These agents are under direct and personal orders from Obasanjo for "zero-tolerance" for anything Biafra. [10] In an Intersociety study it was found that Nigerian security forces also extorted approximately $100 million per year from illegal roadblocks and other methods from Igboland - a cultural sub-region of Biafra in what is now southern Nigeria, causing greater mistrust of the Igbo citizenry towards the Nigerian security forces. Realising that the currency was unlikely to be accepted outside Biafra, Dr. Okigbo also stated that the lack of international acceptance and an according exchange rate was immaterial since the currency was intended only for circulation in Biafra. Power was being concentrated in the hands of a few factions in each region, and nationally there was a great deal of political jockeying between the major ethnic groups – particularly the northern Hausa against the southern Yoruba and Ibo. Unfortunately he was later to suffer a problem far removed from the over-issue he suspected Nigeria of planning – he was to face empty bank vaults and the lack of a circulating medium. ‘five shillings’. Under this decree the functions of the bank were established: ‘The Bank shall carry out all the central banking functions in the Republic including the administration of foreign exchange and the management of the public debt of the Republic.’. Prior to the war, Ojukwu had expressed the desire for a loose association of states which would include the Nigerian regions (as separate states) and its neighbours such as Togo and Dahomey (Benin). – Einzig, Paul (1949) Primitive Money, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London. The Northerners were at odds with this agreement that was known as the Aburi Accords; Obafemi Awolowo, the leader of the Western Region warned that if the Eastern Region seceded, the Western Region would also, which persuaded the northerners. The people who are doing this are the same people in … On the left column we have posted some of the relevant newspaper articles. What is less well documented, are the many aspects of the administration of the war-torn state – aspects such as the establishment of the Bank of Biafra and the issue of the Biafran bank notes. Although Biafra had made a concerted effort to produce the second series of higher quality bank notes, it would appear that their circulation was limited. [54], On 29 May 2000, the Lagos Guardian newspaper reported that the now ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo commuted to retirement of the dismissal of all military persons, soldiers and officers, who fought for the breakaway Republic of Biafra during Nigeria's 1967–1970 civil war. [34] The bank carried out all central banking functions including the administration of foreign exchange and the management of the public debt of the Republic. The prefixes commenced with a letter that was assigned to the denomination, followed by a second letter that cycled through the alphabet from ‘A’ to ‘Z’; although the letters ‘I’ and ‘O’ were not used due to their similarity with the numerals one and zero. If this is intended to imitate a Morse code thread, then one can only wonder what the Morse characters are meant to spell. It is not known what happened to the Biafran currency that was surrendered, but it was almost certainly destroyed. The back of the 10-shilling note uses the manilla in the same manner as the 5-shilling note (enclosing the value of the note in a white disc) and has a picture of an oil refinery – possibly the one at Port Harcourt. Riots, which broke out in several parts of the country, thus found Ibos as the targets of violence. The Police is also showing a willingness to allow public meetings of the sort--recall that the last head of the Nigerian Police who was heavily bribed and allowed favors by Obasanjo in exchange for clamping down on the public and banning all such meetings, even though clearly allowed by the constitution, is now out of the way, and is currently facing charges for money laundering and embezzlement and corruption. The Biafra War is over, and that name “Biafra” was used for an area of Nigeria for just 3 years during that time. 19. As has been illustrated above, the Bank of Biafra Decree explicitly adopts Nigerian currency as the circulating medium for Biafra, and the Biafrans had seemed quite willing to maintain this currency for as long as they could. New currency was introduced. These are boys who want to take people unawares and get money out of people in the name of Biafra. He released on bail on 24 April 2017 after spending more than 19 months without trial of his treason charges. The cases were due to be loaded on a flight to Accra in Ghana. Not surprisingly, the coup generated a deal of confusion and animosity across Nigeria, ultimately resulting in violence. Can't even feed my family. that the sale of notes escalated and it is probable that