This administration of the Nigerian federal government was widely perceived to be corrupt. 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. [7] After the surrender of Biafra, some Igbos who had fled the conflict returned to their properties but were unable to claim them back from new occupants. 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. 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. Nigeria had quickly become aware of the movement of currency from Biafra to Europe and its conversion into foreign exchange. – Mezu, S. Okechukwu (1971) Behind the Rising Sun, Heinemann, London. The shield contains the rising sun, plus three manillas linked together over an area divided into three parts, which are properly coloured red, black, and green. After Biafra's declaration of independence from Nigeria, Nigeria attacked Biafra with British and Soviet military support. The Republic of Biafra was a unitary republic administered under emergency measures. Gowon vehemently refused to pay and threatened to extend the anti-Biafra blockade to the Bonny Island oil terminal. – Einzig, Paul (1949) Primitive Money, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London. We have also posted below an interesting write-up of the history of the Biafra War of 1967-1970 using Biafra Currency as the thread. ‘The question of central banking and coinage is something which must be very carefully looked into. When Nigeria announced the introduction of their new note issue was to be on 3 January 1968, the Biafrans were still collecting Nigerian notes. A 1710 map indicates that the region known as "Biafar" (Biafra) was located in present day Cameroon. 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. ‘five shillings’. 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. The Biafran conflict is well documented, with many works addressing the struggle from both sides. This desperate method of raising foreign exchange supposedly lasted only a brief period of time. [45], In their study Smallpox and its Eradication, Fenner and colleagues describe how vaccine supply shortages during the Biafra smallpox campaign led to the development of the focal vaccination technique, later adopted worldwide by the World Health Organization of the United Nations, which led to the early and cost-effective interruption of smallpox transmission in West Africa and elsewhere. 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. [5] Médecins Sans Frontières also originated in response to the suffering. For the first series, there are only two known serial number prefixes, while for the second series there are four prefixes. The two coups deepened Nigeria's ethnic tensions. However, matters became critical in January 1966 when a number of junior army officers attempted a coup. More than 50 years later and the violent persecution of the Biafran people by the Nigerian state continues unabated. Though peaceful, the protesters have been routinely attacked by the Nigerian police and army, with large numbers of people reportedly killed. Charles W. Thomas defined the locations of islands in the Bight of Biafra as "between the parallels of longitude 5° and 9° East and latitude 4° North and 2° South". The total value of each series printed, based on the numbers extrapolated above, was £50 million for the first issue and £148.5 million for the second issue, making a total of £198.5 million. 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. General Ironsi (an Ibo) managed to stabilize the situation, and one of his first acts was to appoint military governors to the four regions – with the most important appointment being that of Lieutenant-Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu to govern the Eastern Region. The Biafra War is over, and that name “Biafra” was used for an area of Nigeria for just 3 years during that time. 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. Another discrepancy in official versions lies in the date of the declaration whereby Nigerian notes were no longer to be legal tender. Ultimately the speculator! Two days earlier an aeroplane carrying £7 million of Nigerian currency was seized at Lomé in Togo. After some months of preparation, the federal government launched their first offensive against ‘Biafra’ on 6 July 1967, and the Nigerian civil war began. fty thousand. According to documents illustrated in the Daily Times (Lagos) on 9 August 1967, the mineral rights – for columbite ore, uranium, coal, tin concentrates, natural oil, and gold ore – were ceded to the ‘Rot(h)schild Bros Bank’ for a period of ten years. [38], The Biafrans managed to set up a small yet effective air force. "BIAFRA: IPOB Takes Nnamdi Kanu's Case to ECOWAS Court." The official exchange rate at the beginning of 1968 was one Nigerian pound to one pound three shillings and four pence sterling – making the Rothschild offer approximately half its real value.) The spear (which appears to the left of the 1-pound’s back) is called an ‘Alo’ amongst the Ibo people. These doctors, led by Kouchner, concluded that a new aid organisation was needed that would ignore political/religious boundaries and prioritise the welfare of victims. 21 September 2016. 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. 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. However, English was used as the official language. 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. [53] Since August 1999, protests have erupted in cities across Nigeria's south-east. Money rituals within 37mins from the moment you called. – : Meaning of Biafra Biafra was the name given to the secessionist state in the south eastern part of Nigeria. During the later half of 1968 the Central Bank of Nigeria announced they would exchange up to £30 per person and £500 for commercial enterprises in old Nigerian and Biafran currencies. While this amount may seem large, it must be remembered that Biafra had a population of 14 million, and the amount in circulation would equate to £10 per person at the most optimistic estimate. – Steiner, Rolf (1978) The Last Adventurer, Little, Brown and Company, Boston. 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. After the announcement, tons of Nigerian bank notes were transported in an effort to acquire foreign exchange. [34] Like any new nation, Biafra was keen to be identified with its own national symbols, and for this new republic these were primarily their coat of arms, the rising sun, and the palm tree – all being used extensively on Biafran national instruments. 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! They were painted in green camouflage and armed with two Matra Type 122 rocket pods, each being able to carry six 68 mm SNEB anti-armour rockets under each wing and had Swedish WW2 reflex sights from old FFVS J 22s. Keep in mind that MASSOB is a non-violent organization. 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. [41] In 1968 the Swedish pilot Carl Gustaf von Rosen suggested the MiniCOIN project to General Ojukwu. 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. 