16 January 1996: Brigadier General Julius Maada-Bio overthrew Strasser who, he claims, was clinging to power. Many suspected Maada-Bio's motives: his sister, Agnes Deen Jalloh, was a senior member of the rebel RUF. But Maada Bio insisted he would go ahead with the elections as planned and that he did not aim to prolong military rule. He was close to Nigerian military leader Gen. Sani Abacha who had advised him to postpone the handover to civilian rule. Freetown's market women, suspicious that Maada-Bio was conspiring with local politicians to delay the handover to civilian rule, marched through the city and threatened to expose those politicians who had received bribes from the military to postpone the elections.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.