1967 Elections set the tone for Sierra Leone’s turbulent politics

I have just been given the full transcript of the radio broadcast made by the late Brigadier David Lansana , announcing MARTIAL LAW and the first military coup ever in the history of Sierra Leone in 1967 when it was obvious that the APC had beaten the SLPP in the historic elections . Lansana made two other speeches that have also been handed me.

Additionally, I was handed the full broadcast made by Major Charles Blake two days later, overturning Lansana’s coup and announcing the formation of the first military government ever in Sierra Leone, the National Reformation Council ( NRC).



Also, details of the dramatic moments after the March 17, 19967 General Elections, which led to Lansana’s interference , are provided in an interesting article written by a former British professor at FBC, also handed to me. The balanced analysis detailed the events before the coup, which will set the precedent for the turbulent politics in Sierra Leone up to this day.

The materials address the age-old argument that has been raging since 1967 about firstly, whether the Governor -General , Sir Henry Lightfoot-Boston, acted within the realm of the constitution by inviting Mr. Siaka Stevens to State House and swearing him in as Prime Minister when SLBS had not yet announced the full results ,and secondly, whether the army had a right to interfere in the democratic process. From the reports, it was clear that the APC had won and only the SLBS was delaying the results .Also, any sensible man reading Brig. Lansana’ s rantings, which he thought was a radio broadcast , would clearly see that he was interfering on behalf of the late Prime Minister, Sir Albert Margai. Therefore, these documents contradict those who have been arguing that Lansana intervened in the national interest. His statement did not convincingly give that impression.



Another curious observation I made from Blake’s radio statement was that the army , like the NPRC , did not actually intervene initially to stage a coup. However, having arrested the Prime Minister , Sir Albert ; the winner of the elections, Mr. Stevens and the Force Commander, they had created a power vacuum and thus in their next broadcast they proceeded to form a government.

It is very useful for the sake of history to get these dramatic events of 1967 in their true perspective because they tend to show that everything that has been wrong with Sierra Leone politics for all our chaotic decades was first introduced by the SLPP, These include the unconstitutional succession of the deceased first Prime Minister, Sir Milton Margai by his brother, Sir Albert Margai; the one-party state attempt by Sir Albert( It will surprise you that even sections of Parliament and the Freetown City Council had made statements supporting it ) ; the stage-managed coup plot in which Brig. John Bangura was arrested , allegedly for plotting to kill Sir Albert and Lansana just before the elections ; the introduction of unopposed candidates in our elections; elections rigging ; the attempt to subvert the democratic process and the introduction of the army into Sierra Leone politics.

The SLPP talk about the 99 tactics of the APC, but from the historical record, they started KUKUJUMUKU POLITICS in Sierra Leone.
The other materials I have been promised are the NRC ‘s DOVE-EDWIN COMMISSION REPORT on the 1967 elections AND the FORSTER COMMISSION White Paper and Report , which saw the confiscation of the assets of Sir Albert and all his SLPP ministers and public officials for rampant corruption and abuse of office. They will all come in useful for my books being written , titled : “BETWEEN THE ROCK AND THE HARD PLACES : THE DILEMMA OF THE SIERRA LEONEAN PEOPLE”  and of course, my autobiography, titled :” I HAVE SEEN IT ALL : THE MEMOIRS OF A SIERRA LEONEAN JOURNALIST, DIPLOMAT AND PREACHER.”

If you have any historic materials that will be useful to me, please help.


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