FL: Good morning Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe and thanks accepting to do this interview to enlighten our readers and also the national and international opinions on the Anglophone crises in Cameroon. Please can you tell us more about yourself that’s?
SAT: I am Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, I am married and a father of five kids. I studied in the U.K, I’m a control system Engineer and I came back to Cameroon in the days and I worked in SONEL as a systems engineer. I developed applications and eventually left Cameroon from Ngoundere where I was the provincial delegate of SONEL for Adamawa. I went to Nigeria and I ran CISCO’S Academy foe 23 countries in the west and central African region and I worked for an academic institution. My socio-political life, I’m not a politician, I’m an activist who believe that injustice should not be allowed to prevail and there is so much injustice in Mr. Paul Biya’s system of governance and when I got to know the history of where our forefathers are coming from, I decided to join the movement to restore our independence that was taken away from us in 1961
FL: Since October 2016, the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon which are North West and South West have experienced instability manifested by multiple claims direct directed at the Cameroonian Government. Where were you when the claims started?
SAT: well I was watching on the fringes in October and November 2016 when this crisis started and I was shocked as a matter of fact, a tip over for me, when I saw young girls in the University being rolled in sewage water as punishment for crime I could not understand.
Some girls were raped in dormitories, from the university and from a father of four daughters and a son all of them in the university , I was at pulse, then I realized that, this is a system that has no respect for human values and I decided to pay attention to what was happening and it is at that stage that I realized that I had to become involved because M.Biya had shown even at that he had no respect for the lives of our people and when on the 31st of December Mr. Biya made a speech completely ignorant or completely avoiding the subject by saying that Cameroon was one and indivisible. I knew that he had no intensions to solve this problem so, if he has no intensions to solve the problem then we make it a bigger problem and make sure that it will be solved once and for all and of course the problem has degenerated to this level because M. Biya has no idea on how to solve problems and that he has left this problem to reach this stage. We have now come to a stage where there is no turning back. M. Biya had a chance to solve this problem in October for the lawyers, he had a chance to solve this problem in November for the teachers. He failed in both instances and he use a s always the tool at his disposal that he chooses to use violence the force of his military and money to corrupt people in the region of the North west and South west.
We all can see in sight that all of that has failed and he has moved the people by his rectorate by the use of fowl language by his ministers and by the total indifference to the quality of life of our people. He has moved very many people from the camp of those who believed that there was a way of redressing his called decentralization that he signed 21 years ago and has never applied it. He moved people from that camp even those who thought federalism was the solution are now coming to turn the fact that there is only one solution to this problem and that solution is the restoration of the independence of Southern Cameroon. Mr. Biya has manifested that fate for all his 35 years in power and this year is just the demonstration of that bad fate.
FL: In concrete terms what are your demands on the government of Cameroon?
SAT: we have one request only and now we are requesting these from M. Biya to move his forces from our land, a land that he occupied with his people, before Mr. Ahidjo occupied our land 56 years ago we have now awoken and we are telling him to get back to the boundaries set by the United Nations between Southern Cameroon and the Republic of Cameroon. That’s our only request we expect to seat at the table, the days or the weeks or the months to come and discuss the terms of the separation of this marriage that never was.
FL: According to issue No 582 of October 2017 of the newspaper repress published in Cameroon, we learned that in 2006 you were dismissed from the company AES Sonel that is in now called ENEO for negligence after a misappropriation of 250 million Francs C.F.A. On the other hand, many documents have gone round the social networks accusing you of having signed in 2012, the basement exploitation contracts of the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon with the Canadian firms called Kilimanjaro Capital Ltd. What is your reaction?
SAT: Whoever wrote that article about me working from SONEL and misappropriating 250 million hasn’t a clue of my performance in SONEL just for the record, I was unjustly dismissed from SONEL and I sued the company for unlawful dismissal and SONEL paid me 14 million Francs. I have been going to Cameroon since 2006 that I left Cameroon I have been going to Cameroon every year and I have renewing my passport and if I had any issues the Cameroon government would have brought me to justice. Everybody must know that, the same newspaper that wrote a story of me haven stolen money is the newspaper sponsored by Mr. Biya and his team. That newspaper has no credibility, when the time will be right I will actually get them to prove that I stole money from SONEL, but that is neither, the bottom line is that they have nothing to hold. I have a very clean professional record and it will stand the test of time until tomorrow. On the same issue of Kilimanjaro capital, I have no clue, I’m actually seeing this for the first time. So whoever brings up this accusation as they say <<give a dog a bad name to hang it>>, but all this mud they throw at me and my team will not stick because we have nothing to hide. Mr. Biya is the one who has misappropriated the funds of a whole country under his care for the last 35 years and counting. He believes he owes nobody any explanation for the money he has been using but when the time will reach we will bring him to book and he will account for every franc under his control.
