OROKO CULTURAL ASSOCIATION – USA

09/02/2018

General Assembly Minutes for Chicago Convention 2018

The General Assembly meeting for the Chicago 2018 Convention began at 1:15 p.m ET with opening prayer by Tata Dr. Charles Misori. This was followed by a minute of silence for the departed family members of members of Oroko U.S.A and those back home who have lost their lives due to the ongoing crisis in Cameroon. Thereafter, the National President Iya Dr. Clementine Ebenye Nanje called on those who are present at the general assembly meeting to make a self-introduction, after which the National President took the floor to make her first speech to the Oroko U.S.A audience.

She began by thanking the Chicago chapter for hosting this year’s convention and for the wonderful job they did in order to make sure the convention was a success, and called for the audience to give the Chicago chapter a round of applause. She went further to thank the Oroko U.S.A members for coming to the convention and also extended her gratitude to the former National President Tata Prince Ferdinand Mediko for given her a hand of support during the transition of power to the new administration. She wasted no time, and went straight to the main goal of this year’s convention which was to raise funds for the humanitarian crisis in Oroko land, and she appealed to members to re-dedicate themselves to Oroko U.S.A. She promised to work with Oroko U.S.A in every step of the way in order for us to realize our goal for this year’s convention. 

With respect to her achievement thus far, she went on by saying that OCA-USA now has a 501 (c) (3), which can enable us to raise funds to meet our financial needs to the benefit of our association. She mentioned that her administration has also created a Humanitarian Assistance Committee to help in the implementation of our humanitarian assistance program in Oroko land. She mentioned that the OCA-USA under her leadership has created a Global Oroko Forum which can enable us to get information on what is happening on the ground back home in Cameroon. She talk about a new arm that she has created called the Think-Tank group which comprises of former presidents and other Oroko dignitaries within the confines of Oroko  U.S.A. She continued by saying that the purpose of creating the Think-Tank group was to enable OCA-USA to tap in ideas and suggestions from this group of people which can help in the implementation of programs or projects in Oroko land in the short and long run. Also, she said, the Think-Tank group was created to forge a concrete bond between the various organizations within Oroko U.S.A. The members of the Think-Tank group include, Tata Adolphus Ati, Tata Dr. Charles Misori, Tata Blessed Efilo Ngoe, Tata Prince Ferdinand Mediko, Tata Rev. Dr. Samuel Esale, Tata Eras Beseka, Tata Paddy Ndole, Tata Dr. Fred Bebe, Tata Felix Awanjo and Tata Louis Etongwe. She also seized this opportunity to hammer on some pertinent issues especially with regards to grievances between the various clans within Oroko U.S.A and emphasized on the need for us to come together as one people irrespective of our various clans so that we can work in achieving our goal under the banner of Oroko U.S.A without which she stressed, it will be very difficult to attain certain result if we do not abandon the issue of cultural divide under the pretext that we belong to different clans.  She went further to bring to the attention the fact that a GoFundMe was created to help members who were sick in Georgia as it was agreed in the 2017 Boston convention. She continued by saying that some members within our Oroko U.S.A community have also lost love ones this year, and she is going to seize this opportunity to extend her heartfelt condolences to all the bereaved families. She continued by saying that, in this year’s convention she has chosen a young man to be our keynote speaker of the name of Tata Blessed Efilo Ngoe who is a student here in the United States. In her final address, she mentioned that helping our Oroko families back home, which have been devastated by the sociopolitical crisis in Cameroon is very urgent and imperative.

After her speech, a question was raised by Tata Daniel Mukete with regards to the creation of the Think-Tank group by the National President, with a pretext that this group may override the National Executive and that caution should be taken and if possible there should be an amendment of the constitution in order to put to check the powers of the Think-Tank group. To this point, Tata Dr. Charles Misori took the floor to explain to the audience what the Think-Tank group was all about. He mentioned the group’s purpose was just to help the National President in some of her decisions especially when it comes to developmental projects and programs in Oroko land, and that although some people were chosen to be members of this group, it does not in any way limit the fact that there are other people who can give valuable contribution to the projects and programs which are envisaged by the National President to be carried back home.

On his part, Tata Sakwe Edward Itoe Obasemoiti, debunked the fact that the constitution should be amended because of the creation of the Think-Tank group, he stressed the fact that the National President has the right to put in place people she feels can enable her achieve her goals or dreams as a National President, without fear of the fact these people can surpassed her current executive and to that effect changing the constitution is not warranted.

