Gov. Nasur Abdullah commands much respect from the masses in his home place of Bombo and beyond. The people who had the chance to be around him during his days as Governor of the Central Province can testify to the fact that he is simply a good man. He did his work with the conviction that the Central Province of Uganda had to be the best. He wanted a clean City of Kampala and without criminals. “Corruption” was not in his vocabulary. He did his job and was happy to live on his salary.
When the people remember how he used to speak in such a commanding voice, they don’t easily notice that Nasur Abdullah was a man with such a tremendous sense of humour. He made lots of jokes and frequently laughed during conversations and made all those in his company feel at ease.
Governor Nasur Abdullah felt at home in every society. He had the feeling of belonging and that could easily be detected by seing how he interacted with the people. The Baganda have a saying that, “Tebiwoomera amatama abiri”, in English there is a similar saying that, “There is no recipe that suits both cases”. What I mean here is that, although Governor Nasur Abdallah was appreciated by many, many others felt intimidated by him and therefore implored the President of Uganda to remove him. He was then replaced by another Governor.
Some people often say that, “You donot know the value of what you have until you lose it”. Shortly after the new Governor Samuel Odong had taken over, the city of Kampala was again ‘crying’ for the return of Governor Nasur Abdullah. The city was ‘invaded’ by pick-pockets and other criminals. Briefly, the situation in the city became chaotic.
Governor Nasur Abdullah simply felt at home in every society and I think, even being on a foreign territory did not make much difference to him. In 1977 the Uganda Armed Forces Boxing Team (Simba) was invited for a friendly tournament versus Tanzania in the city of Moshi, Tanzania. Gov. Nasur Abdullah accompanied the team as the Manager. With much excitement due to the perfomance of the Ugandans, Gov. Nasur Abdullah stood up and announced that, “The last bout of the evening will be between President Idi Amin of Uganda and President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania”. I was terrified and I believe, so were my fellow Ugandans. There was a sudden silence for a while before the situation returned to normal.
The Ugandans emerged victorius and our stay in Tanzania was as safe as could be. Several days later we flew back to Uganda to prepare for another tournament that was to be held in Moscow, Russia versus the Boxing Team of the Soviet Union Defence Forces. My suspicion is that President Idi Amin was informed about the “dangerous jock” that was made by Gov. Nasur Abdullah on a potential enemy territory in Moshi, Tanzania. We left for Moscow without Gov. Nasur Abdullah, but also returned home to Uganda with victory over the Soviets.
The purpose of this story is to inform the fellow UAH the kind of person Gov. Nasur Abdullah is, as I remember him. I certainly wish him only the best, for none else deserves it more than him.
May Allah Bless Uganda.
Byaruhanga Johny Rubin.