FL: On the occasion of several communications made by your organization, the Cameroonian people discovered on 04 September 2017, the existence of the government of a new state called<Ambazonia> of which you are the leader. Can we know about the motivations of this “state” still unknown by the United Nations? And how were chosen to be the chairman?
SAT: The name of our nation the Federal Republic of the Ambazonia comes from the fact that at the bottom of our map if you look at the bay, the recent ambas bay right attached around the Bakassi peninsular and so, because of that Ambas Bay, we decided that we want to break off from anything that will ever remind us that we had this unfortunate relationship with Cameroon. So we decided as a team to call ourselves a Federal Republic of Ambazonia. It’s a Very nice sounding name and we hope that the world will acclaim the name very soon. Now for my nomination as the Chairman of governing council the frontline movement got together from conclave 1, conclave 2 and we have been trying to put a structure to lead the struggle and by the third conclave it became obvious that they need the leadership of the governing council through which decision are made. I have been humbled that amongst all the people, my name came and I was chosen to lead this group. I continue to lead it with humility and in the 4th conclave, the position was changed from the chairman of the governing council to the president of the interim government. Again I take this responsibility with great humility but I also take them with authority knowing that our people are behind me and I am going to be firm in the decision I take knowing that at the end of the day I take responsibility for my decisions. I don’t take this decision lightly, I take them with impartiality, I take them with 8 million Southern Cameroonians or 8 million Ambazonians in mind. Our only objective is to go to Buea is to restore our nation and rebuild one great nation. My responsibility to the 8 million people who listen to me or who look at me as their leader is to do just that and God willing we will be in Buea soon we invite the world to come and see what nation we are going to build.
FL: On Thursday July 27, 2017, your public affairs committee was at the united nation headquarters in New York demanding the partition of Cameroon or even your autonomy to better face the development challenges of the two English-speaking region on the ground that the authorities of Yaoundé do not take you into account and therefore you would have formulated the wash of a referendum to separate you from Francophone Cameroon where are you with this file?
SAT: we do not have to do a referendum because our independence was already approved by the United Nations and then on the 1st of October we were supposed to be a nation, we were supposed to be accorded our independence by the British handing over the instruments of sovereignty and the instrument of power to the legitimate leader, the indigenous leader of southern Cameroon who was at that time John Ngu Foncha. Those instruments of power and sovereignty were supposed to be handed to him ,to give him the authority as a sovereign state before moving on to the next stage that had been designed by the united Nations of independence by joining.to join you have to be state first now that was not done but rather the British handed over the instruments of sovereignty to Mr. Ahidjo, that was number 1 crime, secondly if John Ngu Foncha had to lead join with Ahidjo, they will be an act of union between the two states to form a nation state of two state coming together equal in status we also know now that there is no act of union so to even ask for a referendum by the United Nations is a misnomer we should not be asking for a referendum .However, I am very confident that if a referendum is requested from our people today, tomorrow or any day whatsoever, over 95% of our people will vote to be their own nation because we have a manifested bad fate from Mr. Biya and all his cohorts who have shown over 56years that we don’t belong to this nation. So we are very much on tract to restore our independence, we going to go ahead and do just what we have to do. We have declared the restoration of our independence, we have formed a government, we are going to go ahead and get recognition by member states in United Nation and then eventually we going to be recognize at the United Nation General Assembly and we are going to ask Mr. Biya to move his forces out of our land and we are going to take total control of our land.
FL: since the beginning of the Anglophone crisis with the violent demonstrations in this city, many personnel have been arrested and imprisoned in Cameroons prisons. Later, President Paul Biya released some leaders and protesters while others are still in detention. What are your feelings on this?