Tata Adolf Ebile also weighed in to say that been an ex-president and not been committed does not show that you have  the interest of the organization and that the activities of the Think-Tank group should be guided, and members of this committee should not be a executive members.

On his part Tata Jackson Nanje also asked what is the difference between the Board of Directors as stipulated by our constitution and the Think-Tank group? This question, it should be noted that, did not have a definite response from the audience. Tata Andrew Edimo on his part mentioned that, there were  some names in the Think-Tank group that he has never heard before.

The meeting proceeded with the reading of the Boston 2017 Convention minutes by the Secretary General Tata Emmanuel Ikoe. These minutes were adopted by the house.

On matters arising from the minutes, Tata Andrew Edimo raised a question as to whether the meeting for the Boston 2017 Convention was adjourned. Although there was no definite answer to this question, the fact remains that his point was noted for subsequent meetings.

Still on matters arising from the minutes of the Boston 2017 Convention, Tata Andrew Edimo went further to ask whether the prayer line which was proposed by Tata Dr. Charles Misori in the Boston 2017 Convention was put into effect. At this point, the National President mentioned that she has contacted Tata Rev. Dr. Samuel Esale for organization of a prayer line in collaboration with Tata Dr. Charles Misori.

Still on matters arising, Tata Daniel Mukete mentioned that he has about five points of concern with respect to what was read in the minutes by the Secretary General. He mentioned that, the fact that he accepted that the minutes should be adopted was not because of the level of perfection, but because at times there are certain things that we do not need to over emphasis at every point in time. However, he continued that there are five points, which were of interest to him with respect to what was agreed and said in the Boston 2017 Convention. These five points it should be noted were in the form of questions, which I am going to outline.

The first point was; what happened with the issue of the $1 a day, which was voted and agreed by the house to take into effect? And of which he donated a sum of $200 to keep the ball rolling.

The second point was; has the money borrowed by the Boston chapter to run the 2017 Boston convention been paid?

The third point was; has the issue of transfer of funds by the parties involved in the 2011 Washington D.C convention been resolved as promised?

The fourth point was; did the fundraising which was supposed to take place in July of 2018 in Dallas taken effect?

The fifth point was; what happened with the GoFundMe which was agreed to be set up at the Boston convention to help our sick members in the Georgia chapter?

And to add Tata Andrew Edimo also asked if the number of registered members increase from the original 53 members that were announced at the Boston convention?

These questions were answered and addressed by members of the house beginning with the National President who mentioned that with respect to the $1 a day project as agreed by the house, it was put on-hold considering the current sociopolitical crisis in Cameroon, which has become a matter of urgency.

On her part, the Financial Secretary Iya Caroline Elangwe weighed in and mentioned that the sum of $250 was still in the keeping for the $1 a day project which includes the $200 which was donated by Tata Daniel Mukete. On his part, Tata Dr. Fred Bebe also asked what about the GoFundMe for our sisters? The National President Iya Dr. Clementine Nanje answered by saying that she took it upon herself to carry out the GoFundMe and it was effective. Some members weighed in to say that since it was an issue discussed at the national convention, the GoFundMe was supposed to be done under the banner of Oroko U.S.A as opposed to what the National President did as an individual. However, Tata Jackson Nanje weighed in with respect to the GoFundMe to say that, the GoFundMe was just a suggestion which was made at the Boston 2017 Convention.

On her part, Iya Gertrude Ngoe, also seized the opportunity to thank members of Oroko U.S.A and beyond for their financial as well as spiritual support toward her recovery from sickness

With respect to the transfer of funds to the Washington D.C chapter specifically by Tata Ebini Tambe which he agreed of doing so during the Boston 2017 convention, Iya Caroline Elangwe mentioned that since Tata Ebini Tambe was not part of the administration at the time the funds were being disbursed, she maintained that, the  responsibility to reclaim the funds remains that of  the then President of the Washington D.C chapter Iya Angela Ngole, who gave authorization for the funds to be withdrawn from the account. However, this claim was debunked by Iya Mispa Bokwe, who mentioned that, although Iya Caroline Elangwe said Tata Ebini Tambe were not part of the administration; he was a signatory to the account. She continued by saying that Tata Ebini Tambe was to open the account in Delaware, and she and Tata Ebini Tambe both had a signature to the account and a sum of $2300 was transferred to the account.  Tata Divine Mokwe also weighed in by saying that he and Tata Ebini Tambe had gone out for a drink and Tata Ebini Tambe did use a credit card which was open under the name of Oroko.

