We are liberated now and let us proclaim loud and clear that as far as we are concerned the past is now firmly behind us. We harbour no ill-feelings towards any country or organisation – indeed, we take this opportunity to extend the hand of friendship to all nations big or small, rich or poor, powerful or weak.
We extend the hand of friendship to all our neighbours: Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan Zaire and Rwanda. We must pledge and do hereby pledge ourselves to working with all of them either bilaterally or collectively in the spirit of good neighbourliness, respect for each other’s sovereignty and natural understanding and co-operation.
In the same vein, we extend the hand of friendship to all the member states of the OAU and the all Non-Aligned countries. We shall stand firmly behind the two bodies, embrace their principles and shall play our part in the advancement of their respective ideas.
President Dr. Apollo Milton Obote with other heads of state of the countries of the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) @ RastaKnowlege
We extend the hand of friendship to all the Commonwealth countries. We pledge ourselves to remain a true member of the family. We extend the hand of friendship to all the member states of the United Nations.
We affirm that our liberation has helped and, once we stabilise the situation in Uganda, it will improve the security of the nations in this part of the world and throughout Africa.
We extend the hand of friendship to all people who are still engaged in the liberation of their countries. We consider our own liberation as their liberation and we certainly regard their struggle our struggle and shall give them moral and material assistance to the utmost of our ability.
Lastly, but not least, we extend our hand of friendship to all who are engaged in the field of news media. We look forward to mutual cooperation in reporting the events in our country objectively and sympathetically.
We plead with all our neighbours, with members of the OAU, Non-Aligned nations, the Commonwealth countries, the UN member states and the news media; and ask them for just one thing:
Please give us a chance to find our bearings and resolve our problems in our own way.
President Dr. Apollo Milton Obote – Photo credit @ Dr. Maggie Kigozi Facebook page
Last month, I happened on this text in a post on the Facebook page of 94.3 QFM Lira titled: “#TodayInHistory – Obote’s memorable speech at Bushenyi on May 27, 1980” and with the following explanation:
“Upon his return on May 27 1980, Obote made a memorable speech at Ishaka in Bushenyi district, western Uganda to a mammoth audience. The speech was also aired live on Radio Uganda. We reproduce part of the speech.”
I have only gotten round to reading it today, and as I read it, I felt that it actually resonates with speeches and current popular discourse on this our land; hence, the reason I decided to share it here on my space. This is only the first part. The second part I shall publish in another post.
Of all the presidents that Uganda has had, President Obote, hands down, had great speech writers and he was a great orator. You can read Part I of the speech here; and Part II here. May his soul continue to rest in power.
Featured photo: Prime Minister Dr. Apollo Milton Obote (RIP) with his wife Miria