APNU General Secretary says awaiting formal complaint from WPA

Tacuma Ogunseye

A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) will not publicly discuss any dissatisfaction the WPA may have with coalition until such time as those concerns are formally communicated to the party.

This is according to APNU General Secretary Joseph Harmon. Harmon was at the time providing an invited response to a letter written by WPA executive member Tacuma Ogunseye in which he indicated that the party should urgently put on its agenda whether it should stay in the APNU alliance and the coalition government.

“I have received no such communication,” Harmon said when contacted by Stabroek News yesterday. He added that as member of the APNU executive, Ogunseye “is aware of the procedures used to address grievances.”

“That said I can’t respond to anything in the media, I await a proper letter from Mister Ogunseye,” Harmon concluded.

The letter published in the Sunday Stabroek was written in the wake of the state-owned Guyana Chronicle’s termination of David Hinds and Lincoln Lewis as columnists.

According to Ogunseye he is of the opinion that the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), its executive member, Hinds, and Lewis are “victims of a conspiracy hatched by major players in the APNU and AFC”.

While the WPA has clashed with A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – of which the PNCR is the main component – and the government over various matters including the lack of consultation, Ogunseye’s letter signalled a higher level of disaffection.

He said that it is no secret that in the corridors of power at the highest levels there were concerns about the criticisms of the government by Hinds. He said that whether those views were expressed in the pages of the Chronicle or other newspapers, they had become for the ruling politicians a matter of great concern which had to be to be dealt with in “indecent haste”.

Columns by the two men, Ogunseye said, had emerged as “undisputed clashes of political cultures between Hinds and Lewis on one side of the divide and the authors of the decision to relieve them of their right to propagate their views in the Guyana Chronicle, a fully owned paper of the citizens of Guyana, on the other side”.

“Now that the APNU+AFC is in government and, given the mindset of some of the ruling politicians, some of whom have neither sense nor history of struggle in Guyana, the issue of the right of the WPA and its members to engage in objective criticisms of the political process has emerged as a cardinal sin.  After reading the public explanations by Nigel Williams, Editor-in-Chief of the Guyana Chronicle, on the removal of Hinds and Lewis as columnists, I am forced to conclude that David Hinds, the WPA and Lincoln Lewis are victims of a conspiracy hatched by major players in the APNU and AFC”, Ogunseye argued.

He said what subsequently played out in the Chronicle Board meeting of Tuesday, March 13th, 2018, where a slim majority voted to uphold the decision, confirmed his suspicions.

“It is now crystal clear to any right-thinking Guyanese at home and abroad, that the decision to remove the two popular columnists from the Chronicle was orchestrated by and had the blessings of senior members of the APNU+AFC government”, Ogunseye said.

He maintained that “After careful consideration of the WPA’s experiences – negative and positive, in the APNU, the coalition and government, I am convinced that the WPA, should as a matter of urgency, put on its political agenda, the issue as to whether it makes political sense to remain in the APNU coalition and government. The need for a frank and open debate in the party on this and other very important matters impacting the coalition assumes greater importance, particularly, given the consistent disregard and disrespect shown to the party.

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