Tributes And Funeral Announcement For Lt. Col. Ogole, Former Uganda Commander

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The late commander Lt. Col. Ogole

[Tribute And Funeral Announcement]

Former Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) Commander in the government of Dr. Milton Obote, Lt. Col. John Charles Ogole passed on after a long battle with prostate cancer.

He died peacefully at 04:17 am on Wednesday 30th April 2014 at St. Charles Hospital in West London.   Lt. Col. Ogole, a graduate of Fort Leavenworth - a prestigious military academy in Kansas, United States, was known by his contemporaries as a brilliant battle field tactician who commanded and won many battles.

Throughout his life, he was a principled champion for constitutional governance and refused to compromise and to accept illegitimate forms of government in Uganda.

Lt. Col. Ogole was also credited for restoring peace and security in West Nile. This is what former Minister and prominent figure from West Nile, Zoe Bakoko Bakoru, in paying tribute to Col. Ogole says about his impact:

“I want to pay Tribute to Mzee Lt. Col. Ogole, a renown Leader, a Mentor, a Father and Son of Greater North (Lango, Acholi, Karamoja and West Nile) who understood the importance of peace and love of a country and it's peoples. I want to express my gratitude to Mzee Ogole who met some of us students from West Nile who were studying in Mulago School of Nursing and reassured us of our safety. This for me as a young person demonstrated the love Col. Ogole had for the youth. He told us to report if someone bothered us. Who in that position could have been so down to earth and fatherly like him? In Mzee we have lost one of our best at a time when we need all the wisdom and guidance. Gone too soon but not forgotten. Your legacy and torch will be carried to the final destination and accomplished. Rest in Peace Baba.”

Maj. Walter Odoch, who served under Col Ogole said: “Lt. Col. Ogole was not only a great military strategist and commander, he was also very mindful about the protection of civilians in war zones. He also mentored many young army officers from all over Uganda who went on to achieve great things in their individual military careers – Uganda has lost a great son.” 

Dr. Moses Apiliga, a close friend of the late Ogole who hails from the West Nile region that Col. Ogole pacified said: “John was a fiercely patriotic, nationalistic, and kind friend.  He was true to his word, and he was one of the very few Ugandans whom I found to be absolutely incorruptible – he will be very dearly missed.”

In the early 2000s when the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) abducted Children from Aboke Girls Catholic Secondary School, Lt. Col. Ogole wrote to LRA leaders and challenged them to state who their real enemy was. This provoked international reaction from international organizations that then sent representatives to talk to Ogole about the situation.

Lt. Col. John Ogole, whose army career spanned from 1963 to 1985, was born on 3rd May 1944, at Loro Atidi Village, Oyam District in Lango, Northern Uganda; to Mr. Nebuchadnezzar Opio and Filder Rose Awor.  Lt. Col. Ogole passed his Senior Staff and Command course at Fort Leavenworth with flying colors.  Consequently, he was officially invited to the White House, the Pentagon, and to the tomb of the unknown soldiers where he laid a wreath on behalf of Uganda.

The late Ogole is survived by his wives, Mrs. Grace Ogole and Josephine Ogole; nine children and 10 grandchildren who are all based in the United Kingdom.  Lt. Col. Ogole’s widow, Mrs. Grace Ogole said:

“John was very passionate – almost obsessed with the quest for peace and stability for ordinary people in Uganda. He was a loving, dedicated and caring husband, father, brother and grandfather whose love for his family was immense. We are all deeply saddened by his passing but relieved that after fighting his illness with such bravery, he is now at peace.”

Ogole studied at Westminster University in the United Kingdom where he attained a B.A Honors degree in Housing Management and Development, a qualification that led to a career as a Housing Officer in several housing associations in London until he retired in May 2010. Before he was struck down by ill health, Lt. Col. Ogole was on the verge of completing his autobiography.

The funeral service for the fallen soldier will take place on the 10th May 2014, at St. Gabriel’s Road, Walm Lane, London NW2 4RX. Thereafter, a reception at Oakington Manor Primary School, Oakington Manor Drive, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 6NF.

Lt. Col. Ogole’s family would like to thank all those who have sent messages and condolences and stood in solidarity to respect honor the wishes and life of John.



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