Attorney general condemns in ‘strongest possible terms’ calls by Tacuma Ogunseye for Armed Forces to join mass uprising against the ‘lawful and democratically’ elected Government of Guyana

In my capacity as Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Secretary of the Defence Board and indeed, a citizen of Guyana, I feel compelled to condemn in the strongest possible terms, the exhortations by Tacuma Ogunseye to the Armed Forces of Guyana to join a mass uprising against the lawful and democratically elected Government of Guyana, referencing the Forces’ “ready access to weapons”, for them to be “battle ready”, and preying to the dominant Afro-Guyanese composition of the said Forces.

This racist incendiary call for public disorder and resistance, positioned as an alternative to the democratic process of Local Government Elections lawfully due, is capable of amounting to several criminal offences, including but not limited to, sedition, seditious libel, inciting riotous behaviour and exciting

racial hostility in order to create a breakdown of law and order within the State of Guyana, if not treason. Certainly, such inflammatory publications cannot be justified under the rubric of freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Constitution, since Article 146 which guarantees such freedom, expressly excepts “…hate speeches or other expressions, in whatever form, capable  of  exciting  hostility  or  ill-will  against  any  person  or  class  of persons.” [Article 146 (3)]

The unvarnished truth is that persons such as Tacuma Ogunseye and those of his ilk are of a bygone era, stuck in a time warp long gone, and which have no place in modern Guyana, and indeed, in any modern democratic society. Nevertheless, we cannot become complacent and ignore these dangerous threats intended to strike at the foundation of the freedoms we enjoy and the rule of law, which protects us as a civilised nation.

All right-thinking citizens must therefore echo their voices against such perilous rhetoric and the law enforcement agencies are obliged to take such action as they deem necessary. History has shown that when such conduct is ignored, it inspires the perpetrators with greater boldness to public detriment.