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General News of Saturday, 29 December 2001

Source: GNA

Veep leads government delegation to Felli's burial

The remains of Colonel Roger Joseph Felli, one of the eight senior military officers executed by firing squad in the wake of the June four coup d'etat was re-buried at his Navrongo hometown, following traditional and Catholic burial rites.

Vice President Aliu Mahama, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, newly elected Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, Madam Hawa Yakubu, Minister of Tourism and other government officials joined the family members and sympathisers to pay their respects to the late Colonel.

After attending the burial service, officiated by the Reverend Father Akoboti, at the Lady of Seven Sorrows Catholic Church, Alhaji Mahama joined the funeral procession to the parish cemetery, where he laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Ghana. Alhaji Mahama later made a donation to the family.

Madam Yakubu, Mr John Achuliwor, Deputy Minister of Communications and Technology who is MP for Navrongo Central, Mr Mohamed Salifu, Upper East Regional Minister, Major Joe Felli, representative of the family and other sympathisers also laid wreaths.

Colonel Felli, born in Navrongo on May 2, 1941, was commissioned into the Ghana Armed Forces as Lieutenant in 1963, and rose to the rank of Colonel, having attended several career-related courses in Ghana and the United Kingdom.

In 1972 he was appointed as Commissioner for Works and Housing under the Acheampong military regime. He later became Commissioner for Trade and Tourism, Economic planning and Foreign Affairs.

Colonel Felli who retired from the government in 1979 was subsequently discharged from the army and executed with other senior military officers on June 26 1979.

His remains, exhumed form an unmarked grave at Adoagyiri near Nsawam, were flown to Navrongo in the morning accompanied by family members who had received it on Thursday at a ceremony at the Garrison Methodist and Presbyterian Church in Accra.

Deputy Local Government Minister, Alima Mahama, ministers of the three Northern regions, Dr Haroun Majeed, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture and Dr Adombilla Agambilla, Deputy Minister of Finance were among the government delegation.

Earlier in a tribute read by Joe Felli, a junior brother of the late Felli at the Garrison Methodist and Presbyterian Church in Accra on Thursday, he said relatives and sympathisers had the right to know what happened before his brother and the other seven senior officers brother were executed.

He said the spirit behind the nations motto "Freedom and Justice" was still a guiding principle in the conduct of the nation's domestic affairs as it was when the founding fathers adopted those words as the political creed of the nation.

"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 re-dedicate and recommit our selves "to the defence of, the rule of law, the defence of our constitution, even at the peril of our lives."