Obote: Dines With Heroes

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If we may borrow from the sage in antiquity, man is mortal, Obote is a man, and therefore Obote is mortal. Yes, like all great men, the demise of President Apollo Milton Obote who led Uganda to independence was inevitable and, today we are confronted with this reality—The reality of life.

But all will say yea!! The demise of this Great African is a big loss to humanity. For Africans, it is also a sad day because the more days pass by, the more our heroes pass away and, the more Africa also seems to drift away from its glory. I mean the glory of our heritage of innocence and love when an African dared not shed the blood of his sibling in the name of politics. Apollo Milton Obote and his contemporaries elsewhere in Africa fought so hard and sacrificed even at the risk of their own lives so that we may lift our heads high in the comity of nations. Yet today, it’s as though we do not know the value of freedom.

The terrible thing for such men as President Obote is that they lived long enough to experience the agony of seeing with their own eyes as the buffoons after them desecrate with impunity their life accomplishments and contributions to Africa and its civilization.

But thanks to God Almighty: Their contributions are imperishable and they are documented in our hearts not on Hammurabi’s tablets. Thus after the era of the buffoons, the era of sanity shall prevail and, Africa will honor the Heroes of Africa.

As Milton Obote is the latest prominent African son to pass over there, he is now welcomed to the high table in a state banquet organized in his honor by such dignitaries as Azikiwe, Nkrumah, Awolowo, Nyerere, Seku Toure, Modibo Kieta, Patrice Lumumba, Kenyatta for, it is said in Africa that the child who washes his hands clean dines with elders and, Obote did. They are eager to listen to his after-dinner remarks during which he will brief them on the ravages of hunger, diseases, civil wars, external debts, ethnic cleansing, etc., in Africa. He will also inform them that their OAU has now been upgraded to African Union and, that there is something else that is now called globalization which might lead to the re-colonization of Africa unless the buffoons in Africa are dislodged from the State Houses. Since Obote is not known to be flippant, he might not mention the fact, except during question time, that the small boys who have occupied the State Houses of African nations decades after they departed are billionaires in U.S. dollars. Oooh!!! they would respond in astonishment, "that is the kind of money the whole nation never had when we were in power." But they would get to understand better as he tells them that the new era leaders in Africa make no distinctions between the state treasury and, their personal or private accounts.

As some might want to be briefed on major shifts in social and political values since they departed, Obote might want to tell them that unlike their days when some declared themselves “president for life,� that the new era presidents and kings have in addition, declared themselves eligible bachelors for life with the sad vocation of abducting young girls on their way to or from schools. Also, that political assassination has replaced ballot boxes in many African countries.

As Obote speaks with a white handkerchief in hand to dry his tears, he would occasionally look at the direction of Mobotu Sese Sekou, Laurent Kabila and Eyadema at the lower table. Obote weeps because he would not call upon them to corroborate his statements since, despite being new arrivals themselves; they are part of the very culprits of whom Obote speaks. With pen and paper in hand, Nyerere notes contradictions and discrepancies between Obote’s accounts and what the warlord, Laurent Kabila, Mobotu and, Eyadema had told the same forum on their arrival. These may face disciplinary action before the council.

What a sad evening that would be to hear from the mouth of a trusted contemporary that Africa is in a lamentable state of degeneration. But that notwithstanding, Elder Nkrumah summed up courage to formally welcome Uncle Obote on behalf of the council and, thanked him for his candid briefing. At least Obote is not alone. May their souls rest in peace although, St. Peter decides whose soul rests in peace and who goes to the bottomless furnace.

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