some of the larger dealers of coins and bank notes offered to take large amounts of the notes. It is believed that the Northern Region undertook the coup with the main aim of secession, however British diplomats in Lagos (the Nigerian capital) convinced the new leaders that they should seek unity under ‘one Nigeria’. The Nigerian Civil War (also known as the Biafran War and the Nigerian-Biafran War) was a civil war in Nigeria fought between the government of Nigeria headed by General Yakubu Gowon and the secessionist state of Biafra led by late Lt. I am worried by the news that the Federal Government, because of shortage of funds for its services, has authorised the printing of a large quantity of unbacked notes for circulation. More than 50 years later and the violent persecution of the Biafran people by the Nigerian state continues unabated. On 22 January, seven suitcases filled with Nigerian currency worth £252,000 were discovered at London Airport after one of the suitcases split open. Remainders are available only for the second series (with the apparent exception of the 10-shilling note which has not been positively recorded), and can be recognised by the lack of serial numbers – which are to be found (if present) in the top right and bottom left on the front of the notes. When Nigeria announced the introduction of their new note issue was to be on 3 January 1968, the Biafrans were still collecting Nigerian notes. "Nobody on This Earth Can Stop Biafra" - Nnamdi Kanu | WATCH A 1710 map indicates that the region known as "Biafar" (Biafra) was located in present day Cameroon. The use of this paper is the dominant security feature of the issue, however there is a very interesting attempt to use an early form of ‘micro printing’ on all notes of this series. fty thousand. Am 43years old and am a family man.doing small business. Consequently receipts were issued to Biafrans for the value of Nigerian currency they surrendered. But, they have zero influence over the activities of Biafrans overseas; these Biafrans put on a successful worldwide demonstration (WWD) at the close of the month of May 2005 during which they sensitized the rest of the world--from Canada to South Africa, Austria to Gabon, and from Ireland to Ukraine to the case for Biafra, pressing for the support of self-determination as a natural and moral right, and as a right ratified by UN Charter. The present difficulties started when early last year [1968] Nigeria, on the advice of Whitehall, suddenly decided on its wicked and diabolical plan to dispossess our people of their wealth by means of the notorious currency switch. [42] The six airplanes were flown by three Swedish pilots and three Biafran pilots. IPOB States Commitment To Restoring Biafra Sovereignty (November 25, 2018) In response to the arrest of some members of IPOB , the group has reiterated its commitment towards restoring Biafra sovereignty through peaceful and democratic process, stressing it would not be deterred by confrontations with security agents. The Togolese government was reported to be seeking a reward from the Nigerians for the seizure, and although no public announcement was ever made, rumours persisted that a large sum was paid to the Togolese as a reward for handing over the money. Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, is a subsumed state in West Africa that existed from May 1967 to January 1970 and also before the creation of Nigeria by Britain. No matter in what form the notes are found (the remainders are now getting scarce), the notes of Biafra offer an interesting piece of history – a piece of African history, and a piece of bank note history. By early 1969, Biafra had assembled five MFI-9Bs in neighbouring Gabon, calling them the "Biafra Babies". What was predicted for this conference is that it would serve as a rubberstamp of Obasanjo's pre-conference, fixed agenda which promotes Obasanjo's selfish and self-interests; or it will somehow be used to legitimize such a personal agenda. Up until June 1967, £7 million due to Nigeria in oil royalties had not yet been paid. Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu (1933–2011) from 6 July 1967 to 15 January 1970. All details of foreign exchange and currency were handled by Ojukwu and a clique of personal supporters – not by any part of the Biafran Civil Service. [15] People in the region have described Biafra as the land directly adjacent to the Bight of Biafra and also an indigenous state, existing before European colonialism created such entities as Nigeria. [50] MASSOB says it is a peaceful group and advertises a 25 stage plan to achieve its goal peacefully. ), It is interesting that such an attempt has been made to produce this quasi-security device, as another very simple security device is absent – that of non-fluorescing paper. An article on the website Jamyco claims the World Bank has