He was a man of the people and would greet everybody he met and as a minister, he was always smartly dressed.
By Kavuma Kaggwa
The people of Uganda will always remember Akibar Adoko Nekyon, who was one of Uganda Independence leaders, and a great man of our time. He passed away at the beginning of May 2018 at his ancestral home in Apoki village, Chegere Sub-County, Apac District, Lango region.
I knew Adoko Nekyon when both of us where in the Ministry of Information and broadcasting. He was the Minister for Information and Broad casting from the time of independence until January,1971 when the first Obote Government was toppled by General Idi Amin.
I was an Information Officer from May,1960 to June 1965 when I left and joined East African Airways Nairobi as a Publicity Officer and later Tourism Promotion Officer up to February,1977 when the East African Community collapsed due to political differences among the top leaders of East Africa at that time.
In the Ministry of Information I was the editor of the Government Luganda Newspaper which was called MAWULIRE. It was a weekly Luganda newspaper publishing government policies and other related matters, in Luganda.
The other senior officers at that time where the late Paul Bitature who was Senior Information Officer for Western Uganda and the late Simon Mulindwa who was senior Information officer in Buganda and the Director of Information was a Muzungu called Arthur Ridley.
Both Nekyoni and I became new friends when he was told by people I didn’t know that before I joined Ministry I was an active politician in Uganda National Congress from 1956 up to the time when I joined the Ministry of Information.
Uganda National Congress was the Party which fought for Uganda’s Independence and it was founded on March 2nd 1952 at the Kabaka’s Lake at Mengo.
One of the six founders was Yekosofati Engur a fiery politician from Lango and the others where I.K Musazi founding President General (Buganda), Abubakar Kakyama Mayanja founding Secretary General (Buganda), Ben Okweredde (Teso), Stephen Obwangoto (Bugisu), S.B Katembo (Tooro).
Adoko Nekyon was a man of the people and would greet everybody he met and as a minister, he was always smartly dressed.
His Educational background, starting with king’s College Buddo, as well as the University Education in India and external exposure, added to his “natural intelligence and political smartness”, which God gave him, made him a real good African modern politician.
As African politicians always talk so many things when they are in power, sometimes trying to predict what will happen in the future, Adoko Nekyon, in 1964, made a political statement and said that—“The Lango Dynasty will rule Uganda for sixty (60) years”.
Unfortunately, seven years later on January 25 1971, the Lango Dynasty was crushed by Amin’s Military coup and the leader Milton Obote fled into exile in Tanzania.
The Lango Dynasty resurrected again in December, 1980, with the military assistance of Tanzania under the leadership of the late President Julius Nyerere. There was a General Election on December 10 1980 and the Country had two Political Parties; The Democratic Party and Uganda People’s Congress.
The DP won the elections with 75 seats out of 108 seats of the Uganda National Assembly at that time. On December 11th 1980, Paul Semwogerere who was the leader of DP at that time together with Evalisto Nyanzi, went to Paul Muwanga who was leader of Uganda that time as Chairman of the Military commission which was ruling Uganda and he demanded to be sworn in as President of Uganda because his party had won the elections.
Paul Muwanga told them to “come back tomorrow”. As soon as they left Paul Muwanga telephoned President Nyerere in Dar es Salaam and told him ---“ your excellency the Dp has won the elections with 75 seats and Paul Semwogerere has been here demanding to be sworn in as the new President of Uganda what should I do?”
President Nyerere replied –“Paul you have got my army there, change all the results” soon after that Paul Muwanga made an announcement country-wide saying that nobody is allowed to announce the results and anybody who will disobey that order will be fined sh500,000/= or five year’s imprisonment or both.
It took Paul Muwanga three days to change all the results and later on he announced the results that UPC had won the elections and Milton Obote became President for the Second time.
The conversation between Paul Muwanga and President was overheard by DP sympathisers who were working at the telephone exchange of Uganda Post and telecommunications in Kampala at that time. They came to the DP office where I was full time with Adoko Nekyon and they told us what happened.
At that time Adoko Nekyon had fallen out with his Cousin Milton Obote and he was a full member of the Democratic Party and he worked full time with us at the DP offices in Kampala on Wilson Street.
When Obote took over as President for the second time the Lango dynasty was resurrected but it was crushed again on July 27, 1985, by the Army at that time which was called Uganda National Liberation Army under the command of two Acholi Generals; General Tito Okello Lutwa, who became Head of State for a short time, and General Baziliyo Orala Okello.
Adoko Nekyon fell out with Milton Obote after Obote had become Presidnt for the second time and both of us lived in exile in Nairobi Adoko Nekyon was a strong hearted man and life never put him down.
One day he was walking near the Nairobi Post Office on Kenyatta Avenue and he was attacked by Obote agents who had been sent to kidnap him and bring him back to Uganda. Nekyon fought the attackers very seriously, kicking and boxing them and suddenly he was helped by the late Umwami Kigeri V who is the king of Rwanda who was leaving with us in exile in Nairobi.
The late King Kigeri who was a tall strong man kicked off all the three attackers who later ran away when a sympathetic crowd of Kenyans had gathered to help Nekyon
The writer is an elder from Kyaggwe in Mukono district