Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton, today said he was taken aback when the saw a statement from the Chairman of the Joint Services, Brigadier Godfrey Bess, commenting on statements made by WPA Executive Tacuma Ogunseye at a political meeting in Buxton.
In commenting on the issue, Brigadier Bess reminded and assured the nation that irrespective of its ethnic composition, the Joint Services of Guyana is an a-political institution and will continue to uphold the noble position of service to the people of Guyana.
The WPA Executive had made reference to the joint services and its ethnic make-up and support for the opposition during his public meeting speech.
Today, the Opposition Leader said Brigadier Bess’ statements were inconsistent with the historical GDF position, not to get involved in political matters.
“I don’t believe it was the place of the head of the army to comment on the issue, and the fact that, I sense he was forced to comment is indicative of the operation of the government. I will judge the army based on its historical performance. The army has not had a history of being involve in the politics of the society”
According to the Opposition Leader, he expected the Acting Military Chief of Staff to take a professional approach to the matter, and maintain the independence of the joint services.
“It is my sincere hope that external force, including the political parties and President, they do not influence the direction of the Guyana Defence Force, the GDF needs to continue to be a professional outfit but we must not ourselves, the average man in the Guyana Defence feels the racism,” Norton said.
Today, Mr. Norton reiterated that while he does not support the statements that were made by Mr. Ogunseye, the remarks must not be dismissed since the the state of affairs of the country was being described.
The Opposition Leader said the Government should use the opportunity to address to issues raised by Mr. Ogunseye, rather than to be going after him, with threats of charges and prosecution.