ALUMNI IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE
Brigadier General Irvine Nii-Ayitey Aryeetey (1980)
Deputy Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre. PRESEC Long & Triple Jumper.
“Leadership means firmness, not harshness or bullying; understanding, not weakness; justice, not irresponsible freedom; humaneness, not intolerance; generosity, not selfishness; pride, not egotism”. – General Omar N. Bradley
Something phenomenal happened on the first day of the Inter-Houses Athletics competition in March 1980. The applause from the long jump pit caught the attention of many who trooped over to see what the excitement was all about. An ‘unknown’ athlete from Labone House Irvine Aryeetey was taking PRESEC by storm and causing a sensation with his performance. Labone House had in the past given PRESEC hurdler Martin Berko aka Akwasi Dooma and Senior Jagooja(Pole Vault). In this athletics meeting, they had Ebenezer Tackie aka Kolonkala a sprinter with blistering speed so who was this surprise being visited on us? The coroner inquest would continue that evening as Odadees tried to come to terms with this inspiring performance. “Charlie, there is more to it. I sure say he call Spirits; he pass somewhere” one guy opined alluding to the aid of voodoo. Unfancied Irvine would come back on Day 2 to win both long and triple jumps to confound the skeptics. A sterling and superlative performance at InterCo sent him into PRESEC athletics record books.
Irvine Nii-Ayitey Aryeetey came to PRESEC from University Primary School Legon in September 1975 and in his assigned Labone House, was in company with a rumbustious group the likes of late Alan Chester, ‘Dansopee’ Blankson, Adofo Seydou, Dee Henry, Kamasa etc. The first day in Presec was such a joyous occasion it is permanently etched in his memory. His best buddies were Reginald Anterson aka Bobby Moore and Philip Armah. Irvine’s favorite food was ‘Red Red’ and he never missed that meal in all five years on campus. Mrs Ahiakpor made him enjoy Geography classes so much she became his favorite tutor.
When you come from Bukom and grew up settling misunderstandings at the public standpipe with bucket fights; when you grew up taking Anneteyny3 ricewater for breakfast or Daavi’s ‘zorzor’for lunch; when you played ‘truancy’ at Dogo and Mensah Guinea beaches; when you watched 12:00 noon cinema show at Opera, 6:15pm at Palladium and 8:15pm at Rex; when you saw Mister Allotey display soccer artistry at Bukom and Mantse Agbonaa parks, you are cut for life forever and never intimidated under any circumstances.
Odadees are natural leaders and problem solvers. Wherever they find themselves, they show decisive leadership. Brigadier General Irvine Nii-Ayitey Aryeetey was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1986. By dint of hard work, he caught the attention of his superiors. It was therefore no wonder when he proceeded to the US Army Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia in 1991, where he was trained and certified as a Jumpmaster/Pathfinder/Instructor; returning for the Infantry Officer’s Advance Course in 1997. He completed the Senior Command and Staff Course at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) in 1999 and also graduated from the US Army War College in Pennsylvania in 2015 where he excelled. He has held various command positions in the army including an instructor, Jungle Warfare School (1991), Directing Staff Army Combat Training School (1998), Commanding Officer of the Airborne Force (2002) Directing Staff at the Senior Division of GAFCSC between 2008 and 2012, Chief Instructor, Army Faculty with additional responsibility for Joint Studies and subsequently appointed Director of Studies in 2015. Odadee Irvine has in his 32 years of service, seen Peacekeeping duty tours of Lebanon, Cambodia, Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where he was Commander of the Western Brigade of the United Nation’s Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO).
Our One Star General holds a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Development Studies and two Master’s Degrees in International Affairs & Diplomacy and Development Management & Strategic Studies. Nii Ayitey’s administrative acumen is no fluke. He also holds a Special Certificate in Public Administration, Certificates in Conflict and Crisis Management, Defense Management, Peace Operations, Security Sector Governance &Management and Managing Defense in a Wider Security Context. He has also attended the Command Course at the Pearson Centre for Peacekeeping in Canada. Irvine’s hobbies are travelling and walking.
Who say PRESEC no dey? U mess with us and you will end up in guardroom. Congrats Odadee Irvine. May you become a General Omar Bradley in future.