On Friday,19th February 2016,owner of Nigeria’s biggest entertainment outfit Silverbird Entertainment Group and a famous senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria,Sen. Ben Murray Bruce clocked 60 and he rolled out the drums to celebrate in a very big way with an elaborate party that converged dignitaries , political top shots from different political parties and fans of the revolutionary PDP flag bearer at Eko Hotel & Suite, Victoria Island,Lagos.The Common Sense slogan initiator also used the medium to launch his much anticipated new book titled “A COMMONSENSE REVOLUTION, with former president Olusegun Obasanjo as the Special Guest of Honour.The paerty commenced with a red carpet session at 7pm.City People VIVIAN ONUORAH brings you gist from the grand ceremony
ABOUT THE BOOK “COMMON SENSE REVOLUTION”
It was a 2 in 1 celebration, one of which was the book presentation by the celebrant Sen. Ben Murray Bruce. The book Launch had Joe Trippi,Communication and Political strategist, and author of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, The Internet and The Overthrow of Everything, as the main speaker. Titled The Common Sense Revolution: Common Sense as the Pathway for Unleashing Nigeria’s Greatness, is a one hundred and ten paged book with twenty one chapters reflecting the thoughts and opinion of the writer on about Nigeria ,the president and some other influential figures. It was printed in USA and foreword by Joe Trippi&Micheal Moszynski.The proceeds made from the launch and sales of the book according to the celebrant will be given to charity.
MEET THE MAN OF THE MOMENT
The celebrant Sen. Ben Murray Bruce looked dashing on his special day, in a black Suit ,a white shirt and a locally made bowtie. His love for made in Nigeria goods has no doubt metamorphosed in recent times as he also revealed his ward robe now boasts of a lot of Nigerian made wears and accessories. The 60 year old politician is a Nigerian senator representing Baylesa East Senatorial District and chairman of SIlverbird Group. A passionate lover of his country ,he wields a lot of influence in both the entertainment and political sector. He is also arguably the most engaging politician on social media ,as his common sense advocacy has earned him a special place in the hearts of many Nigerians. The tall and fair senator had a swell time at his birthday as he was the centre of attraction all through. From his arrival in the company of his wife, mum brother and kids, to the cutting of the cake and dance time, Ben kept
ODEIN AJUMOGOBIA WAS UNOFFICIAL MC
Rivers State born Senior Advocate of Nigerian and a two time minister(petroleum and Foreign Affairs) Henry Odein Ajumogobia was the unofficial Master of Ceremony at the event, a task he revealed only a Ben Bruce can subject him and get an affirmative response. It was the first time ever the influential Nigerian is saddled with that responsibility and he carried it out diligently, irrespective of the banters thrown at him at interval by the celebrant. He kicked off the event and finally handed over to the duo of Bovi and Ik Osakiduwa.The former minister revealed that he shares a special friendship that dates several back,with Ben and that informed why he was very supportive.
Why EX Gov Donald Duke Represented OLUSEGUN OBASANJO
Former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo was the Special Guest of Honour but he was unavoidably absent. He was conducting the presidential elections in Uganda hence the need for ex Cross Rivers Gov Donald Duke to step into his shoes. The handsome governor who arrived with his ever gorgeous wife Onari,represented the president. He revealed that Frankly I wasn’t meant to be here today, I wasn’t invited but I made up my mind to gate crash anyways but then I got a call from the president in Uganda to represent him as Special Guest” throwing a jibe at Ben Bruce he said “Ben common sense ought to tell you that no condition is permanent, I was outside yesterday but today am the one on the high table “Speaking about the book he said, “the cover is the debonair Ben Bruce the way he wants us to see him but the back cover ( which is a picture of a young Ben Bruce as a child, poorly clad ,barefooted, hungry looking with a transistor radio in his hands)is the real Ben people don’t know. This elicited uproar of laughter in the hall while the celebrant simply smiled and covered his face. He further said the scruffy looking Ben had a radio which depicts the typical inquisitive and nosy Ben we all know today. He unveiled the book alongside few other dignatries.The book is however downloaded free at benbruce.org.
