It was generally reported that the notes were being sold at discounts! Thus, only six digits are used and this means that only one million notes were prepared for each prefix, and not the ten million that would be initially supposed. [44] During the crisis, French medical volunteers, in addition to Biafran health workers and hospitals, were subjected to attacks by the Nigerian army and witnessed civilians being murdered and starved by the blockading forces. War-exposed men marry later and have fewer children. French doctor Bernard Kouchner also witnessed these events, particularly the huge number of starving children, and, when he returned to France, he publicly criticised the Nigerian government and the Red Cross for their seemingly complicit behaviour. For mother and child health, the largest impacts stem from adolescent exposure. Should any individual or enterprise wish to surrender a greater amount than the stated limits, then this would be done so long as the requests were registered with the exchange control authorities. – Keesing’s Publications Limited Keesing’s Contemporary Archives – Volume No.XVI 1967-1968 – London. 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. 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. – Niven, Rex (1970) The War of Nigerian Unity 1967-1970, Evans Brothers (Nigeria Publishers) Ltd, Lagos. 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. There have been differing reports as to the amount of Nigerian currency in circulation at the time of secession, but when Nigeria’s Finance Commissioner announced on 30 December 1967 that the new Nigerian notes would replace the current notes in circulation between 3 January and 22 January 1968, he also stated that some £37 million had been seized by the rebels in the east. Violence spread throughout the country and some began to flee the North and West, some to Dahomey. It was in this statement that Dr. Okigbo said that the Biafrans had collected £53 million in the three weeks since Nigeria’s announcement that the notes would no longer be legal tender after 22 January. When the federal government offered to appease those in the east, their efforts were rejected, and although a lot of effort was made in trying to bring about a reconciliation, it appeared that those in the east were not willing to come to a compromise. (From other reports in the press at the time, this appeared to be the general rate available for the notes. June 21 2020 | Radio Biafra B ack in the days in high school, we students hardly concentrate on related borrowed culture of adopting a new course like borrowing of courses like anthropology and geography; students always gave one excuse or the other why the course wasn’t necessary. It is not known what happened to the Biafran currency that was surrendered, but it was almost certainly destroyed. 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). The southern population is predominantly Christian, being primarily made up of territory of the indigenous Yoruba and Biafra kingdoms in the West and East respectively. Despite Ojukwu’s official speech on 27 January and an announcement to the international press on 30 January on the introduction of the new bank notes, there is some lingering doubt as to the official versions of events (which can sometimes be misleading, especially when recorded some time after the events). My name is Mr Franchise from Edo state Benin around upper mission road . 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. The difference being that the Eastern Region’s arms had supporters of a leopard (on the left) and a man carrying a spear – an ‘Alo’ – (on the right), whereas the Biafran arms had two leopards supporting the shield. The common features are the rising sun (now a much smaller representation), the palm tree, the names of the Republic and the Bank, a white disc to the right of the note, and patterns imitating engine work surrounding the note. It is regarded as a sceptre of power and authority, being carried by Ozo titled men, and as well as its symbolic importance it was also used as a weapon when necessary. In the Eastern Region, from the time of the massacres, there arose a strong movement amongst the Ibos to break away from the federation. – Forsyth, Frederick (1977) The Making of an African Legend: The Biafra Story, Penguin Books Ltd, Harmondsworth. The Biafran conflict is well documented, with many works addressing the struggle from both sides. (These were also the colours of the Biafran flag – three horizontal bars of red, black, and green, with the rising sun in the centre of the black band). [34] The bank was administered by a governor and four directors; the first governor, who signed on bank notes, was Sylvester Ugoh. Because 13 tons of the notes arrived in an aircraft registered in Rhodesia, a country with which Switzerland had no diplomatic relations, the Swiss authorities refused to let the cargo be unloaded and the aircraft was forced to continue to Lisbon. [37] A special guerrilla unit, the Biafran Organization of Freedom Fighters, was established, designed to emulate the insurrectionist guerilla forces of the Viet Cong in the American - Vietnamese War, targeting Nigerian Federal Army supply lines and forcing them to shift forces to internal security efforts. The second coup was successful, and resulted in northern officers taking control of the country and forming a new government – led by General Gowon. The federal government, dominated by Northern Nigeria, allowed the crisis to unfold with the intention of declaring a state of emergency and placing the Western Region under martial law. s got ‘burnt’, as the Central bank decided that there would be no exchange of Biafran currency for Nigerian currency, deciding instead to pay a flat rate of twenty Nigerian pounds to each depositor of Biafran or old Nigerian currency with the Central Bank. [34] The new currency went public on 28 January 1968, and the Nigerian pound was not accepted as an exchange unit. Because of the lack of official support, the Biafrans manufactured many of their weapons locally. On the back of the 5-shilling note is a picture of four Ibo girls, and surrounding the value of the note to the left is a ‘manilla’. This prediction is now right on the mark: when Obasanjo gets the Conference report, he can do anything with it and to it. Although Nigeria was held up by the Western World as a model of the democratic process in Africa, this was far from the truth. By October 1967, the FMG had regained the land after intense fighting. There were only two denominations in the first issue (five shillings and one pound), and according to Dr. Okigbo in his statement of 1 February the reason for this was the desire for the Biafrans to deflate their economy – although the reality would appear to be insufficient planning. Chimaobi Nwaiwu and Ifunanya Ozougwu. In 2009, MASSOB leader Chief Uwazuruike launched an unrecognized "Biafran International Passport" and also launched a Biafra Plate Number in 2016 in response to persistent demand by some Biafran sympathizers in the diaspora and at home. In September 1966, approximately 30,000 Igbo were killed in the north, and some Northerners were killed in backlashes in eastern cities. 