OPINION: Tacuma Ogunseye – raising the bar still higher

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 March 2023, 19:24 by Denis Chabrol

By GHK Lall

Tacuma Ogunseye just applied some more heat to the controversies surrounding his words of March 9th delivered in Buxton.  He seemingly keeps stoking the fire, raising the temperature, using himself as the rocket fuel.  It does not take much of himself, such an accelerant he is now.  The brother in the WPA has made his position clear: he is ready to go down all the way to the end.  It remains to be seen who is with him, who is against him, and those who do not to be found or seen anywhere around him.  Everyone is put on notice, as to the seriousness of this Guyanese son, this African Guyanese brother; and his willingness to be the sacrificial lamb, if matters come to such a gory place.  He wants to see, is pushing all the buttons-red ones, hot ones, and sparking ones-to see what Guyanese are made of, suffering Guyanese, conscientious ones, the most.

In my very first writing on Tacuma’s fireworks coming out of Buxton, I shared that I thought I could see what he was aiming for, where he was going, notwithstanding the combustible nature of his words.  The gauntlet that he threw down had the finality of a man contemplating his last supper and liking it.  Yes, we heard from his own lips about the army, but it was also of the army for whom he spoke, the army standing on the sidelines listening and watching, and thinking of the significance of his newest words.  I had said before that he placed the PPP Government and its top people in a scorpion’s nest, one which left them with a Hobson’s Choice.  Do something and reap the whirlwind.  Do nothing, and give credence to the man and his words, and a cause made noble either way.  The choice is the PPP’s: make Tacuma Ogunseye into a hero.  Or make him into a martyr.  Now he himself has up the ante still some more on the PPP (and the PNC also).  He has shown his hand, and it is fully bared, and fully extended.  He is ready.  Ready to go down for his beliefs and his people, he is neither backing away nor backing down.

If it comes to the crime of all crimes against the State, then he is ready to plead guilty.  No quibbling.  If treason is the charge, then he welcomes it, if not necessarily with open hands, at least with an open mind, and with lips that pour forth with one word that possesses an encyclopedia of meanings: guilty!  Guilty!  Guilty!  There is only one penalty for treason, the mother of all crimes, and it is final.  Who could ever want a clearer expression of a man’s willingness to be a martyr for all the frustrations and sufferings of his people?  Who could not interpret the readiness of this African Guyanese to go to the tripwire, and then beyond, even if it is the last breath that he ever takes?  From my assessment of all the ingredients and players in this great Guyanese challenge unfolding in slow moving chapters, this is bigger than Tacuma.  It is what goes beyond his newest postures, what could come after him.  Is he the spark that mushrooms into what we have managed to avoid by the skin of our teeth in many seasons of close shaves?  With volatile and incendiary oil as part of the heaving, under pressure cocktail, this has gone to a new and untested, as well as unfathomable, dimension.

What I think that Tacuma just did was to neutralize treason into a misdemeanor in his mind’s eye, a judicial issue of the smallest consequence.  For all of its penalties, its irreversible jarring end.  The man has transformed the legal into the political, and at such times, death indeed loses its fearsome sting.  The trouble for the PPP Government is that the wrong move, the slightest of missteps, and Tacuma could transport into inspiration, a creature of legends, one that is in the here and now.

Turning back the pages of misty memory, I cannot recall the last time, if there was any time, that the omnipotent and reckless PPP Government and its leadership have been this slow to move, this sluggish to act.  It is my belief that all the wise men in the PPP have read the situation as I do, and they hesitate.  Tacuma has already gained the upper hand, regardless of what transpires next.  At least, he has emerged ahead in this the first round.  I do not think that I hear him taunting the PPP, but there is no doubting the invitation that is there.  It is this: if treason is the best shot in the arsenal, then bring it on down.  He is ready to go down, but with the biggest, loudest, and longest fight.

Who is going to be on his side?  The PNC?  Black Guyanese and the sum of their humiliations and hurts?  This is where all roads lead, all matter distill.  Tacuma Ogunsye has spoken, drawn his line in the sand, and it looks like a red one.  It is the PPP’s move.