Roger Joseph Felli

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Roger Joseph Felli
Roger Joseph Felli.png
18th Minister for Foreign Affairs (Ghana)
In office
1975 – June 1979
President Kutu Acheampong
Preceded by Kwame Baah
Succeeded by Gloria Amon Nikoi
Personal details
Born (1941-05-02)May 2, 1941
Navrongo
Died June 26, 1979(1979-06-26) (aged 38)
Accra
Resting place Navrongo
Nationality Ghanaian
Profession Soldier, Politician
Religion Catholic
Military service
Allegiance Ghana
Service/branch Ghana Army
Years of service 1963 – 1979
Rank Colonel

Colonel Roger Joseph Atogetipoli Felli (May 2, 1941 – June 26, 1979) was a soldier and politician who was once the foreign minister of Ghana.

Roger Felli was born at Navrongo,[1] the capital of the Kassena-Nankana District in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

Military[edit]

He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Ghana army in 1963.[1] He rose through the ranks after attending courses in Ghana and the United Kingdom.

Politics[edit]

After the overthrow of Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia's Progress Party government on January 13, 1972, the then Major Felli became a member of the ruling National Redemption Council led by General (then Colonel) Ignatius Kutu Acheampong. He was appointed the Commissioner for the Works and Housing Ministry in the new government. He later also held the portfolios of the Trade and Industry Ministry and the Finance and Economic Planning Ministry respectively. Colonel (then Major) Roger Felli was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1975.[2] He held this position till the coup d'état of June 4, 1979 which brought the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) led by Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings to power.

Execution[edit]

Colonel Roger Felli was one of six senior military officers who had previously served in government, executed by firing squad at the Teshie Military Range at Teshie, at the outskirts of Accra.[3] The executions were ordered by the AFRC and carried out on June 26, 1979. The other officers executed with him were two former heads of state of Ghana, Gen Fred Akuffo and Lt Gen Akwasi Afrifa and three other military officers, namely Air Vice Marshal Boakye, Maj. Gen R.E.A. Kotei and Rear Admiral Joy Amedume.[3] They were buried in unmarked graves at Adoagyiri near Nsawam[1] in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

Reburial at Navrongo[edit]

On December 27, 2001, the remains of Col. Roger Felli, along with the remains of the five executed with him and two executed a few days earlier were handed over to their families at a ceremony at the Garrison Methodist and Presbyterian Church in Accra.[1] Raphael Felli, a US-based attorney and nephew of Colonel Felli, is reported to have said "We're very upset, very angry, ... But our success is our revenge."[4] His younger brother, Joe Felli, is reported to have demanded in a tribute, that relatives and sympathisers had the right to know what happened before his brother and the other seven senior officers brother were executed.[1] He is also reported to have said that the spirit behind the Ghana's motto "Freedom and Justice" was still a guiding principle in the conduct of the nation's domestic affairs. He is reported to have said in addition that;

"We have the right to know what happened, as a nation, we must ensure that never again will we allow such acts and utter disrespect for the sanctity of life to recur in our country." He said the only lasting legacy that Ghanaians could bequeath to the memory of Roger Felli and his colleagues was to rededicate and recommit our selves "to the defence of, the rule of law, the defence of our constitution, even at the peril of our lives."[1]

He was reburied at Navrongo, his hometown, after traditional and Catholic rites.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Veep leads government delegation to Felli's burial". General News of Saturday, 29 December 2001. Ghana Home Page. 29 December 2001. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  2. ^ B. Schemmel. "Foreign ministers E-K - Ghana". Lists of heads of state of government and ministers of various countries. Rulers.org. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  3. ^ a b "CHAPTER 6: REVIEW OF PETITIONS E: 4TH JUNE, 1979 – 23RD SEPTEMBER 1979 (AFRC REGIME)" (PDF). THE National Reconciliation Commission Report. Ghana government. October 2004. p. 180. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2007-04-12. The six condemned senior military officers were led to the stakes and the ropes tied across their chest and around their legs. First was Gen Akuffo, then Gen Bob Kotei, Gen Afrifa, Air Vice-Marshal Yaw Boakye, Col Roger Felli and last, towards the sea, Rear-Admiral Joy Amedume. 
  4. ^ "Ghana reburies past in quest for reconciliation". General News of Friday, 28 December 2001. Ghana Home Page. 28 December 2001. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 

See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
S.W. Awuku Darko
Minister for Works
Minister for Works and Housing
1972
Succeeded by
Colonel Victor Coker Appiah
Preceded by
Dr. W.W. Bruce-Konuah
Minister for Housing
Preceded by
?
Minister for Trade and Industry
1972 – 1975
Succeeded by
Colonel K.E. Quarshie
Minister for Trade and Tourism
Preceded by
?
Minister for Finance and Economic Planning
1years=? – ?
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Col. Kwame Baah
Foreign Minister
1975 – 1979
Succeeded by
Gloria Amon Nikoi