SOBA UK Press Statement No. 3
12th July, 2018
SOBA UK wishes to confirm that the recent elections organised by the UK Splinter group members instructed by Professor Ephraim Ngwafor in Cameroon had nothing to do with the legitimate SOBA UK entity that has been operating for the past 48 years in the United Kingdom.
We also wish to confirm that no registered members of SOBA UK (over 80 strong members) took part in these elections following;
- the General Assembly resolution of the 24th of February 2018 to reject calls for such elections from overseas, which undermine the integrity and autonomy of SOBA UK
- the failure to uphold the provisions set out in Article 28 of the SOBA UK Constitution which stipulates the requirements for voters and candidates in any legitimate elections in SOBA UK
Therefore, the outcome of the elections organised by the Splinter group and under the unprecedented orders of an overseas person(s) has no UK constitutional backing. SOBA UK is confirming that these recent elections and Professor Ephraim Ngwafor’s dubious endorsement of the results as a means to rebuild his own shattered legitimacy in SOBA is null and void. We have noted that Professor Ephraim Ngwafor’s legitimacy as president general ended on 4th March 2018 when a Revival General Assembly held as a result of his failure to hold a general assembly meeting in 4 years or to render financial accountability and other issues raised. These issues remain unresolved to date.
SOBA UK is advising members of the public and Sobans worldwide to disregard any individuals purporting to be the Executive of SOBA UK who are not listed herein. For the avoidance of doubt, we confirm that SOBA UK’s Executive remains as follows:
Ayuk Akoh-Arrey -President
Bime Lafon -Vice President
John Bawak- Secretary General
Babangida Usamatu- Assistant SecretaryGeneral
BateyTako- Financial Secretary
Dennis Angafor- Assistant Financial Secretary
Franklin Egbe – Executive Treasurer
The SOBA UK Executive wishes to clarify that the SOBA UK programme for the rest of 2018 continues as planned. The SOBA UK Events team are delighted to announce that the Annual Residential Convention will be held on 21st to 23rd September 2018 at one of Britain’s most prestigious venues. The next SOBA UK General Assembly meeting will be held on Saturday 22nd September 2018 from 10am. The formal launch of the Convention and full details will be announced shortly. We are very mindful of the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon which has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Anglophones and significant loss of lives, as well as the worsening situation. This is a theme that will be picked up at this year’s convention.
Over the past 5 years the SOBA UK Conventions have been well attended by many Cameroonian families in the UK as well as for those looking to network with the Cameroonian community. SOBA UK enjoys significant goodwill support from our community for what we are, the examples we set and the opportunities that we bring to the community. There is also a symbiotic relationship between SOBA UK and other alumni groups in the UK. For example, registered members of SOBA UK made a contribution of £2,300 on 5th May 2018 to OPSA UK at their annual convention to support their “Education of a Girl” programme. This level of support to another alumni group shows the goodwill of our members which can be harnessed for the education of our children in Cameroon.
A key part of what we do is to collaborate and empower Sobans around the world. In the last 12 months alone SOBA UK has been represented by our president Mr Ayuk Akoh-Arrey (FIA) and other members to conventions at SOBA America, SOBA Foundation (in Germany), and SOBA Ireland. Also, in the past 4 out of 5 years SOBA UK has been represented at SOBA America conventions including at Montreal Canada in 2015. In 2014 SOBA UK made a contribution of £2,600 to support the 75th Anniversary celebrations in Cameroon and many members attended the event at St Joseph’s College, Sasse.
The alma mater, St Joseph’s College Sasse remains dear to Sobans in the UK and that is why the Sasse Sick Bay project was initiated and implemented by SOBA UK with nearly £18,000 spent from the coffers of SOBA UK. An MOU was put in place in December of 2014 between SOBA UK and the Bishop of the Diocese of Buea, which would have allowed significant funds tobe injected to complete the projectbut was sabotaged by Professor Ephraim Ngwafor. In 2016, the SOBA UK General Assembly regrettably voted to withdraw from the Sickbay project, which has since then collapsed with Professor Ngwafor failing to either show the merits of his actions on the MOU or complete the project. SOBA UK remains open to showing goodwill to the alma mater.
In respect of our UK membership, SOBA UK continues to lead the way in terms of what our fraternity should be about. In the last 15 months alone 7 of our registered members lost a parent in an unprecedented spate of losses never seen before in the history of SOBA UK. Thankfully, the goodwill of our members and the association enabled significant financial support of over £14,000 to be provided to those bereaved, as well as emotional support.The strength and diligence of what we have built in SOBA UK has seen us through such a difficult year and may the souls of those who have departed rest in peace.
Mr John Bawak
SG SOBA UK
On behalf of the Executive Team
Mr Ayuk Akoh-Arrey,
President SOBA UK