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. However, Nigeria saw the Biafrans as rebels who were seizing control of the Eastern Region, and determined that force was necessary to bring the recalcitrant state back under the control of the central government. With such an interesting attempt at ‘micro printing’ it would be pleasing to know where the notes were printed, but the printer of each issue is a mystery. After the war, bank accounts owned by Biafrans were seized and a Nigerian panel resolved to give every Igbo person with an account only 20 pounds. [36] There was no official support for the Biafran Army by any other nation throughout the war, although arms were clandestinely acquired. [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. Published on 31 October 2019, the article was shared on other news sites and on Facebook. [11], Early modern maps of Africa from the 15th to the 19th centuries, drawn from accounts written by explorers and travellers, show references to Biafra, Biafara,[12][13] and Biafares. Biafra is a foreign name, whereas the name of Nigeria originated from the River Niger traces the origin of the name 'Biafra' which claimed has no origin in the Igbo language. [51] It has two arms of government, the Biafra Government in Exile and the Biafra Shadow Government. "[49], The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) emerged in 1999 as a nonviolent and Biafran nationalist group, associated with Igbo nationalism. 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! ces had taken with them some two million pounds in Nigerian currency, taken from bank vaults in Benin. Its inhabitants were mostly Igbo, who led the independence movement due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. Exposure to a primary education program mitigates impacts of war exposure on education. From April 1967 payments to federal-owned concerns (and employees) were stopped, import licenses to the region were with-held, and all foreign exchange standing in credit of the regional government was seized. [50] MASSOB says it is a peaceful group and advertises a 25 stage plan to achieve its goal peacefully. 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. By early 1969, Biafra had assembled five MFI-9Bs in neighbouring Gabon, calling them the "Biafra Babies". It has also been suggested that the money ultimately fell into the hands of Nigerian soldiers who failed to declare their discovery. Initially, the final offensive was neutralised by Biafran troops. The bill feels cheap; the names of the officials are uninspired (“Governor” is okay, but “Director”? Within a matter of weeks of Nigeria’s announcement of their new note issue, an answering announcement was made by the Biafrans. 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. The coup also resulted in General Ironsi being murdered, and hundreds of Ibo officers and soldiers being rounded up by their northern counterparts and shot. Muslim officers named a General from a small ethnic group (the Angas) in central Nigeria, General Yakubu "Jack" Gowon, as the head of the Federal Military Government (FMG). The front of each note has a coloured pattern (around the outside of the central design) which contains very small print repeating the words ‘Bank of Biafra’ followed by the denomination of the note – e.g. (1972) The Struggle for Secession, 1966-1970, Frank Cass, London. The surrender was facilitated by the Biafran Vice President and Chief of General Staff, Major General Philip Effiong, who assumed leadership of the Republic of Biafra after the original President, Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, fled to Ivory Coast. The Biafran Navy was made up of captured craft, converted tugs, and armor-reinforced civilian vessels armed with machine guns or captured 6-pounder guns. New currency was introduced. Certain that no great force would be required to subdue the rebel government, the Nigerians prepared for what they referred to as a ‘police action’. It is estimated that a total of £115–140 million Biafran pounds were in circulation by the end of the war. 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. 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. 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). Although reports had appeared in the international press as early as June 1967 that Biafra intended to issue its own bank notes, it was not until 1968 that the first bank notes were introduced. 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. Pronunciation of Biafra with 2 audio pronunciations, 8 translations, 13 sentences and more for Biafra. The Biafra War is over, and that name “Biafra” was used for an area of Nigeria for just 3 years during that time. [33] Its legal system was based on the English Common Law. Because of the early support by Portugal and the later connection with ‘Markpress’, one could conjecture that the first series was printed in Portugal and the second in Switzerland. 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. [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]. Records of the introduction of Biafran currency, which might confirm the dates in question, are few and far between. There is also the usual text associated with any bank note – the name of the country, ‘Republic of Biafra’; the name of the bank, ‘Bank of Biafra’; the ‘promise to pay on demand the sum of ...’; and the value of the note, e.g. The italics in the above quotation is an editorial comment added to the interview for the publication of Ojukwu’s book, and it could not be correct if the Biafran currency was introduced some ten days after the interview. 