HOW STAR ACTRESS OMOTOLA STOLE THE SHOW
Movie star Omotola Jalade Ekehinde may not have been the only pretty female entertainment personality who graced the event but she is about the only one who made a huge impact on the consortium of political figures who stormed the event. The paragon of beauty arrived half way into the event, dressed in a sleeveless red long bogy hugging gown that accentuated her voluptuous backside and walked stealthily to join some of colleagues who sat at a far corner from the VVIP section. But her stay there lasted barely 30 minutes before the celebrant’s brother Guy Murray Bruce fished her out, escorting her to the VVIP section where all the top dignitaries were seated including the celebrant who excitedly sprang up to welcome her as she approached them. Others seated around him including Peter Obi, Donald Duke and several others simply starred admiring at the pretty actress while waiting gently for a formal introduction which Ben engaged them in, before pulling out a seat right beside them for Omotola. Loving all the attention being showered on her, she beamed with smiles and took time to exchange pleasantries with her high profile fans.
US ACTING CONSULATE GENERAL HONOURS BEN BRUCE
Among the influential figures who came to party with the birthday boy was the Acting Consul General of the United States Consulate in Nigeira,Mrs Dehab Ghebreab.The amiable lady who came in the company of two others ,spoke glowingly about the senator and did enjoy every moment of the highly entertaining event.
AMERICAN MUSIC STAR JEFFERY DANIELS’S BIRTHDAY GIFT TO BEN BRUCE
Famous American Music star who taught the late Micheal Jackson the moonwalk dance flew in from the states to perform at Sen. Ben Bruce’s birthday. The 61 year old singer, song writer ,choreographer and dancer is a good friend of Ben as their interest in entertainment brought them together several years back. The Nigerian American star performed some of his hit songs with popular singer Yinka Davies whose energetic performance gained her accolades from many.
MIND BLOWING PERFORMANCES FROM OVER 20 ARTISTS
Like the popular politician promised before his birthday, it was a galaxy of star performances from over 20 Nigeria’s best music stars and few international acts. The back stage was busy with activities, with many artistes gearing up to give their very best, including the long forgotten music stars who used the platform to relaunch themselves. List of the performers include Fuji Star Ayuba who kicked off the performance, followed by Raskimono,Olariwo,Timi Dakolo,Ycee,Jeffery Williams,Olu Maintain,Tuface,Ycee,Reekado Banks,Korede Bello,Dbanj,WIzkid,Grooves Master,Jesse Jag,MI,Dj Humility who was the official Dj,Dj Jimmy Jatt,Timaya ,among others.
WHAT JIM OVIA,DONALD DUKE&IKE EKWEREMMADU SAID ABOUT THE CELEBRANT
There was an influx of very prominent Nigerians at the event as expected and all of them had one or two things to say about the celebrant. The chairman of Zenith Bank revealed “BEN is my very good dear friend and I wish him a happy birthday, Ben I recall as far back in the 80s when he used to organise some musicians from America, he invited and my first reaction was how can any human being build a career from the kind of thing Ben does and subsequently he told me he was going to start organising more shows in Nigeria especially Most Beautiful Girl and truly today he has excelled I it. From there many other things started materialising Radio station,tv ,cinema and all .Then next he said he was going to be a politician and he said he wanted to be a governor and I asked him how he can win the guber election when he is not even a member of the house but he told me in life, you aim for the moon so even if you fall, you fall on the sky Today he is a senator. I admire him a lot and he is one of the most patriotic Nigerian I have ever known ‘’for his colleague, Sen. Ike ,he also had a lot of good things to say about him. In his words, “ Ben is a brother and a friend .I congratulate him because many people aspire to be 60 and they never got to 60,so indeed he is lucky. I wish him more years on behalf of the senate, senate president and national assembly, I wish him many happy returns. Our country is in dire stress presently and we are challenged in every front but we are happy that we have a man like Ben Bruce” Deputy Senate Speaker Ike Ekweremadu.Ex Cross Rivers Gov Donald Duke also spoke about the celebrant “Ben is one of the most patriotic Nigerians I know and this is what makes him special. As exposed as he is to the world, his heart is deeply engraved in his country. I wish him a very happy birthday and more years .
