“THERE are too many poor people living under the bridge. Nigeria is too rich for people to be poor and Nigeria is too poor for the super upper class to be so rich. That has to stop.”- Ben Murray-Bruce.
With those inspiring words, Ben Murray-Bruce, Former Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, declared his intention to run for the Senate recently. Although born with the silver-spoon, the media tycoon who gained fame as the founder/owner of the Silverbird Group, the biggest brand ināNigeria’s entertainment industry, has now taken the fight against poverty as a personal challenge.
That theme defines his politics and underpins his motive for seeking elective office in the hallowed chambers of the Senate. He knows that if he is to change the laws that could create an economy-friendly environment that engenders growth and empowerment of the youths and women – two demographics he strategically targets – he must be a legislator.
He declared this conviction when he said : “I am running for the Senate because I am interested in the laws of our land; I am interested in making change and I am not interested in business as usual. I have always been concerned about the poverty of the mind, about women who are not being protected, children who are being raped, men who are paedophiles, a society where there is no order; we must bring order to our society”.
It is with this mindset that he approaches the 2015 senatorial elections where he will vie for the Senatorial seat to represent Bayelsa East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Bruce’s preparation for this call to service spans the last three and a half decades where he has garnered a vast pool of managerial and human relations experiences from national and international engagements.
Starting from the humble beginnings of the now globally acclaimed organisation, the little dream which incubated in the Domino Stores office has grown in leaps and bounds under his guidance, to become the Silverbird Group, a diversified multi-media company consisting of holdings in media, TV, Real Estate, Cinemas, Rhythm FM, Silverbird Television, MBGN pageant, Mr. Nigeria Contest, The Man of the Year Awards, Silverbird Galleria and Cinemas amongst others.
It is his uncanny managerial expertise which he exhibited in the publicly acclaimed success at these ventures that earned him the attention of the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who appointed him as the Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) – Africa’s largest television network. He has also been member, Board of Directors, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), member of the boards of the National Arts Theatre, the Federal Film Censors Board, the Nigerian Film Corporation, the National Film Distribution Company and the Nigerian Anti-Piracy Action Committee.
Internationally, he was called upon to serve as an Executive Director of a Coalition for a Free Africa with President Samora Machel of Mozambique and Rev. Jesse Jackson. He also served as an Executive Director of the Black Music Association of America with international show business personalities like Quincy Jones, Dick Griffen, and soul music superstar, Stevie Wonder.
It is this wealth of experience in international business, first hand experiences acquired from his interaction with women and youths in various programmes, coupled with his widespread travels to different parts of the country while promoting advocacy causes and business concerns that Ben Bruce pledges to leverage on to ensure that his tenure at the Senate is a worthy venture for the people of Bayelsa East Senatorial District, Bayelsa State and Nigeria as a whole.
Ben Bruce, as he is fondly called, is married with children, and was born in Lagos in 1956. He bagged a Business Administration from the University of Southern California in the United States.