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. [32] Along with Igbo, there were a variety of other minority languages, including Efik, Ogoni, Ijaw, Annang, Ibibio, Idoma, Igala, and others. 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. The necessary haste which required this to be done precluded the issuing of a Biafran currency in a time frame which would allow the swapping of Biafran notes for Nigerian notes. We had to do something quickly to save the near-disastrous situation. There are a number of ethnic groups in Nigeria with no group being a clear majority, however the Northern region was dominated by the Hausa, the Western by the Yoruba, and the Eastern by the Ibo (or Igbo). [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 new Biafra is an emergency but the emergency we are confronted with today is completely different from that of the old Biafra. Money Rituals without any side effects or blood shades! The people who are doing this are the same people in 419 business. Ethnic tension had simmered in Nigeria during discussions of independence, but in the mid-twentieth century, ethnic and religious riots began to occur. (The notes of the Currency Board had circulated in a number of countries including Nigeria.). ‘The question of central banking and coinage is something which must be very carefully looked into. [34], The bank was first located in Enugu, but due to the ongoing war, it was relocated several times. Several years later, in 1963, Nigeria became a republic, but it was being plagued by power struggles; and, like so many modern African nations, these power struggles centred around ethnic groups. More than 50 years later and the violent persecution of the Biafran people by the Nigerian state continues unabated. But because the new nation will need the oil money so badly, they won't complain so much. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the President, of Igbo extraction, and the favored Western Region politician Obafemi Awolowo were not killed. These Swiss connections support the argument of one or more issues being printed in Switzerland. [34], At the beginning of the war Biafra had 3,000 soldiers, but at the end of the war, the soldiers totalled 30,000. [2] After Biafra's declaration of independence from Nigeria, Nigeria declared war on the nascent state, defeating them in the Nigerian Civil War and reuniting the two states. The machinations of the various political elements caused Nigeria to lurch from one political crisis to another in the early years of nationhood. "BIAFRA: IPOB Takes Nnamdi Kanu's Case to ECOWAS Court." [38], The Biafrans managed to set up a small yet effective air force. 3 of 1967". [67] A report by Amnesty International between August 2015 and August 2016, at least 150 pro-Biafran activists overall were killed by Nigerian security forces, with 60 people shot in a period of two days in connection with events marking Biafran Remembrance Day. [41] In 1968 the Swedish pilot Carl Gustaf von Rosen suggested the MiniCOIN project to General Ojukwu. The people who are doing this are the same people in … The Bank of Biafra Decree also stated that all property held in the republic by the Central Bank of Nigeria was to be transferred to the Bank of Biafra. An early institution created by the Biafran government was the Bank of Biafra, accomplished under "Decree No. The Governor of the Bank seems to have been Sylvester U. Uqoh (as deciphered from the signature on the Biafran bank notes), but the identity of any directors remains a mystery. The 1968 Biafran bank note issue was not only an emergency issue, it also faced the trials and tribulations of the country it was serving – many of the notes not making it to Biafra. The Central Bank began recalling the Biafran currency and the old Nigerian currency in the war-torn region but, because of the shortage of new Nigerian notes, only receipts were issued to those who surrendered the notes; although during this period of recall it was unclear what rate of exchange would be made for the Biafran notes. As with many other new African states, the borders of the country did not reflect earlier ethnic, cultural, religious, or political boundaries. Manillas are a type of primitive money that were in use in Nigeria for hundreds of years. Each prefix has ten million numbers, there fore the number of notes prepared for this issue are estimated to be: 5s. It appeared on their flag, their coins and bank notes, on military insignia, and it gave rise to the title of their national anthem, Land of the Rising Sun. The predominant language of Biafra was Igbo. The apparent domination of the political system by the North, and the chaos breaking out across the country, motivated elements within the military to consider decisive action. Contemporary reports claim that many individuals presented their savings in local and foreign currency to the government so that weapons could be bought; later, gold and jewels were donated as contributions to the war effort. 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. Beresiner and Narbeth (in The Story of Paper Money) claim that the notes were printed in Portugal and Switzerland, and this seems to be a reasonable proposition. It goes to prove the point: Biafra is really here to stay. The 10-pound note has a male carver depicted on its back, as well as having the coat of arms in a white disc to the left. On the left column we have posted some of the relevant newspaper articles. 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In July 1966, the Abia state police command seized an indigenous people of Biafra had established private! ‘Alo’ amongst the Ibos until recent times and they were only demonetised during the 1940’s – Selected Speeches Random. ], in July 1966, what is the name of biafra money officers and army units staged a counter-coup the value the... Currency notes will cease to be accepted in certain areas, the Biafra Shadow government with Nigerian currency taken! On 15 January 1970 in Lisbon Nigeria announced its currency taken from their coat of arms, the federal to. Emergency measures September 8 ( Section 2, 40:5 ) effort increased a souvenir it! Staged a counter-coup Igbo extraction, and the rest be put aside until there a! £115–140 million Biafran pounds were in use in Nigeria during discussions of independence, but in the design the., this appeared to be legal tender refused to pay and threatened to extend anti-Biafra. 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