Guyanese must hold perpetrators of hate speech accountable – MP Datadin

Executive member of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Tacuma Ogunseye has been described as bitter, divisive, racist and determined to hinder the country’s progress.

Member of Parliament, Sanjeev Datadin added his voice to condemn the statements made by the WPA member, joining government officials, private sector representatives, and other sections of society.

Member of Parliament, Sanjeev Datadin

MP Datadin, was referring to the incendiary remarks made by Ogunseye during a WPA meeting held in Buxton, East Coast Demerara on March 9, noting that these remarks sought to promote hate.

He reiterated the unproven claim by opposition members that Afro-Guyanese are being oppressed under the current administration.

Further, Ogunseye appeared to encourage the use of violence to advance a political agenda, insinuating that members of the joint forces should ‘turn those guns in the right direction.’

Recognising the liberties afforded concerning free speech, MP Datadin, who is  also an Attorney at Law, emphasised that there is no protection under the constitution for the promotion of hatred and racism.

“It is disturbing that people take such liberties and say such things in public settings in Guyana. They are Guyanese and they are entitled to their views, but they are not entitled to divide us. They are not entitled to tell us how we should treat our fellow Guyanese, and they are not entitled to tell us that we should stand for violence against our fellow Guyanese, civilised societies don’t work that way,” he said.

MP Datadin added that any attempts to create a racial divide that conflicts with the country’s trajectory in building a ‘One Guyana’ should be condemned by all.

He also called on Guyanese to point out the perpetrators and not turn a blind eye to such divisive speech.

“Anybody who has a modicum of intellect or even common sense would know that every conversation about racial and ethnic division started by madmen, ended in tragedy. There is no place for such behaviour here. We should not tolerate it. If we are going to be successful as a country, we have to resist this hate speech.

“We must call it out! We must charge the perpetrators, and prosecute them. It takes us as a people to stand up and say we would not tolerate that. And that is what we have to do,” the attorney stressed.

Datadin said such language has no place in a democratic society.