May 9, 1967: Coup plotters Lts. Arthur and Yeboah executed at Teshie Range

The government suppressed a military rebellion led by Lt. Samuel Arthur and Lt. Moses Yeboah in Accra on April 17, 1967, resulting in the deaths of two government soldiers, Lt. General Kotoka, a member of the ruling Military Junta, the National Liberation Council (NLC) and Capt. Avevor, the Quartermaster at the armoury of the first Recce Regiment.

Lt. Arthur and Lt. Yeboah were sentenced to death on May 5, 1967, and the officers were executed on May 9, 1967. The abortive coup was known as “Operation Guitar Boy” because on seizing Broadcasting House, they played the popular hit song “Guitar Boy” by Nigerian music icon, Sir Victor Uwaifo.

Do you know why Arthur’s coup failed?  After taking over Broadcasting House, he went to his girlfriend’s house, in an armored reconnaissance car called a Ferret. He went to find out whether she’d recognized his voice when he’d made his coup announcement! By the time he got to Burma Camp, officers had gathered in the mess discussing what was happening. One of them told him that they had assembled to hear his instructions. He wanted to go in armed, but was politely reminded that one didn’t go to the mess armed. Instead of saying that mess rules were suspended for the time being, he meekly put his sub-machine gun somewhere and entered the mess. He was promptly put under arrest and put in a guardroom. Meanwhile, the other officers in Accra disarmed his men and put them in the cooler. Later, Arthur was court-martialed and executed, together with his co-conspirator, Lieutenant Moses Yeboah.

Adapted from CONVERSATIONS WITH MY STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS- “Remembering Generals Ankrah and Mobutu Seseseko” by Cameron Duodu (2018).