This man is special. He is an example of a leader, outstanding, well cultured, and an educated professional whose not only excelled in the area of the academia, but many other things.
By John Agaba
This man is special. He is an example of a leader, outstanding, well cultured, and an educated professional whose not only excelled in the area of the academia, but many other things. These were some of the words used when Makerere University honored Dr. Martin Aliker.
Dr. Martin J Okec Aliker is one of Makerere University’s very first alumni.
However, in a rare ceremony, one characterized with cultural music, dance, laugher, and honorary speeches, Aliker was recognized as one of the best Alumni the University has ever had.
“He stands high up there with the likes of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, President Mwai Kibaki and a few others,’ one speaker remarked.
The ceremony took place in the University’s main hall last Thursday.
Dr. William S. Kalema, the Chairman Board of Trustees Makerere Female Scholarship Foundation (FSF) who delivered a public lecture with Aliker as the case study, said he didn’t know of any other person who was as successful both in the academic world, the public world, the business world, and as exemplary.
“Much as he is a dental surgeon, it has not stopped him venturing into the business world. He is an investor, a shareholder in many companies. Then his name is synonymous with corporate governance.’’
Kalema chronicled Aliker’s success after another, right from when the man was Chairman Uganda Breweries Limited, Chairman Nation Media Group, Chairman, Stanbic Bank, to Chairman National Insurance Corporation.
“In all these companies,’’ Kalema added, “Aliker exhibited good exemplary leadership. Look around us. There are many people, educated people. But why Aliker?’’
“Companies want people who have great credibility and can offer great value and advice to the direction, management and governance of the company.’’
“Aliker spent about 40 years at UBL, but all these years were without blemish, he steered the company ahead.’’
The man who also has been a presidential advisor both to President Yoweri Museveni and the late presidents—Yusuf Lule and Godfrey Binaisa—was hailed as hardworking and a good mentor.
Aliker, flanked by his wife Camille delivered a long emotional speech that re-counted Uganda through the 50 years of independence, as well as Makerere University through its 90 years of existence.
He was quick to warn Ugandans not to take the freedom they are having for granted.
“To many of us in Uganda we interpret freedom to mean that you are free to do just anything you want to do. There is no such freedom anywhere in the world, even in the developed countries, in the UK.’’
He said it saddened him to know that Makerere’s standards are not as good like they used to be during his time, but that this was because of the many students the university now admitted.
He urged the private sector instead of just talking, to join hands, do something to help fund the University regain its glory.
The occasion was graced by Makerere University’s Chancellor Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, South Korea’s ambassador to Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago ambassador to Uganda, Makerere University VC hopefuls Prof. Kirumira and Bakibinga and may others.
Also present was former Makerere VC Livingston Lubobi, EALA Member of Parliament Mukasa Mbidde, Honorable Gerald Karuhanga, Dr. Charles Mbire, and Chairman Stanbic Bank Hannington Karuhanga.
Makerere University honours Martin Aliker