Zero points for Tucuma Ogunseye
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EVERY politician that strives to become Guyana’s President must understand the politics of this land, the mood of the people, and their competitors’ game plans.

This is essential for their success in elections, because one bad move or blunder could cost them their entire political strategy.

For instance, if they could read the mood of the people, they could know what type of political language, political linguistics, and political behavioural patterns are seen as responsible, lawful, and necessary when addressing the general public. They would also know what can be said, and what cannot be said, as it would be deemed reprehensible, vile and politically stupid.

Recently, the Working People’s Alliance (WPA)’s Executive Member Tacuma Ogunseye was a speaker at a rally held in Buxton, East Coast Demerara. He launched an attack on the People’s Progressive Party Civic and President Dr. Irfaan Ali’s Government.

From all indications, Ogunseye was speaking, as they say, ‘in the moment’, and was at home among his Afro-Guyanese supporters. He also launched a verbal assault on the Guyana Defence Force and the Guyana Police Force members that were Afro-Guyanese who he said “should be battle-ready”, have “ready access to weapons”, and “do the right thing” in the “struggle” to forcibly remove the PPP from government.

He appeared to be, in essence, calling on not only this part of the Armed Forces which he considers to be Afro-Guyanese, but all Guyanese to engage in acts of illegality, resistance and public disorder.

Firstly, all right-thinking and law-abiding citizens should condemn the WPA and Ogunseye’s utterances and political behavior, as it is reckless, seditious, and irresponsible. One may even think that it borders on treason and illegality.

His political language used at the rally can only be described as provocative, inflammatory, and inciteful, in the context of Guyana’s laws.

To think that the WPA has not even had the courage to upbraid this leader is telling, both of its new political ideology and mental capacity going into the planned Local Government Elections, which are billed for June of this year.

Secondly, Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton must be held equally responsible for appearing to support Ogunseye’s unhinged and crass statements.

While Norton expressed a difference of opinion on participation in the upcoming polls, he did not reject or rebuff his statements or utterances of intended violence and appeal to the race of the Armed Forces.

That, in itself, points out the Opposition Leader’s inability to read the mood of the people in Guyana. Norton’s street-style politics did not allow him to distance himself or the PNC-led APNU from the insensitive and provocative things that Ogunseye was inciting in Buxton.

This proves the argument that Norton likes confrontational politics, and his silence is taken as consent, though not explicitly.

Also, Norton is gambling on the ethnic vote, and is calmly stoking the fire of racism and division during this election season. He wants deniability, but cannot bring himself or the party to condemn WPA’s Ogunseye’s utterances and provocation.

Norton is weak, too, because he supports this racist incendiary call for public disorder and resistance.

The public, therefore, cannot become complacent and ignore these dangerous threats made by Norton and supported by his silence and cowardice.

This is ‘yard-fowl’ behaviour, and it is frowned upon. If such conduct is ignored, it will inspire the perpetrators with greater boldness, to the public’s detriment.

Thirdly, where are the public commentators and civil society voices who are bold enough to condemn this despicable act committed by Ogunseye, apart from the President, PPP/C, and Joint Services Head?

Are they sleeping, or practising selective condemnation, because what he said is precisely what they hope for?

Coming on the heels of the 2020 elections fiasco, which threatened the peace and tranquillity of this country, it is reasonable to think that the PPP/C Government must act swiftly to look at getting the authorities to charge Ogunseye for his unprovoked outburst at the public rally.

With the upcoming local polls nearby, any political leader who embraces Ogunseye’s rhetoric and racial behaviour publicly must be dealt with according to the laws.

Fourthly, Buxtonians, Afro-Guyanese and all Guyanese must shun political leaders like Ogunseye who start the conflict but run from the scene of the crime when they are met with lawful and legal resistance to bring order and control back to society.

Similarly, they must not heed the calls for unlawful activity and unrest; they must not allow themselves to be used or tempted by the Opposition provocateurs. They must remain calm, and trust in Guyana’s democracy to pave the way for a new government structure at the local and regional levels.

Guyanese must turn away from acts of aggression, thuggery and bullyism that Ogunseye appears to champion with his talk of ‘struggle’ and ‘war’. Finally, political violence must be condemned, and those who support it in public must be jailed.

Those who appeal to, incite, violence or cause public disorder must be dealt with according to the law; Guyanese must start to change their tolerance levels until they have no more.

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