On her part, Iya Dr. Mabora Ma Etinge, weighed in to ask if we know the status of limitation of the money should in case we were to pursuit a legal claim? Since the money was an issue since 2011. To this question, Tata Dr. Misori Charles weighed in to suggest that, it was better to annul the whole issue of the money so that we should not keep talking about it further in our future conventions. Still on this issue, Tata Adolf Ebile, also weighed in and said, this issue has been in discussion since Tata Dr. Fred Bebe was National President, and he wants to support the idea of Tata Dr. Charles Misori to annul the issue, but he cautioned that by doing to it may set a precedence for other people to do same, so he suggested that, if there are documentations to back the claim, those documents should be kept in order to protect the Washington D.C chapter and other chapters from such reoccurrence. The National President weighed in by saying that, Tata Ebini Tambe did not say that the money was not in the account, but that the account has not been accessed for a long period of time and so it has been blocked. In conclusion to this matter, the house, under the supervision of the Moderator Tata James Namata Ngoe, agreed that since the issue has been protracted, and keeps coming up in our national conventions, it will now be handed over to the national executive to handle it behind the scenes in order to prevent this issue from becoming a topic of the day in our future conventions. Tata Prince Ferdinand Mediko also called upon members of OCA-USA to give their support to the National President and her executive so that they can be able to achieve good results with respect to what has been discussed during this convention.

With respect the question of the money borrowed by the Boston chapter to run the convention, the Boston President Tata Janarius Nanje mentioned that the money his chapter borrowed from the national was paid in full.

With respect to the question about the fundraising gala in Dallas, the President of Dallas chapter Tata Winston Okole mentioned that the fundraising took place and it was successful. He seized the opportunity to thank the National President and Iya Joffy Nanje for coming to Dallas for the event and to make their support for the cause.

As to whether, they was increment to the amount of people who registered during the Boston 2017 convention, the National Treasurer Iya Naomi Bebe Ebile mentioned that some people did registered after the convention was over which boosted the registration from the initial figure recorded at the Boston 2017 convention.

On financial matters, the Financial Secretary, Iya Caroline Elangwe, took the floor to give us an insight on the state of our finances as of date. She mentioned that, as of date, the net balance in our coffers was $ 6,350.62, and the money transferred from the previous administration was $16,886.40. She continued by saying that these are just  figures she have as of now  due to convention preparations, but she is going to take her time in collaboration with the National Treasurer Iya Naomi Bebe Ebile to itemized every penny spent during the Chicago convention and make copies for members to view for themselves.

The meeting proceeded with chapter report. The Georgia chapter headed by Tata Evaristus Nanje as acting president took the floor to brief the audience on the state of affairs in his chapter. He began by thanking the  Chicago chapter for hosting the convention and went further to tell the audience that he is now the acting president of his chapter as a result of the fact that the then President Tata Chief Victor Obie fell sick and was unable to stay at the helm of office. He mentioned that membership was a problem in the Georgia chapter, and that the chapter has 27 registered members. He said he has worked hard to increase membership but all fell on deaf ears. He mentioned that there are benefits to belong to the Georgia chapter, and that no matter our differences, we still have to belong to a group. He went further to throw his support to the National President about the issue of clans, which he says has caused a lot of divide in the Oroko community and that we should try to work together as one people. Last but not the least he mentioned that his wife Iya Gertrude Ngoe got sick and it was not easy for him and he wants to seize this opportunity to thank members of the Oroko family for the enormous support during those difficult times.

The next President to present to the audience was the Tata Janarious Nanje of the Boston chapter. He began by saying that his chapter hosted the Boston 2017 convention, and we witness the coming of a new national president Iya Dr. Clementine Ebenye Nanje and the outgoing of the former national president Tata Prince Ferdinand Mboe Mediko. He mentioned that the former National President visited them in Boston as a usual tradition to encourage them as they prepare to host the convention. He mentioned that Boston chapter was not financially viable and so they had to borrow some money from the national in order to be able to finance their convention preparations. He said as of 2017 they had about 7 members in their meetings, and also he is going to handover leadership to the Secretary General of the Boston chapter Tata Bertrand Etukeni who will serve as the interim president for the Boston chapter. He also mentioned that their chapter is planning to open an account which will have at least two signatories. Lastly, he mentioned that, the GoFundMe as Tata Daniel Mukete mentioned should be an achievement of OCA-USA and not as an individual achievement like what the National President alluded.