SAT: Mr. Biya must think that he is doing us a favor, you lock people in prison for a crime they have not committed and then you choose, and call your minister someday and say tell the courts to free some people and you think you are doing us a favor. Mr. Biya must know by now that what we asked for is a right, a right to self-determination we are claiming it, it is ours, we going to have it, we are going to act on it and it’s a matter of when Mr. Biya will be force to release every one of our people who had been locked up in jail because they have committed no crime to be those jails, we going to get reparations for this prison sentences that our people have been locked up for, we are going to get reparations on what is rightfully ours. Mr. Biya has no right to lock up our people, we are going to get him and his whole government to pay for all this detention of our people. For those that have simply disappeared and we know that number and it rising Biya cannot avoid being called to pay. We have made a case at the intentional criminal court, we expect that in time Mr. Biya and all this is people will be judged. When they talk of terrorism, a terrorist is someone who comes in the dark of the night to shoot people, a terrorist is someone who flies a helicopter and seize people carrying peace plants and shoots them, a terrorist is someone who will attack a hospital and carry people who have been shot and then goes and simply kills them in the bush, a terrorist is a person attacks villages and send people running out of their homes to become refugees in another country. That definition and description I have just giving fits Mr. Biya well. So in this crisis Biya and his government are the terrorist and we hope in time that Mr. Biya will answer to this charges that he brought on to him self
FL: A few ago your organization excluded the lawyer and former leader of the civil society consortium of English-speaking Cameroon, Agbor Nkongho. Why do you blame this lawyer who has been at the force front of the claims for the Anglophone people of Cameroon?
SAT: They group the consortium to which Barrister Agbor Balla belongs, I am not a member of that group I’m a member of the SCACUF which was the umbrella organization, which was as well the United Nation front and now we have dissolved SCACUF because we formed a government and I lead the entry government for all the people of the federal republic of Amazonia, the former British Southern Cameroon. So I have no comments to make in relation to issues pertaining to the consortium, you might have to refer to the members of the consortium to this particular question.
FL: More and more concordant information reporting that a crisis of trust is going on in your organization because of the problems of misappropriation of dues and even false fundraising orchestrated by some of your manager. Does this not discredit your movement?
SAT: There is no crisis of confidence or misappropriation of funds. We ordered an audit and the audit of all our accounts have shown that money has not been misappropriated because we run online systems. The money that online system indicates have come into the system and the physical cash that we notice in our accounts but that has now been proven by the different audit reports that those discrepancies were because of incomplete operations from the moment somebody log onto the system to make a payment till the moment that the payment was eventually credited either due to card errors or lack of funds in the persons account because those operations don’t have a small delay in terms of the way things function between the online application and the actual crediting of the account. We have finally found out that there is no misappropriation of funds in our system and we have credible people running in our system and we are fine during our application and we can be sure that this is a system that is a far cry from Mr. Biya’s government, where they have no accountability and no transparency in what they do.
FL: in your recent conclave in Nigeria, we have learned that your organization experienced a stir because of the redevelopment projects of your government and without the approval of the punters and other pillars in this movement of claim. What was it exactly about?
SAT: Any crises that has been identified or rumored from the fourth conclave have been put to rest by the formation of the recent interim government that I put in place. We have notice a total acclamation of the government from North, South, East and West. Everybody has appreciated we are bringing on board, some of our smartest and most dedicated individuals to run this government; this is the beginning of great things to come for our nation. We are putting together a team, the people are so excited to be part of this team, we have brought the and the new, we have brought women, we have brought men of caliber into this team and I’m proud to be leading this team. We had a first government session yesterday; from across the world everybody is excited to be in this team. We have acknowledged the goodwill messages coming from all over. We also are conscious that to whom much is given, much is expected, so we don’t take the excitement of our people lightly because we are professionals. What we are going to do now is run a professional system based on performance management system and we are going to make sure that our people see the good work that we are doing, that we get their support. We are setting the term for a new Africa, a new Nation that would run on the transparency, on integrity and professionalism; we are going to bring all of these to bear. As I have been saying, from now when we get to Buea 5 years later anybody who crosses the mungo will understand why we are doing what we are doing. Anybody who leaves babadjou before they get to Santa they will understand why we are doing what we are doing. I am already receiving calls from our people who are saying we should build a wall between us and the Republic of Cameroon, because the difference us and them, in a few short years will be night and day. We are going to run such a transparency system our development is in our hands. We are going to take the challenge and we are going to develop a new nation that will be the envy of many.
FL: For over a year already, children living in both English-speaking regions in Cameroon have been struggling to go to school because of the dead cities. They are many who are attacked and sometimes burnt schools. Have you thought about the future of this young people? And do you think it will be necessary to threaten your brothers and sisters to force them to follow your strike slogans?
