Tuesday, 27 December 2011

23 MARCH 1971- A day I will never forget- Attempted Assination of Dr. SIAKA STEVENS


23rd MARCH 1971- The day the Force Commander, Bragadier John Bangura showed is disloyalty to then PRIME MINISTER Dr. Siaka Stevens and to Sierra Leone. I will never forget that day. I was leaving at Henry Street in Freetown with my sisters. They will not let me out that morning. After the initial NIGHT of heavy shooting which turned out to be an assination attack on Dr Stevens life led by Major Jawara, I left the house and together with the Late Hon. JOHN KANU at Niaimbana Street, we picked up his car and collected Mama Bucknor (of The APC Office). We drove to Brookfields towards the Dr Stevens resident; the soldiers did not allow us. We moved towards Congo Cross, and saw Lieutenant Colonel Sam King, and othes in a Land Rover driving fiercly through Congo Cross Road. It was confusion. We ended up in a Hon. Minister's house at wilkinson Road (Name witheld- He was later demoted). He was as confused as us. We left back into Town. I then went to my work place at Standard Bank, by wich time loads of soldiers were maching into town. I advised my General Manage in fear, to shut up shop and all staff ordered not to leave until we all helped each other to finish what ever job they were doing and closed the Bank. By that time soldiers were all over town, and a resumption of shooting, attacking the PM at his office up Tower Hill by Paramount Hotel - the old office of Sir Milton. My Cousin - in - Law, the Late Lawyer Kanji Alpha Daramy, Minister of Information was among those with the Prime Minister- but they all survivedthis deadly second phase. It was still very confused as it was Sam King who introduced Bangura before he made his 'TAKE OVER' speech at about 3 pm . So who was in charge? It became clearer, when Sam King and other seniorofficers staged a counter operation and arrested John Bangura and spoke to the Nation DISSOCIATING themselves from coup attempt later that day. 
I had to make my way home via Circular Road - a round trip - through the back streets, for fear of the soldiers and their guns. An expatriate had been shot and killed near the American Embassy. It was a RELIEF to hear the PM Siaka Stevens' voice after Sam King and Tom Caulker, and the second broadcast at about 8pm was all insparing and assuring. The SLBS played its part that day.
I will never forget that day. Bragier John Bangura was Executed in April 1971 for this Coup attempt - A SAD PATCH in our COUNTRY'S HISTORY.

MAADA BIO MUST TAKE NOTE OF THIS FAILED COUP AND ITS SUBSIQUENT RESULTS- in the light of his statement after the 2007 ELECTION VICTORY of the APC. (See rerefence in his entry in WIKIPEDIA)

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