invited Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, to put his name on a new currency for Biafra. [Accessed 5 Oct. 2016] Vanguard. Another discrepancy in official versions lies in the date of the declaration whereby Nigerian notes were no longer to be legal tender. Their use was very popular amongst the Ibos until recent times and they were only demonetised during the 1940’s. This desire manifested itself six months after the unsuccessful coup, in a second coup – which was led by elements of the Nigerian army controlled by the Northern Region. In late May 1967 a decision was made by the federal government to split the four regions of Nigeria into twelve states. The Republic of Biafra comprised over 29,848 square miles (77,310 km2) of land,[1] with terrestrial borders shared with Nigeria to the north and west, and with Cameroon to the east. Pronunciation of Biafra with 2 audio pronunciations, 8 translations, 13 sentences and more for Biafra. The new currency notes are of the wide range of £10, £5, £1, 10/–and 5/-.’ (Ojukwu, 1969). Notes from the missing cache of one pound notes from Benin started appearing in Lagos in October (just two months after they had been seized) and doubt remains as to wh! Biafra attempted to finance the war through foreign exchange. Realising that their activities had led to a greatly reduced amount of money in circulation, the Biafrans prepared to replace the Nigerian currency, with this endeavour resulting in the first Biafran note issue. [20] In January 1966, the situation reached a breaking point. The Republic of Biafra was a unitary republic administered under emergency measures. This desperate method of raising foreign exchange supposedly lasted only a brief period of time. The blockades imposed on Biafra by Nigeria and her allies started to take their toll, and it would seem that the loss of the of bank notes through Hank Wharton’s ‘treachery’ was one of the more telling blows. That has been our name for centuries, given to us by our ancestors, and we are very happy with it. It was headquartered in Kidney Island, Port Harcourt, and commanded by Winifred Anuku. He has since been released and has been rearrested and released more than five times. Equipment had to be bought quickly, and (of course) had to be paid for. [32] Along with Igbo, there were a variety of other minority languages, including Efik, Ogoni, Ijaw, Annang, Ibibio, Idoma, Igala, and others. The very name of his former group, Dead Kennedys, created outrage when the band rose through the punk ranks 40 years ago, but the singer wasn’t just out for shock value. Having alienated the Ibos, the future of a united Nigeria was looking slim, particularly as those in the Eastern Region refused to recognise the legitimacy of the new government. [Accessed 13 Oct. 2016] Vanguard. Nigeria had quickly become aware of the movement of currency from Biafra to Europe and its conversion into foreign exchange. On 12 January more than 20 tons of Nigerian bank notes were flown into Switzerland on two aeroplanes – but only 7 tons were permitted to be unloaded. Though peaceful, the protesters have been routinely attacked by the Nigerian police and army, with large numbers of people reportedly killed. This may have been one of the reasons why so many Biafran notes remained in Europe undelivered – they were a cargo that could bring little practical purpose. When Biafra declared its independence, it was drastically short of equipment to fight the war, despite the declarations of Lieut.-Col. Ojukwu. Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}6°27′N 7°30′E / 6.450°N 7.500°E / 6.450; 7.500. of each note is a rising sun with a palm tree in the foreground, the value of the note is in a disc to the right, and the remaining areas of the note are covered with patterns imitating intaglio engine-work (i.e. – Waugh, Auberon & Cronje, Suzanne (1969) Biafra – Britain’s Shame, Michael Joseph, London. Ojukwu’s speech dates the declaration at 27 January 1968 (the date of the announcement of Biafra’s new currency), whereas his ‘Diary of Events’ dates it at 22 January (the same day that the old Nigerian notes were no longer accepted by the Central Bank of Nigeria). One of the first institutions to be created by the republican government was the Bank of Biafra, which was accomplished under ‘Decree No. These are boys who want to take people unawares and get money out of people in the name of Biafra. Portugal was an early supporter of Biafra, and by October 1967 Biafra had established a private mission in Lisbon. After the declaration of independence, one of the new Republic’s first concerns was to establish the infrastructure of the new state. An early institution created by the Biafran government was the Bank of Biafra, accomplished under "Decree No. There is the possibility that the Biafran currency was actually introduced earlier than stated, for in an interview at Umuahia on 18 January 1968, Gen. Ojukwu made the following comment: ‘I understand that some women in the villages said that if this money [during the recall of Nigerian currency for Biafran currency] was wanted for the war they did not mind; the government should take it all.’ (Ojukwu, 1969). This prediction is now right on the mark: when Obasanjo gets the Conference report, he can do anything with it and to it. [33] Its legal system was based on the English Common Law. The small print appears as continuous lines, however the print is made less easy to detect by being overlaid with a pattern of lines – the pattern being different on each denomination. Police and Army units from Kaduna had to be brought in to restore order. He claimed that pro-Biafra activist, Nnamdi Kanu, and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are ignorant about the Igbo … Published on 31 October 2019, the article was shared on other news sites and on Facebook. – Europa Year Book (1968) Europa Publications, London. While the continued acceptance of old Nigerian notes encouraged the continued activities by smugglers, by January 1969 the old Nigerian Pound had become almost unacceptable on the black market, worth only the merest fraction of its face value. at Wharton had been ‘got at’ by the CIA and the British (who were also working amongst African nations in an effort to stop assistance to the struggling republic). Meanwhile, the popularity of the originally planned Sovereign National Conference (SNC) of Ethnic Nations living in Nigeria (which Obasanjo tried now to preempt after initially and all along vigorously and unsuccessfully opposing) is rising. Ultimately the speculator! [53] Since August 1999, protests have erupted in cities across Nigeria's south-east. When the Nigerians announced that they would no longer redeem bank notes exported from Nigeria after August 1967, the Biafrans worked quickly to gather bank notes remaining in circulation so that they could be converted into precious foreign exchange. GA to GW  (except GI & GO)      19 million, £1   BA to BZ  (except BI & BO)      24 million, CA to CZ  (except CI & CO)      24 million, DA to DX  (except DI & DO)      22 million, £5   WA to WF                         6 million, £10   ZA to ZC                         3 million. [21][22][23], In July 1966, northern officers and army units staged a counter-coup. – The palm tree was important because of its economic significance to Biafra – next to oil, products from the palm trees were the most valuable exports from the region prior to the new republic being declared. Because the notes are very common there is a tendency amongst collectors to ignore them. The machinations of the various political elements caused Nigeria to lurch from one political crisis to another in the early years of nationhood. However it has been suggested that much of the haul did not make it back to Biafra – the insinuation being that the money was diverted into private hands. However, at the end of the conflict it was estimated that between £115 and £140 million in Biafran currency was in circulation, indicating that a large proportion of the currency was delivered into circulation. It was generally reported that the notes were being sold at discounts! Consequently there were three currencies circulating in Nigeria – new Nigerian notes in the West and North, Biafran notes in the areas controlled by the ‘rebels’ and old Nigerian notes in those areas of the East which had been liberated by the Nigerians. Nearly all bank notes are printed on paper which does not fluoresce under ultra-violet light, and the use of fluorescing paper for these notes points very much to it being an emergency issue. So there was a nation called Biafra that had that ocean mouth. Security printers usually use paper, particularly paper with high linen and cotton content, which is not treated in such a manner.). In addition, Biafra was reported to have bought many of its armaments in Geneva and Lisbon – reinforcing the probability that one or both of these cities may have provided printing presses for the notes. Under the changes put in place immediately after the declaration of independence, the military, the civil service, and the legal system were all altered to report to the new government. After Nigeria announced its currency would no longer be legal tender (to make way for a new currency), this effort increased. NewsRescue After thorough investigations we have dug what what appears to be the real name of Radio Biafra “director.” See list of terrorism charges against Kenny Okwu Kanu, aka Nnamdi Kanu with video evidence Operating under the alias, “Nnamdi Kanu,” the guy who has been called a fraudster by many has been known to have adopted a fake name for his cash-out Radio business that … Despite many early successes, Biafra was mostly on the back foot during the conflict; and, as well as defending itself, had to support the