SAT: There is a misconception that children are stopped from going to school, that is not true. The parents took their children away from school. Schools have been opened, they still are opened even though, the military in some cases have to clear schools to prepare them for school opening. Parents decided to take their children are receiving is away from school because the education the children are receiving is not worth anything. Don’t forget that going to school is not education for we are preparing a different and a better quality education for our children you know the say in long jump you step backward to take a jump forward. If our children are going to be at home for a year or two years whatever it takes for us to deliver to them the right education, that will them globally competitive and we will also set the tone for them to have the right jobs then it is worth it. What is the purpose to go to school now as Mr. Biya offers them schools they have no prospects of jobs. Our children are not taught in those schools now because they go to school and they are taught by people who barely understand English, in the form of bilingual teachers. That is not the education I will give my child that is why like many people in contrary to what they say in Cameroon we have kept our children at home. The misconception in Cameroon is that because we are in diaspora we are sending our children to school and then we are keeping those of the people back home. Those people back home are our brothers and sisters, those people back home are the children we are sponsoring children, some of us still have our siblings back home, we have our own children back home and we have kept them at home so that they don’t go to school. This is a pill that we are definitely going to swallow until such a time but I can tell you, when tomorrow comes and these same children have better jobs nobody will remember the price they paid. For the Americans to stop segregation in the bus system after Rosa Parks tracked for 325 days if I have not mistaken to manifesting their discontent with the educational system their children are receiving. We are going to ensure that changes and when it does change not only our children to do what to do but we will provide them with jobs that will make them better citizens of the world. So we are not stopping schools. As for the fire, am sure by the last fire that happened at the National Assembly we now know who has been setting the fires. Recently, we heard fire in a school that was protected by the military and the fire immediately that school was burnt, before midday the following day the people in Yaounde had propose over 8 million francs to go and rebuild the school. Now you begin to put 2 and 2 and you realize that they had prepared to burn the school and then they will automatically go to rebuild the school. We know that the government has been behind this in their attempt to give to throw mud at us, this mud never sticks because the same government that has been doing all these atrocities is being revealed day after day of course because they have done this in schools and tried to stick it on us and it failed and they went again and did it in their own house of Assembly and we were surprise that they were talking of electric failure. How many electric failures will take us to consume four blocks of a massive building like the parliament. Mr. Biya is totally responsible for the fires, he is totally responsible for this crisis and we will sit back some day and enjoy because of the door handling of this crisis that he finally showed us the door. We are going to setup our own nation and it will be the envy of many people especially his people.
FL: Since October 2016, and more specifically September 22 and October 1st 2017, they are many compatriots who lost their lives at the end of the various events. Have you no regrets when families mourn their children everyday and other missing parents?
SAT: We feel very sorry. We mourn with the families that have lost their love ones since the 22nd September and particular on the 1st of October and beyond. We mourn and sympathize with those families and also the families of those who were wounded and disappeared. However, those two dates are the dates when our people psychologically became free. From the 22nd of September our people accepted and realized that their future truly depends on them and is in their hands, they ceased it and they have shown in no uncertain ways that, their independence is being secured. Our people moved in their millions to demonstrate against the force of operations, against the wicked forces of Mr. Biya that they are their own people, they claim their independence, they now own it and they will now live with it. Those consequences that Mr. Biya thought he will bring on our people have been become secondary because by our silence we have manifested that we own, our destiny. By our peaceful demonstrations we have exposed Mr. Biya for the violent person he is, for the diabolic person he is and we have shown the world who Mr. Biya truly is. In twelve months in of this crisis, Mr. Biya has not had even the courtesy of addressing his crisis. He left New York and runs country thousands of kilometers across the globe. Mr. Biya was in Geneva when a mad person shot people in America. And he was one of the first world leaders to send messages of condolence to Mr. Trump, when in his own backyard he was ordering the total extermination of people you don’t get more semester than that, at the same time Mr. Biya was doing all these atrocities to the people he considered his own people. Even though, the governor has called them dogs. Mr. Biya was rooting them on them on the streets and yet he was sending messages of condolence to Mr. Trump for killing of 56 people what finally Mr. Biya has been exposed for the torrorite that fie truly is.
FL: Few weeks ago, law enforcement forces had been murdered in the regions of North West and south west. Is your organization the sponsors of these assassinations?
SAT: It is interesting that we keep talking about assassins when it comes to forces of disorder. I am surprised you even call them forces of order. These are people who over the last 12 months have killed, they have tortured innocent people and you call them forces of order? This Mr. Biya’s forces have been sent to exterminate our people and thank God he is being exposed day after day. These three cases that you mentioned in the North-West, we now know that those people, some of them were not even gendarmes because it has been clearly revealed that the day the government decided to dramatize the so called funeral or the parade to the public and to the world that these were the gendarmes were killed, it had become very clear that one of those corpses were not even a gendarme officer and that they went to the mortuary in Bamenda and dressed a corpse of a relative of some family as one of the gendarmes who was assassinated. So all these goes to show that Mr. Biya’s team has lost it completely, they make up stories and they try to display to the world but they get exposed. Those people were not military people and they brought some of them out there, dressed them in military regalia, did their parade to show. To Mr. Biya all of these is just a show and when they finish their parade, they took one of those corpses which was not even a military person and when back to the Bamenda mortuary and kept the corpse there. Who do they think they are fooling? They are only exposing themselves for who they are. Mr. Biya now has ran out of options, he is going ahead now and killing our people, dressing them in military attire claiming that we killed them. We have no interest in killing anybody, violence id a wrong thing, we have the case and the legal instruments are in our favor, we are going to use that to push out Mr. Biya to leave our nation. But I can also tell you as president of this interim government, they game has completely changed we are not more talking about the governing counsel and as president all cards are available on the table and we will use them as at when need be.
