The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has issued a wanted bulletin for Working People’s Alliance (WPA) executive member Tacuma Ogunseye.
According to the wanted bulletin, the politician is wanted for the offence of “attempting to excite hostility or ill-will on the ground of race, contrary to Section 3 of the Racial Hostility Act…”
The incident was allegedly committed on March 9, 2023 during a public meeting at Buxton, East Coast Demerara (ECD).
In his first public response following the furor caused by his statements at that meeting, the politician has said he would plead guilty “with explanation” if charges are brought against him.
“We are prepared to use civil disobedience as an effective political weapon… When we look at the lineup of charges they have been uttering, treason seems to be the most severe of the threats,” Ogunseye said.
“WPA publicly resolved that once they come with treason charges, we will not treat it as a legal matter. We will see it as a political matter, and I would go to court and plead guilty with explanation. That is our attitude to the charges.”
As it relates to his choice of words, Ogunseye was adamant that they were appropriate in the context of “street corner” politics.
Among other racial and divisive remarks he made at the meeting, the WPA member declared that “the first objective is to get the African team in a state of battle readiness… the Afro-Guyanese police and soldiers… would stand with Afro-Guyanese in resisting mainly Indo-Guyanese supporting the PPP/C.”
His remarks attracted widespread condemnation from a large cross-section of society, including some Opposition members who have since faced backlash for speaking out.
Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton has, however, defended Ogunseye’s remarks, claiming that he is entitled to freedom of speech.