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Victoria University honors fallen former Chancellor Dr Martin Aliker in special poem

Victoria University Vice Chancello, Dr. Lawrence Muganga described the late as a servant who dedicated his entire life to serving selflessly the nation, particularly Victoria University. (Photo/Handout)

Kampala, (UG):- Victoria University has eulogized the late former Chancellor, Dr Martin Jerome Okec Aliker, praising him for the foundation he laid during the early years of the institution’s establishment and for his service to the nation in his various capacities.

Dr Aliker was Victoria University Chancellor between 2013-2019 and was instrumental in the establishment of the institution to become one of the leading private varsities in the country.

During a special session hosted Tuesday afternoon at their main campus in Kampala, VU management led by Chancellor Prof John Apuda Asibo paid utmost tribute and honour to the late Aliker who passed away on Monday, April 15, at the age of 95 years.

The University Secretary Mrs Mary Goretti Katusabe-Ssemwezi, in a special poem read to the media on the afternoon VU hailed Dr Aliker as a distinguished Chancellor who served the university wholeheartedly and will greatly be remembered for his selfless deeds to the country at large.

“Mr. Chancellor Sir, You held Victoria University from the cradle, Tenderly as a loving mother and, Steered her out of the labyrinth, You gave it your all, Because you were you. We are because we are a piece of you God favoured us among many and Gave us a Chancellor With a personality more valuable than rhodium A personality so rare yet rearing many, Because you were you,” reads in part the poem titled; ‘Mr. Chancellor Sir, You were You’.

“Whispers and whistles of acclaim, Citations and recitations of your achievements, Both visible and invisible, Ring loud but tenderly in our ears and, Boldly like the Tororo Rock, They stand before our eyes, Because you were you. Let us proclaim it, On the top of the roofs and mountains; Work, hard work spiced with integrity, Performed with dignity, With the flavor of honesty, And refreshing candour, These were the hallmarks of your career, Because you remained you,” the poem added.

VU Secretary Mrs Mary-Goretti Ssemwezi reading the poem at the University main campus on Tuesday

Mrs Ssemwezi further described Dr Aliker as “Son of the Chief, who touched firms and firmly so touched the slave and Master, touched the young and the old, touched the high and mighty, but still remained himself.

Dr Aliker, a distinguished surgeon and businessman reigned as Victoria University Chancellor for six good years from 2013 to 2019 and was succeeded by Prof John Opuda Asibo in the same year till to-date.

Speaking at the same function in the eulogy of his predecessor, Prof Opuda reechoed how he first encountered Aliker in 2013, describing him as a great Leader who was simple, filled with humility and had come from the “Bush and went back a hero through taking education seriously.

“Dr. Aliker was a humble man, with very few conviction stories against him, and with this he ably led the University with great success, when I took over, I could only start from where he left and continue with the values. He had set at pace in the University because after him someone else would go on and take over to continue in the same lineage” Prof Opuda said.

Chancellor Prof John Opuda Asibo signs in the book of eulogy to honor his predecessor, the late Dr Martin Aliker

The Chancellor urged the Victoria University community especially the students to be patient, independent, hopeful and competitive as the values, the institution has maintained, adding that the board members will always hold the memory and the works of the late Dr. Aliker from now onwards.

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“you don’t have to depend on your parents from now on, you must learn to work hard to get money, you must live your life and you must be like Dr. Aliker who lived an independent life.” Prof Opuda stated

Vice Chancellor Dr Lawrence Muganga also hailed the late Aliker as a great pillar who birthed the University from inception till 2019 when he handed over to the current chancellor.

“Despite his passing, we thank him as Victoria University, for being one the pioneers of the University and establishing the foundation for which we currently stand. We therefore pray that his soul rest in eternal, and for God to strengthen his family for losing such a great pillar whom the country was proud of,” Dr Muganga said.

Some of the VU staff who turned up at the function

“Our pledge as a University in appreciation of Aliker, we assure the family and the country that we will always remember him as Victoria University for the good things he has done for VU and the nation at large,” he added.

Also at the function was Victoria University’s former Vice Chancellor, Dr. Stephen R. Isabalija who shared his heartfelt experience with the late regarding him as someone who stood for integrity, passion and self-driven to make education thrive.

“in academics, he emphasised something that fortunately is not here. He said professors aren’t given a lot of money, but they are very proud people who survive on academic freedom,” said Dr Isabalija, adding that during his reign, the late Dr Aliker challenged them as a University, “that we cannot set it up without having a playground in place.”

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Profile Bio

Dr Martin Jerome Okec Aliker (21 October 1928 – 15 April 2024) was a Ugandan dental surgeon, businessman, and community leader.

He also served as a senior presidential adviser to the President of Uganda and sat on the board of directors of nearly forty Ugandan companies. He was the chancellor of Victoria University Uganda, a private institution. From 2004 until 2014, he served as the founding chancellor of Gulu University, a public university

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