeal Panel, headed by Mrs Biodun Olujimi, had recommended the withdrawal of the provisional clearance earlier granted Mr. Murray-Bruce on the ground that he holds the citizenship of Nigeria and that of United States of America, USA, contrary to section 182 of the Constitution. continue after the cut

According to Section 182 (1a): “No person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a State if, subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, he has made a declaration of allegiance to such other country.”

Speaking with Vanguard in Abuja, yesterday, Bruce said: “To the best of my knowledge, nobody has been ousted from the race. If you are ousted from the race, they have to let you know you are ousted from the race. There is no communication to that effect. So everybody is speculating. The race is the only one in the country right now. It is exciting. Everybody is talking about it but nobody has been ousted from the race.”

On the issue of dual citizenship, he cited Section 28 of the Constitution as having protected him.

Section 28 (1) reads: “Subject to the other provisions of this section, a person shall forfeit forthwith his Nigerian citizenship if, not being a citizen of Nigeria by birth, he acquires or retains the citizenship or nationality of a country, other than Nigeria, of which he is not a citizen by birth.”

Bruce said: “That is why the Constitution protects me. So it is impossible to oust me from the race based on that. I cannot be ousted from the race based on that. I was born in Nigeria.”

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