5 October 2016. One of the first institutions to be created by the republican government was the Bank of Biafra, which was accomplished under ‘Decree No. Under this decree the bank was to be administered by a board consisting of a Governor and not less than four Directors, who were to be appointed by the Military Governor. The new currency notes are of the wide range of £10, £5, £1, 10/–and 5/-.’ (Ojukwu, 1969). 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. Nigeria was for many years a British colony, but in 1960 it became an independent Federation of three regions – Northern, Western, and Eastern. [24], In January 1967, the military leaders Gowon, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu and senior police officials of each region met in Aburi, Ghana and agreed on a less centralized union of regions. Under the decree, the central office of the Bank of Biafra was to be in Enugu, which was the capital of the Republic. 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. The currency of Biafra had been the Nigerian pound until the Bank of Biafra started printing out its own notes, the Biafran pound. The name given to the new state was ‘The Republic of Biafra’, the republic taking its name from the Bight of Biafra, on which it had its coast. The following information should be of interest to both old and young collectors, and will hopefully illuminate an important piece of African history – as well as the history of the Biafran bank notes. While the coup was unsuccessful, it resulted in the deaths of the Prime Minister of Nigeria, the Premiers of the Northern and Western Regions, the federal Minister of Finance, and a number of senior army officers. It consisted of an executive branch, in the form of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, and a judicial branch in the form of the Ministry of Justice. This became law in the Abandoned Properties Act (28 September 1979). Today. To make matters worse, one Biafran pound is worth 280 Naira! – Europa Year Book (1968) Europa Publications, London. Its inhabitants were mostly Igbo, who led the independence movement due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. Can't even feed my family. [10] In 1953 a similar riot occurred in Kano later. On 26 May the Eastern Region voted to secede from Nigeria. It mainly operated in the Niger River delta and along the Niger River. a heinous action. Brands-Gloria Mary. In September 1966, approximately 30,000 Igbo were killed in the north, and some Northerners were killed in backlashes in eastern cities. The group enacted a "re-launch" of Biafra in Aba, the commercial centre of Abia State and a major commercial centre on Igbo land. The second coup was successful, and resulted in northern officers taking control of the country and forming a new government – led by General Gowon. [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. [62][63] On 23 December 2015, Kanu was detained and charged with charges that amounting to treason against the Nigerian state. 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. [38], The international humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières originated in response to the suffering in Biafra. 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. There would be very few collectors of world bank notes who have not come across one or more of the bank notes issued by the secessionist state of Biafra during the Nigerian civil war. 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. Early inventory included four World War II American bombers: two B-25 Mitchells, two B-26 Invaders (Douglas A-26) (one piloted by Zumbach),[39] a converted Douglas DC-3[40] and one British de Havilland Dove. 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. The two notes of the first series have a common front, although they are different sizes and different colours. ... Money Heist cast actual and screen name-John Dennis G.Thomas. – Cronje, Suzanne (1972) The World and Nigeria – The Diplomatic History of the Biafran War 1967 – 1970, Sidgwick & Jackson, London. [9] Federal projects in Biafra were also greatly reduced compared to other parts of Nigeria. 3 of 1967". Currency itself seems to have been a subject close to Ojukwu (or one of his advisers), as we find the following clause in instructions sent to the delegates of the Eastern Region who were negotiating with Nigeria prior to secession. 4 of 1967", modified the Banking Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the Republic of Biafra. [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. These Swiss connections support the argument of one or more issues being printed in Switzerland. 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. 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. The country's northeast bordered the Benue Hills and mountains that lead to Cameroon. To the left! [46], In 2010, researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and University of Nigeria at Nsukka showed that Igbos born in Biafra during the years of the famine were of higher risk of suffering from obesity, hypertension and impaired glucose metabolism compared to controls born a short period after the famine had ended in the early 1970s. Bite is like a bay beach, the river mouth, the ocean mouth of Biafra. Tons of new Biafran currency are dumped into the sea, to create artificial scarcity in the Republic.’ (Ojukwu, 1969). With the short time at our disposal, we could only produce notes in denominations of £1 and 5/-; we could not produce coins. Records of the introduction of Biafran currency, which might confirm the dates in question, are few and far between. 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. He has since been released and has been rearrested and released more than five times. On July 6, 1967, civil war broke out in Nigeria , … (1972) The Struggle for Secession, 1966-1970, Frank Cass, London. Manillas are a type of primitive money that were in use in Nigeria for hundreds of years. The massacres, not surprisingly, created much fear amongst the Ibos living outside the Eastern Region, and in the weeks following the massacres (September 1966) some two million Ibos gave up their homes and businesses to seek refuge in their eastern homelands. Given this atmosphere, one could imagine what a shock and a blow it was to Obasanjo that lo and behold, the Biafran currency is still in circulation in parts of some West African countries, and by one account, in a community in New York also. After Nigeria announced its currency would no longer be legal tender (to make way for a new currency), this effort increased. 1960, Nigeria currency notes will cease to be the General rate available for the second series printed. Finance their war effort by offering bonds to overseas subscribers the sea, to create artificial in... Morse code thread, then one can only wonder what the Morse characters are to., Annang, Ejagham, Eket, Ibeno, Yako, Bahumono and the Ijaw French,! 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