EX GOV GBENGA DANIELS GRACED THE EVENT
Ex governor of Ogun State Gbenga Daniels graced the event to honour his long time friend Ben Bruce. Unlike the other dignitaries present, he wore a calm demeanour all through the event, beaming smiles at interval as he exchanged pleasantries. He sat very close to the celebrant and his wife.
AN INFLUX OF APC & PDP SENATE MEMBERS
Although Sen. Ben Murray Bruce is a member of the opposition party PDP,his birthday celebration converged a cross section of his friends and politicians from the two political parties. The likes of Sen. Ike Ekweremadu,Dino Melanye ,Gbenga Asahfa,Jimi Agbaje and several others were spotted chatting away happily. They all sat on the same table. Also in attendance were Nuhu Ribadu,Gani Adams,Sen. Akpabio,
BETWEEN EX GOVS PETER OBI&GOV SAM EGWU
In attendance were former governors from the Eastern part of Nigeria,Peter Obi and Sam Egwu.Peter who was the governor of Anambra State that handed over to the present administration ,flew in from his Abuja base to celebrate with Ben. Also former Ebonyi State Gov Sam Egwu.The duo are very good friends of the celebrant. So close is ex gov Obi to Ben that the latter revealed one of his best kept secrets which is that Peter Obi is nursing a senatorial ambition. The moment Ben Bruce announced that on stage,Peter’s face was flushed with a mixture of laughter and embarrassment and the moment Ben alighted from the stage Peter playfully pounced on him for revealing his best kept secret.
KOREDE BELLO EMERGED BEST PERFORMER
Among all the mind blowing performances, the celebrant rated Korede Bello the best performer as he specially requested the young and wave making music star to sing his hit song Godwin. Although other artists did their best in impressing the celebrant, with the likes of Wizkid, Dbanj having to practically drag him up stage while they performed, Korede however made little effort to impress but got highest accolade. The youngster came on stage after Reekado Banks and performed his new song romantic. His performance got a lot of babes wriggling to his tunes and when he finished performance and proceeded to leave the stage, the celebrant called him back and requested a special “Godwin” performance. And the moment the song rented the air, Ben pulled up his pretty wife and led her to the stage where the dancing moment ensued. It was a very romantic moment and many of the couple’s friends joined them on stage.
ABOUT THE DBANJ&DON JAZZY SAGA
The highly anticipated collabo performance by music star Dbanj and his former boss Don Jazzy was quashed when the latter disappeared from the event shortly before Dbanj’s performance. Dbanj, who was the last performer at the event, mounted the stage with a lot enthusiasm singing his popular track. Midway to his performance alighted the stage and went to where the celebrant was seated and brought him up stage and when the celebrant requested a performance from Don Jazzy, he realised he had left the hall. For Dbanj who looked quite prepared for the collabo, he was quick to pick up the microphone to assure fans that he is ever ready to collabo with Don jazzy anytime. He further stated that he has accepted to do a collabo with Don Jazzy but the final decision lies with Don Jazzy. He further revealed he had whispered to him back stage of a possible collabo on stage that night which informed the Don’s decision to leave the hall earlier than scheduled. Reacting to the outcome of the saga, Don Jazzy said he is not an artist and no longer wishes to perform at an event which was why he left.
A CROSS SECTION OF SHOWBIZ STARS
A lot of entertainers from both the music, movie and comedy sector graced the event. They include: Ibinabo Fiberesima,Deyemi Okanlowow,Moses Inwang,Omotola Jalade Ekehine,Ronke Oshodi Oke,Inyanya,Timaya,Timi Dakolo,Waje,Toke Makinwa,Paul Obazele,Victor Osuagwu,Tuiface,Dare Art Alade,among several others.
THE CUTTING OF CAKE
The cutting of the 3 tier round shaped white cake designed with several pictures of the celebrant, telling a story of his life and achievements was conducted by the likes of Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia, Donald Duke, and few other celebrities, alongside the celebrant, his lovely wife and first son Jonathan.Other celebrities spotted at the event were Aliko Dangote,Opral Benson,Odein Ajumogobia,Yeni Kuti,Grace Egbagbe,Dele Momodu,among several others.