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Col. Winfreid Annor Odjidja

Colonel Winfried Annor Odjidja (rtd)

February 19, 1940 - May 26, 2009

Colonel Winfried Annor Odjidja, who died at age 69, had an illustrious military career in Ghana until December 31, 1981.

Colonel Odjidja rose to the post of Director of Military Intelligence and was cited by many as a highly competent intelligence operative and administrator.

He was born on February 19, 1940 to the late Winfried Tettehwayo Odjidja of Baarmiyee House, Korletsom, Krobo Odumase and Margaret Adukwei Brown of Sempe, Accra; also of blessed memory.

Colonel Odjidja who died in May 2009 is survived by his wife Betty, nee Oye Wilson, with whom he had two children, Tettehwayo and Caroline Odjidja.

He is also survived by his brothers and sisters; George, Wilheminna, Elias, Judith, Duddley, Sheila, and Alpheus.

His first marriage was to Efua Taylor and it produced one offspring, Bernard Odjidja.

One salient fact was long known about Annor – his academic brilliance. From Bana Hill Presbyterian Boarding School, through Presec at Krobo Odumasi and Prempeh College, Kumasi, his reputation was that of a top scholar. He passed his examinations with ease; scoring absolute “A’s” for subjects at both Ordinary and Advance levels, before being accepted to the Military Academy at Teshie.

The remarkable brain power that he had exhibited so far would continue into his affairs with the military.

At the Military Academy at Teshie, Accra, he was to receive the academic award of his class on graduation. He was commissioned as officer on September 14, 1963.

Colonel Odjdjia attended military courses overseas, starting with the School of Military Intelligence, Maresfield, UK and several others. His experience at the Staff Officers Training College at Camberley, UK, he said, was a memorable one. He was later in life to earn a BA degree in history; a degree he had abandoned at Legon for the Military Academy at Teshie.

His military career started with the Intelligence Service of the Ghana Army, at the time of the first president of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, when Ghana was embroiled in various political stratagems and active in directing, and propping up budding political regimes in the struggle for independence across Africa.

Whatever assignment he was sent on, military or civilian, Colonel Odjidja arrived with his unusual academic and practical brilliance; the responsibilities and goals carried out to the point of perfection.

In 1972, he was seconded to the Ghana Tourist Board and a year later was to become the head for both this company and a new one, The Ghana Tourist Development Company.

After successfully guiding the fortunes of these two companies, Annor found his potent administrative skills needed back in the army, this time as the Directing Staff, Ghana Military Academy (Junior Division) from 1975 to 1976. Then, he was moved again to the post of the Directing Staff for the senior division of the same college from April 1976 to May 1977.

In May 1977, he was brought back to the civilian post of Managing Director for State Hotels. He served in this post from May 1977 to May 1979.

In 1979, Colonel Odjidja was back on military duties as the Deputy Director, Military Intelligence Service, and shortly thereafter, as full Director; a position he was to hold throughout the aborted presidency of the late President Limann.

Unfortunate for Colonel Odjidja, the civilian regime of Limann, for some reason, was set on the belief that it alone had, perhaps, divine protection against further coups, and refused any practical advice on how to contain the impeding threats.

The Colonel was, therefore, to become a Jeremiah, issuing warnings on several occasions about the imminent danger to the regime to no avail.

Neither the Limann administration, nor the courts, showed any zeal to pre-empt the machinations of the coup makers. As the plan for the coup advanced, the administration rather hid its colossal head in the sands of the time.

Then on December 31, 1981, it happened, just as Colonel Annor Odjidja had predicted. Some disgruntled men from the Armed Forces pounced on the constitutionally elected government and illegally removed it from power.

The December 1981 uprising and its aftermath caused Colonel Odjidja and his family to resettle in Britain where he was granted political asylum and lived until his death on May 26, 2009.



June 14, 2009



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