FL: What is your reaction to the international arrest warrants issued by the government of Cameroon against you and 36 other officials and of your organization?
SAT: Number 1, the Cameroon government has no case to be issuing us a warrant of arrest number 2, no international warrant of arrest has been issued against me and my friends and my colleagues in this struggle. They have no legal standing to do so. they have not done it because they cannot do it and number2, u have to look at the follow up, that is the same newspaper the announced that massive arms have been discovered in the southwest and when they put they pictures of the arms, those were cutlasses and lance that children use in clearing in their schools.so this degree of exaggeration by this newspaper is well known.mr. Biya knows that he has no grounds no issue any warrant of arrest, if anything the only warrant of arrest that the world is expecting is the warrant of arrest for Mr. Biya and his people for crimes against humanity.
FL: Since July 8, 2017, where you have been brought as the head of the ghost state called Ambazonia, have you already received the oat stretched hand of the Cameroon government for any negotiation? If not, are you ready for a dialogue with the Cameroon government?
SAT : It is trained that you call our state the Ambazonia state/the dream we are a nation we have declare our independence and we’re very setting that is, question of when we get our goods in Buea and not if we get our goods in Buea. Yes, we have not had any request from Mr. Biya’s government for any negotiations, we know that eventually there will be negotiations because we cannot walk away when he walks out of our land and I say ‘when’ he walls out of our land not ‘if’ he walks out of our land. When Mr. Biya walks out of our land, we still have to sit together to dis cuss the terms of that separation and yes we are open to. We know we have to dialogue with him even if eventually I will build a wall to separate our two nations. But to separate we are going to dialogue. However, we have said this from the beginning and we say it anytime we will not have any dialogue if Mancho Bibixy. Penn Terence and all the others that are in jail. They must be released before any negotiations. To start we have Mr. Biya take out his military from our streets, we have to demilitarize our cities before we have any negotiations. No negotiations will happen in Mr. Biya’s country. We expect those negotiations to happen out of the country, we expect that that the United Nations that has already volunteered to mediate those negotiations will be invited to mediate, we expect that African Union that has already indicated interest to mediate will be invited, we expect that the Common Wealth of Nation that has already indicated and interest to mediate will be call to mediate ,we call the European union to be called to mediate, we expect three nations that has been part of this story; France, Great Britain and Nigeria to be part of those discussions and when those discussions will be set om ground, we will get there together to some place out of Cameroon, we will discuss the terms of our separation and we will hopefully shake hands with Mr.Biya and say Bye.
FL: What is the message you have for our brothers and sisters and to our Cameroon authorities?
SAT: To my people, to my brothers and sisters of the British Southern Cameroon and now the federal Republic of the Ambazonia, I want to thank all of you for your steadfastness, for your resolute to see this is the end., I can guarantee you as your humble leader for that matter, that we have taken a bend and we are now on a home string, we can see the finish line. We will get there together, trust me we are making so much strive towards the realization of our goal to get all of us to Buea, we will get to Buea. Mr. Biya and his team better know that there is no turning back for us. It is better for them to agree that we sit together now and discuss the terms of our separation so that tomorrow we will become better neighbors. It is said that in life you make your choices and ultimately your choices make you. Mr. Biya has a choice to end this amicably so that tomorrow our two neighboring nations will be friendly. He also has a choice to continue in this dark part and that he has taken such that we end up this thing poorly so that tomorrow we will have very hostile neighbors, one to the other. Today the decision to make is Mr. Biya, I guess tomorrow the decision will be mine and people of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia, we know where we are going, we will get there and Mr. Biya is standing on our way, I hope that he will give us a path, he will move away and give us a path that we will move safely. If he continues to stand our path, like every bulldozing wind, I am sure our storm will carry him with us and then will clear him out of our way as we get to Buea. One thing is setting we will to Buea. May God bless our people. Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to talk to you. God bless you bye bye.
Interview conducted by Prince Aristide Ngueukam