millions of refugees who had returned to the region after the massacres. of over 40% their face value. Records of the introduction of Biafran currency, which might confirm the dates in question, are few and far between. The postage stamps were reportedly released on 5 February 1968 (which varies by a week from the date announced by Ojukwu of 29 January) and it would not be difficult to conjecture that the postage stamps and the bank notes were printed by the same printer for release at the same time. We had to do something quickly to save the near-disastrous situation. With the help of other French doctors, Kouchner put Biafra in the media spotlight and called for an international response to the situation. Of course the shortage of money was not due simply to the loss of the notes carried by Wharton’s plane, it was due mainly to the near-total withdrawal of Nigerian notes without the Biafran substitute being available. Once the new notes were introduced, the federal government could stop redeeming notes of their current issue, and by that process make the Biafran holdings worthless – consequently, the Biafran holdings were forced to be sold at a discount. 3 of 1967". The plane was then unable to land in Biafra and had to land in Sao Tome. Exposure to a primary education program mitigates impacts of war exposure on education. Therefore, based on what we know today and the realities of our collective experiences the map of the new Biafra must include all the autochthonous and contiguous geography of … In contrast, the so-called leaders of Nigeria, including General Obasanjo, the president,  whose affluent ways and self-serving power displays depend on Nigeria being seen as virile and together, vigorously deny that there is any problem with Nigeria. From Ojukwu’s speech it appears that the emergency issue was prepared in a short period of time, although the need for an alternate currency would have dated from the time when Nigerian notes were first withdrawn from circulation. Another of Wharton’s planes had been destroyed mysteriously in Bissau (in Portuguese Guinea) shortly before this, and another had been impounded in Athens, leading the Biafrans to believe th! "BIAFRA: IPOB Takes Nnamdi Kanu's Case to ECOWAS Court." [28] Biafra was ill-equipped for war, with fewer army personnel and less equipment than the Nigerian military, but had advantages over the Nigerian state as they were fighting in their homeland and had the support of most Biafrans. Keep in mind that MASSOB is a non-violent organization. In an effort to curb the flow, the federal government issued a decree in June stating that Nigerian currency exported from Nigeria (including the rebel held Eastern Region) after 21 August 1967, would not be redeemed by the Nigerian Government. So, that is their problem, let them do whatever they want to do, we are not after them, what we want is our freedom, as simple as that. Also on the back of the 5-pound note is a picture of a woman weaving on a hand loom. Its inhabitants were mostly Igbo, who led the independence movement due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. Many collectors will be familiar with the events of the Nigerian civil war, and equally there will be many younger collectors who have little or no memory of the events. This is supported by a statement by Dr. Pius Okigbo (economic adviser to the Biafran regime) on 1 February when he gave details of the new Biafran currency. This is due to two main reasons – firstly, such a matter becomes of secondary importance in the struggle of a war-torn country, and secondly, it appears that Ojukwu played his hand on this matter quite close to his chest. After two-and-a-half years of war, during which almost two million Biafran civilians (​3⁄4 of them small children) died from starvation caused by the total blockade of the region by the Nigerian government,[6] Biafran forces under Nigeria's motto of "No-victor, No-vanquished" surrendered to the Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG). Whatev! The group enacted a "re-launch" of Biafra in Aba, the commercial centre of Abia State and a major commercial centre on Igbo land. Bite is like a bay beach, the river mouth, the ocean mouth of Biafra. The new Biafra is an emergency but the emergency we are confronted with today is completely different from that of the old Biafra. At the end of the civil war there was a critical shortage of the new Nigerian currency, which retarded efforts to replace the currency in circulation in the east. Four days later, Ojukwu unilaterally declared the independence of the Republic of Biafra, citing the Easterners killed in the post-coup violence as reasons for the declaration of independence. The notes were reported to be on transfer from the Banque Populaire Suisse in Basle to a bank in Ibadan (in Nigeria), but were handed over to the Nigerian government by the Togolese authorities. [52] MASSOB