John Amadu Bangura

John Amadu Bangura

Infobox Military Person
name=John Amadu Bangura

dateofbirth= 1930
placeofbirth= Kalangba, Northern Province, Sierra Leone
placeofdeath=Freetown, Sierra Leone
rank=Brigadier General
charge= Conspiracy
penalty= Beaten to death
occupation = Soldier
battles=The Sargents Coup

Brigadier John Amadu Bangura was the acting Governor-General of Sierra Leone from 18 April 1968 until 22 April 1968. He led the Sargents Coup in 1968 that successfully re-instated civilian rule in Sierra Leone.

Early life

Bangura received his military training at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He returned as a Colonel to Sierra Leone and was appointed Deputy Chief of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces.

Prior to the 1968 National Elections, Siaka Stevens represented the North, Sir Albert Margai represented the south and there was a lot of tribalism going on. Rumors surfaced that Sir Albert Margai was considering turning Sierra Leone in to a one party state and people whispered that Bangura was planning to stage a coup d'etat. Bangura was accused of conspiracy and found not guilty. He was sent to Washington, D.C. in the United States as Military Attaché.

Sargents Coup

Bangura played a pivotal role in the history of post-colonial Sierra Leone. A staunch democrat he took issue when the government began to collapse after a series of coups that followed the hotly contested elections of March 1967.

Bangura formed the Anti-Corruption Revolutionary Movement (ACRM) with a group of non-commissioned officers. In April 1968, Bangura led the Sargents Coup and overthrew Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smith and his National Reformation Council (NRC). Bangura arrested every high ranking officer in the army and police, so that he could restore the constitution and democracy to Sierra Leone.

There was another side of Bangura, some accused him as bully, tribalist, no regard for authority in the military, as violence and had no principle. Being an army personnel, he betrayed his profession not once but twice. Fristly, by joining Stevens and other APC cohorts to planned an invasion of Sierra Leone, the very country he was employed and nurtured to protect and defend. The army was unhappy about this but worst was to come when Bangura connieved some NCOs to overthrown NRC gov't and imposed Stevens on the the people. Some argued that Stevens knew his violence potentials and his position in the heart and mind of the army. Some of Bangura's associates were in the pay pocket of Stevens, hence spy. Bangura did planned a coup and Stevens knew every stage of the process that he let it go on to have grounds to liquidate Bangura. The army was happy to see the end of Bangura and when the hour came, they looked the other way while Bangura and his political friend slugged it out.

Bangura was political army personnel, while Sir Albert, as a lawyer was a constitutionalist and resort to the due process. Stevens was a thug (rally man) and street graduate and enjoyed sending closed associates to the gallow and displayed their bodies in public as trophy of political prowess. Stevens was quoted of saying that he was no Sir Albert who was afraid of Bangura thus sending him abroad as a diplomat but he Stevens will teach Bangura a lesson in politics by sending him down the gallow. When this hour came, Bangura had no ally and he was left in the hands of his former friends turned enemy.Bangura was appointed acting Governor-General of Sierra Leone by the ACRM. Bangura, who was not politically ambition, served briefly from April 18, 1968 and April 22, 1968. He gave the post of Prime Minister to Siaka Stevens, leader of the All People's Congress, the post of Prime Minister. Bangura did not do this for any personal reasons but because his predecessor Governor General Henry Lightfoot Boston had declared the APC the winners of the election.

Political prisoner

Bangura was a magnetic and popular figure. The army was devoted to him and this made him potentially dangerous to Steven's new agenda in the shifting political climate of Sierra Leone. Bangura was widely considered the only person who could put the brakes on Stevens.

Stevens had campaigned on a platform of socialist principles. However, when he became Prime Minister he abandoned his pre-election promises and employed an authoritarian model of governance. [ [ The Final Report of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone] .] Bangura, an ardent democrat, was greatly disappointed and he criticized Stevens policies.

Stevens began to cut funds for the army which he saw as a threat to him attaining absolute power. [ [ The Final Report of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone] .] Bangura spoke out against the Stevens regime and was promptly arrested in 1970. He was charged with conspiracy and plotting to commit a coup d'etat against Steven government.


Stevens, who Bangura had put in power after the Sargents Coup in 1968 [ [ Charting The Way Forward With Ideas, Comments And Analyses Of Key National Issues And Events ] ] had Bangura arrested and charged him with conspiracy in 1970. Bangura was sentenced to death by execution for treason against the state. On March 29, 1970, Stevens had Bangura hanged after he was mercilessly beaten and had concentrated acid poured on Bangura. To prevent people from making a martyr of Bangura, Stevens ordered his body to buried at an undisclosed location which he had paved over with Kissy Road. [ [ The Final Report of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Sierra Leone] .]

After Stevens retired from office he told a reporter that he regretted having Bangura killed: "I should not have allowed those executions." [ [ The New Citizen Publications ] ]


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