The next was the President of the greater Washington D.C area, Tata Mosongo Nanje, who is also the National Vice President. On his part, he mentioned that his chapter has about 20 members with an attendance rate of between 10 to 15 members in their monthly meetings. He said, their emergency fund was still active and that his administration has made it a challenge to keep their financial records very transparent. He seized the opportunity to encourage people who are living around the greater Washington D.C area to register and become members of the Washington D.C chapter. He also mentioned that some of their chapter members were bereaved and could not make it to the convention.

Next was the President of the Dallas chapter Tata Winston Okole. He began by saying that the Dallas chapter has witness a general trend increment which comprises of members who are not only those living within the confines of Dallas, but also those from other areas, and that the Dallas chapter is becoming a very powerful chapter. He continued by saying that the Dallas chapter has supported a lot of people, and that they cannot keep supporting only other people, meanwhile our Oroko brothers and sisters are being subjected to pain and suffering back home as a result of the current sociopolitical crisis. To that effect, he mentioned that they took it upon themselves to organize a fundraising gala, in order to help support our people back home. He seized the opportunity to thank again, the National President for her presence at the gala, and he hope the National President can take Oroko U.S.A to higher heights. He said his chapter is going to present a check to OCA-USA as a token for their support for the humanitarian assistance program. He said his chapter was doing well financially with an amount of at least $15,000 in their coffers. He also thanked the former National President Tata Prince Ferdinand Mediko for encouraging the creation of a new chapter in Chicago.

On his part, Tata Rudolf Nabola took the floor to represent the Houston chapter in the absent of their president. He mentioned that he was in Dallas for the fundraising gala, and that he and Tata Paddy Ndole are going to revive the Houston chapter. He said they now have a vibrant President known as Tata Burnet Diony and an able treasurer known as Iya Mercy Ndole. He said their chapter has about 13 members and presently they have no bank account. Just before he concluded his presentation, there was an interjection by the Moderator Tata James Namata Ngoe who mentioned that he just receives a tweet from the Houston chapter to announce that the Houston chapter is supporting the national with $550.

On his part, Tata Denis Nabola also mentioned that they are trying to create a new chapter in North Dakota and by next convention he will come with a report in their progress.

Tata Dr. Fred Bebe on his part mentioned that he was supposed to come up with a report as promised in the Boston 2017 convention about reviving their chapter, but as of now, nothing has changed to that effect.

Tata Dr. Charles Misori also hinted the fact that the Oroko people of Alabama are also thinking of creating a new chapter, and even to host the convention in the nearest future.

The meeting proceeded with the National President’s introduction of the keynote speaker of the name of Tata Blessed Efilo Ngoe. She mentioned that the keynote speaker was like her God-son and holds a BA in journalism and communication. She continued by saying that he is a Master Degree student here in New Mexico University and that he has written a book which some of us have read.

The keynote speaker Tata Blessed Efilo Ngoe took the floor and began his speech by thanking the audience for giving him a chance to talk to OCA-USA, and he continued by saying that OCA-USA was a spirit of Oroko nation. He said he had prepared a speech to talk to the Oroko people but at this point that piece of writing may not be important rather he will speak from the heart. He went on to thank Oroko U.S.A for the support they have given to people who have been in school, like in the University of Buea, Dschang and Yaounde. He continued by saying that the challenges are enormous in Oroko land. He said if the Oroko people do not love their people here in the U.S.A, they cannot love their people back home. He stressed the fact that we are not born to suffer but our suffering has come due to our silence. He said we are political animals and we need to be involved in the stakes of affairs in Oroko land. He mentioned that some Oroko children are not happy with themselves, because they were not given the right direction, for example he said some Oroko children cannot speak their Oroko language. He went further to hammer on the issue of clans and emphasized that this issue is tearing us apart and hindering our development.  He said that Oroko is a nation and that if we follow our history we will realize that we are all one an indivisible people. His speech ended with a round of applause from the audience. It should be noted that the complete speech will be available at our OCA-USA website.