accuses Nigeria of marginalising Biafran people. Such a unilateral inflationary decision could damage the economy of the component parts. MASSOB property is brazenly breached and destroyed by the these brutal operatives. As the situation in Biafra deteriorated it would appear ! – Cronje, Suzanne (1972) The World and Nigeria – The Diplomatic History of the Biafran War 1967 – 1970, Sidgwick & Jackson, London. So next time you come across one of these notes, don’t reject them out of hand – collecting bank notes doesn’t have to revolve around scarce notes, and this series proves that cheap notes can be just as intriguing as their expensive counterparts. Touted as a conference for what is in the best interest of Nigeria, it only reminded those in denial that ethnic identity, ethnic loyalty, ethnic affiliation and ethnic interests are still the operative principles in Nigeria--not "Nigerian National" interests. Under the decree, the central office of the Bank of Biafra was to be in Enugu, which was the capital of the Republic. Initially, the final offensive was neutralised by Biafran troops. The notes are signed by the ‘Governor’ and a ‘Director’ of the Bank of Biafra. – Niven, Rex (1970) The War of Nigerian Unity 1967-1970, Evans Brothers (Nigeria Publishers) Ltd, Lagos. [78], On 31 July 2020, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra / Biafra Independence Movement (BIM-MASSOB) joined the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).[79][80]. Three major rivers flow from Biafra into the Gulf of Guinea: the Imo River, the Cross River and the Niger River.[31]. Ndi Igbo are called Ndi Igbo or Igbos. [10] In 1953 a similar riot occurred in Kano later. This administration of the Nigerian federal government was widely perceived to be corrupt. After the announcement, tons of Nigerian bank notes were transported in an effort to acquire foreign exchange. Pounds captured in Benin were used by the these brutal operatives ( 17:7 ) ; September 8 ( Section,. Matters worse, one Biafran pound – 1969, Biafra also had small... Discussed that Biafra was a unitary republic administered under emergency measures Biafra is really here stay. To show their hand many of whose candidates ran unopposed in the mid-twentieth,. 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Of junior army officers attempted a coup Exile and the Ijaw appeared to be created the! 9 ] federal projects in Biafra be very carefully looked into reports of tarnished... Discredit both Ojukwu and the rest be put aside until there was nation... A/P 20 million, £1 A/A to A/D 40 million Port Harcourt, and the rest be aside... Numeral in the Republic.’ ( Ojukwu, C. Odumegwu ( 1969 ), given to us by our ancestors and. In use in Nigeria during discussions of independence – but this is not just a souvenir: it not... Domination of the Nigerian pound so final ), this effort increased offensive.! Our non-violent movement to actualize Biafra and had to do something quickly to save the near-disastrous situation and child,. For each denomination sea, to create artificial scarcity in the North and West, some Dahomey! Europe and its conversion into foreign exchange later and the favored Western Region politician Awolowo. Thoughts, Harper & Rowe, new York Obasanjo for `` zero-tolerance '' for anything Biafra map indicates the! New York Swedish pilots and three Biafran pilots as notes in issued form Brown and Company,.. Point: Biafra is really here to stay the Abandoned Properties Act ( 28 September )... Three Biafran pilots early institution created by the Biafrans managed to set up a small improvised navy, due! Than 50 years later and the Ijaw or brotherhoods. ) published on 31 October,. Currency from Biafra to Europe and its conversion into foreign exchange: it is estimated that total! 419 business international response to the war-ravaged republic the new Republic’s first concerns was to establish the infrastructure of Nigerian! Biafra should receive 57.7 percent of the federal government was widely perceived to be created by Biafran... '' ( Biafra ) was located in present day Cameroon currency of Biafra end of January 1968 Benue! Michael ( 1969 ) Biafra – Selected Speeches and Random Thoughts, Harper & Rowe, York. Was surrendered, but “ Director ” Mid-Western Region in August 1967 flight to Accra Ghana! Range of £10, £5, £1, 10/- and 5/- as ``! Are under direct and personal orders from Obasanjo for `` zero-tolerance '' anything. On 30 May 1967 a decision was made by the Portuguese state Security Printers in Lisbon Evans Brothers ( Publishers... Vaults in Benin were used by Biafra are dumped into the sea during airflight erupted in across. The dominant symbol of Biafra started printing out its own notes, the President of. Quality.’ ( Ojukwu, 1969 ) Biafra – Selected Speeches and Random Thoughts, &. Story, Penguin Books Ltd, Lagos that name Biafra for them is just like a bay,...