Dr. Apollo Milton Obote

Dr. Apollo Milton Obote

  • He was born on 28th December 1924 at Akokoro village in Lango, northern Uganda.
  • He’s father Stanley Opeto was a local village chief and Obote’s early life was not very different from that of other children. For example he played and herded animals.

  • He started his education at Lira Protestant School and then to Gulu High School and Busoga College, Mwiri.
  • He then joined Makerere University College in 1948 for an Arts degree which he never completed.
  • In 1949, Obote was expelled in his second year at the university and for political activism.
  • He later joined a British Engineering and Construction firm called Mowlem construction Company based in Jinja.
  • When the company transferred to Kabeta in Kenya, he followed it but left it to join Standard Vacuum Oil Company.
  • While in Kenya, he was inspired greatly by Jomo Kenyatta and even become his personal secretary.

  • He stayed in Kenya until 1957 and when he returned to Uganda he was appointed chairman of the Uganda National Congress (UNC) Lango branch.
  • In 1958, he was elected to the Legco representing Lango and he came one of the vocal members on the council.
  • At the same time, he befriended Ignatius Kangave Musaazi the leader of UNC and Musaazi appointed Obote as UNC representative in Mbale.
  • Later, Obote took over the leadership of the U.N.C and sacked Musaazi from the party, for travelling to London without the consent of the party.
  • However this caused the U.N.C. very many problems to the extent that it lost its popularity
  • Obote then befriended William K Nadiope, a member of the Legco who had formed the Uganda Peoples Union (UPU).
  • In 1959, there was a split in UNC with one faction led by Jolly Joe Kiwanuka and another antiBuganda wing led Obote.
  • In 1960, he was awarded a honorary degree of Law by the Long Island University in U.S.A.

  • In the same year on 9th March, UPU merged with Obote’s UNC wing to form the Uganda People’s’ Congress (UPC).
  • Obote assumed leadership of the new party with John Kakonge as Secretary General.
  • The party became more popular as more prominent people joined it e.g. Jaberi Bidandi Ssali, Ali Kirunda Kivejinja, Dani Wadada Nabudere Abednego Kintu Musoke etc.
  • In the 1961 elections, Obote’s UPC lost to Ben Kiwanuka’s Democratic Party (DP).
  • Kiwanuka became the leader of the Legco and Obote became leader of the opposition.
  • In April 1962, elections were organized and UPC got 37, DP got 24 and Kabaka Yekka (KY) got 21 votes.
  • Obote decided to ally with KY to form a government and this was a victory for Obote.

  • On 9th October 1962, Uganda got her independence with Obote as the Prime Minister.
  • On 10th October 2005, Obote died in a Johannesburg hospital.


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