LUWEERO – On Thursday, December 22, 2022, Rtd Maj and National Resistance Movement historical member, Alhaji Abdul Nadduli marked his 80th birthday.
Nadduli was born to Nabukenya and Ali Nadduli of Kaddunda village in the Kapeeka sub-county in Nakaseke district on December 22nd, 1942.
He attended Luweero Boys Primary School and Lukalu Quran School in Butambala, dropping out in senior three at Lubiri Secondary School after the 1966 military assault on Mengo.
His close friend, Abubaker Kibirige, narrates that after dropping out of school, Nadduli who lived in Makindye, spent some time reading newspapers at a local vendor from where he learned about current affairs, joining the Democratic Party – DP, thereafter.
Nadduli later enrolled at a Teachers’ College, along Kampala road but his desires were short-lived after former President Milton Obote banned private educational institutions in the country.
In 1968, Nadduli returned to his home village in Kapeeka, riding a bicycle, and later started teaching at Kalasa Church of Uganda, exactly on January 6th, 1969.
Nadduli taught at Kalasa for 11 solid years till 1980 when he joined the rebel outfit – National Resistance Army.
Nadduli recalls that he was at the school when the then, rebel leader, Yoweri Museveni invited him for a meeting under a mango tree in a coffee plantation at Bukusu village in Makulubita sub-county in Luweero district.
He recalls that the meeting was a turning point for his life as he became a towering personality not only in Luweero but across the country. Before he actively got involved in the war, government forces arrested Nadduli when they got intelligence that he was supporting NRA rebels. Nadduli was lucky because he simply denied any links with rebels and was released from the Bombo Military Barracks facility, only to join the war in few days, later.
His son, Hussein Kyanjo, says that his father narrowly survived being killed together with Edidian Mukiibi Luttamaguzi because he was among those locked up for supporting Museveni and witnessed the gruesome murder
Nadduli says that he decided to join NRA because of vote rigging in the 1980 General Elections; the abolition of the Kingdom; and other injustices by the Obote regime. He explained that he joined the war with his family, sister, and fellow teachers before he embarked on recruiting other residents.
In the war, four of his Nadduli sons were killed. Nadduli has six surviving children – three females and an equivalent number of males.
His other son Jakana Nadduli died recently, a few days after being released from custody, for reportedly promoting sectarianism. He grieved for weeks, questioning the circumstances under, which his son had died.
Nadduli like other NRM historicals left the army unceremoniously after the war and joined elective politics where he served as councillor and later Luwwero LCV Chairperson for three successive terms.
He was also elected as NRM Chairperson for Buganda and later appointed Minister Without Portfolio. In 2021, many Ugandans were surprised when the army listed him as one the officers itemised for promotion, elevating him to the rank of a Major; and retired him, soon after.
He now enjoys the privileges of a senior Presidential Advisor – a rank that can be equated to a junior minister in Uganda’s political hierarchy. He also practiced community health after the war where he used to treat people with different illnesses – a culture he learnt from his father.
Hassan Lukaalidde Kirumira, the Katikamu North Member of Parliament, says that after Nadduli settled in Wobulenzi town in 1989, he set up a clinic where he personally administered treatment to patients. Kirumira recalls how Nadduli operated on him when he was aged five.
Nadduli has remained a strong monarchist, federalist, devoted Muslim, and outspoken politician. He has also been controversial on social, health, environmental, cultural, religious, and political aspects amongst other issues.
In 2001, he decampaigned family planning, saying it was intended to depopulate the country and rewarded couples who would have more children.
He also banned the planting of pine trees insisting that they are a danger to the environment; and promoted pig rearing in within his district of Luweero, attracting strong criticism from the Muslim community.
In 2005, he mobilised residents to block Dr Obote’s remains from passing Luweero town to Apac district, along the Kampala – Gulu highway, where he was buried. He said he never forgave Obote for exiling Kabaka Edward Muteesa II in 1966; banning kingdoms in 1967; and probably disrupting his education.
Erastus Kibirango, the LCV Chairman of Luweero district says that unlike other politicians, Nadduli never used any political office to enrich himself and retired like an ordinary person.
Kibirango adds that Nadduli as a monarchist has been struggling to divide his loyalty between the Kabaka and President Museveni.
While celebrating his 80th birthday at his home in Lusenke village in Wobulenzi town, Nadduli expressed disappointment that some of the injustices that they fought against are re-occurring today. He told his guests that he recently rejected a request to endorse President Museveni’s 2026 re-election campaign citing on-going kidnaps of Ugandans.
Nadduli’s public criticism of the NRM government has distanced him from many top party officials. Now, the majority of his functions are attended by opposition leaders whom he always welcomes and gives a platform to criticise the ruling party.
Nadduli says that everybody is welcome to his home and he has a duty to teach them about politics. He however remains a close friend to Gen Kahinda Otafiire, the Internal Affairs Minister.
Adapted from URN
Leave a Reply