Former minister Alhaji Akbar Adoko Nekyon is dead. Nyekon breathed his last on Friday afternoon at Nsambya Hospital where he was admitted for unspecified health complications.
His nephew, UPC’s James Akena, has confirmed Nekyon’s demise. He told this reporter on phone that they are making funeral arrangements at Nekyon’s home in Kabalagala, a Kampala city suburb.
This Obituary was contributed by Conrad Nkutu
Late Hon Adoko Nekyon, who passed on this Friday, was the first Muslim to serve in Uganda’s post-Independence Cabinet, was a close friend of Late Hon Shaban Kirunda Nkutu who was the second Muslim to be appointed a Minister in Uganda in the Obote1 Government.
Together with Sheikh Obedi Kamulegeya and the Late Mufti, Sheikh Abdulrazak Matovu, the two Obote1 Cabinet Ministers founded the nascent National Association for the Advancement of Muslims (NAAM).
President Idi Amin renamed it the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council. Ugandan Muslims did not have a national church structure until Nekyon and Nkutu founded NAAM.
Sheikhs Abdulrazak Matovu, Obedi Kamulegeya and Hussein Rajab Kakooza headed the religious wing of NAAM while Adoko Nekyon and Shaban Nkutu headed the development arm.
Nekyon was Vice Chairman of NAAM while Nkutu was National Chairman until his murder by President Amin in 1973.
With the support of donor funding from Islamic countries and President Milton Obote, Adoko Nekyon and Shaban Nkutu started UMEA (the Uganda Muslim Education Association), an affirmative action network of schools for children of the largely illiterate Islamic community which had been locked out of the educational system by the British.
UMEA set up dozens of schools across Butambala, Bombo, Jinja, Iganga, Mbale, Lango and West Nile. Among the most famous of these Muslim schools are Kawempe Boys Muslim School and Nabisunsa Girls.
During his tenure as Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism, Hon Adoko Nekyon started Uganda Television (UTV, the precursor to UBC), Uganda’s first TV network.
He founded a public company, Uganda Hotels Ltd, and built several hotels and game lodges across the country.
These included Apollo Hotel (Sheraton), Tropic Inn Masaka, Agip Motel Mbarara, White Horse Inn Kabale, Hotel Margherita Kasese, Mweya Lodge, Mountains of the Moon Fort Portal, Hoima Hotel, Masindi Inn, Paraa Lodge, Chobe Lodge, Pakuba Lodge, Arua Hotel, Acholi Inn, Lira Hotel, Soroti Hotel, Elgon Hotel Mbale, Rock Hotel Tororo plus the Crested Crane Hotel and the Uganda Tourism Training Institute in Jinja.
As Minister of Planning, he led the team of UPC leaders who drew up the first 5-Year National Development Plan.
The late Nekyon received several honors in relation to his contributions to various aspects in Uganda that is; he was honored by parliament of the Republic of Uganda during the 50th Independence anniversary celebration for life time achiever for Uganda and was also awarded Honorary PhD by Makerere University for publishing five English literature-Books.