After the keynote speaker ended his address to OCA-USA, Tata Daniel Mukete took the floor, to discuss some issues of concern which he says he has been hearing especially with respect to the current socio-political crisis in Cameroon. He pointed out the fact that, he understands the plight and frustration of the keynote speaker, but at this point he said, there is nothing anybody can do. He mentioned, that as to the claim to the fact that the Northwesterners are becoming major players in the socio-political crisis in the Southwest region was as a result of the fact that they were brought in as laborers for economic reasons, not by their own will. He mentioned that he was very worried with Oroko and that even his stomach is protruding because of the so many Oroko problems. He mentioned that he has been involved in Oroko affairs since he was a student in CCAS Kumba and even when he went to Yaounde he was still involved in Oroko affairs and he was the Secretary General of Oroko association in Yaounde and Tata Norbert Mbile was President back then. The meeting was called to recess by the Moderator followed by a lunch break.

The meeting resumed with the Chicago chapter headed by Tata Ebenezer Ekoi briefing the audience on their achievements as a newly opened chapter. He mentioned that the Chicago chapter has about 7 registered members, and they took it as a challenge not to fail in this year’s convention so that other areas can be encouraged to open a new chapter. He said they are willing to accept calls from anybody from another state who wishes to start up a new chapter for ideas and encouragement. He said his chapter is also looking forward to raise money for the people on ground zero.

Before the end of the session, Tata Edward Sakwe Itoe Obasemoiti took the floor to talk about Tata Joshua Osih who is running for President in Cameroon, and he mentioned that as an Oroko man and son of the soil, he will like to urge the Oroko people to give him their full support as he faces this challenge.

On his part, Tata Chilian Tabe mentioned that there is a need to create another committee that will help to bring the various clans together. He said, the issue of clans being apart from each other has hindered our progress and that we should seek for avenues to bring the clans together under one umbrella.

On her part, Iya Kristy Nanje took the floor to talk about a financial program and to educate the audience about financial investments. She mentioned that, investments help us to increase our potential towards self-reliance. She talked of creating emergency funds for ourselves as a means of survival. She talked of saving money by spending judiciously and cut down expenses on what we don’t really need. She also talked of debt management, and also protecting our money by saving it in a place that will enable it to grow. She talked of building our future and saving for our future by paying ourselves first.

On his part, Tata Musongo Nanje took the floor to throw more light on the financial program. He introduced a financial text which can be used as a means to grow our money and that they were building a financial firm for financial literacy which will help to enlighten people on how to save and invest for the future.

Last but not the least, as the session concluded, Tata Adolf Ebile took the floor and handed over copy of a letter which he said has been used by the NANJE Foundation to solicit funds under the auspices of Oroko U.S.A. He mentioned that, the supposed letter has been in circulation for people to donate with the pretext that the NANJE founder was working in collaboration with OCA-USA. He urged the National President to carry out an investigation of this letter .The National President adjourned the meeting at 6:25 p.m ET.

Those who attended this General Assembly meeting include:

Tata Victor Nanje
Tata James Namata
Tata Blessed Ngoe
Iya Dr. Clementine Nanje
Iya Emilia Okole
Tata Mosongo Nanje
Tata Dr. Fred Bebe
Tata Evaristus Nanje
Tata Bertrand Etukeni
Tata Janarius Nanje
Iya Cora Awanjo
Tata Felix Awanjo
Tata Winston Okole
Tata Andrew Edimo
Iya Patricia Mofa
Iya Joffy Nanje
Iya Regina Elonge
Iya Tabe Boseme Lizette
Tata Chilian Tabe
Iya Gertrude Ngoe
Tata Henry Dienga
Tata Innocent Dioh
Iya Dr. Mabora Ma Etinge
Iya Bovet Maloba
Iya Frida Sakwe
Iya Josephine Mukeke
Tata Walter Mokube
Tata Nango Okole
Iya Evelyn Sakwe
Iya Cicilia Sakwe
Iya Emilia Sakwe
Iya Johana Nanje
Iya Esther Enjema
Tata Dasime Nanyingah
Iya Paulina Nanyingah
Tata Dr. Charles Misori
Tata Denis Nabola
Tata Musongo Nanje
Tata Divine Mokwe
Tata Prince Ferdinand Mediko
Iya Monica Mediko
Tata Jackson Nanje
Tata Adolf Ebile
Iya Kristy Nanje
Iya Naomi Bebe Ebile
Iya Caroline Elangwe
Tata Daniel Mukete
Tata Joseph Itoe
Tata Ngom Walters Etinge
Tata Edward Itoe Obasemoiti Sakwe
Tata Rudolf Nabola
Tata Emmanuel Ikoe

Done by:
Emmanuel Ikoe
Secretary General
OCA-USA