Major General Ordartey
Date of Birth: 1934
Time of Birth:
Place of Birth: Osu
Major General Neville Alexander Odartey-Wellington (1934–1979) was a distinguished Ghanaian army officer known for his significant contributions to the military and civil administration. He served as the Chief of Army Staff of the Ghana Army from 1978 to 1979, and his life was tragically cut short during the 4 June 1979 military uprising in Ghana.
Odartey-Wellington received his education at Accra Academy in Ghana and underwent military training at prestigious institutions, including the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) and the United States Army Infantry School (Fort Benning, Georgia). His military career included active service in the Congo during the Congo Crisis and participation in the Ghanaian UNIFIL contingent in the Middle East.
Described as a "soldier's soldier," Odartey-Wellington held various military and civil administrative positions under the National Redemption Council (NRC) and Supreme Military Council I (SMC I) governments. He served as Chief Executive of the Ghana Timber Marketing Board, Commissioner of Health, and Commissioner of Agriculture, where he played a key role in implementing the nationalistic "Operation Feed Yourself" program.
Odartey-Wellington's leadership extended to commanding the No. 1 Infantry Brigade Group, and he is believed to have led the palace coup that removed General I. K. Acheampong as Head of State in July 1978. In the subsequent SMC II regime led by General F.W.K. Akuffo, Odartey-Wellington was promoted to major general and became the Army Commander or Chief of Army Staff, holding a cabinet position. In this capacity, he represented Ghana at the UN General Assembly, addressing issues such as apartheid and Palestinian self-determination.
Tragically, Major General Odartey-Wellington lost his life during the June 4, 1979 military uprising that overthrew the SMC II government led by General Akuffo. Despite the success of the coup, he was buried with full military honors by the new regime at the Ghana Military Cemetery in Osu. The National Reconciliation Commission later commended him for his sense of duty and daring leadership in trying to quell the revolt to safeguard the transition process.