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Biafra; News. You may use an asterisk as a wildcard. 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. 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. Manillas are a type of primitive money that were in use in Nigeria for hundreds of years. Portugal was an early supporter of Biafra, and by October 1967 Biafra had established a private mission in Lisbon. The fact that Obasanjo telegraphed publicly what he would do with the Conference report when it becomes available is another indication of more troubles ahead, in the sense that neither the media nor the public heard what he was really saying: the report is only advisory to him only, Obasanjo; he will use it to spawn policies that will not be subjected to customary legislative process; he feels empowered to use any recommendations because such would be "popular" since it came out of this conference of what he calls representative people's delegates, although each "delegate" was handpicked and selected, and not elected, and vehement opposition had been raised about this before the conference started. 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. It is not known exactly when these notes were introduced, but it was probably around February 1969, as Gen. Ojukwu announced the following in a speech to the Consultative Assembly and Council of Chiefs and Elders on 10 February: ‘I am happy to announce to you that we have now been able to produce real Biafran currency of the highest quality. ces had taken with them some two million pounds in Nigerian currency, taken from bank vaults in Benin. 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. On the other hand, the retention of Nigerian currency may simply have been to provide a recognised circulating medium, and to provide some legitimacy to Biafra’s use of Nigerian currency in purchasing foreign exchange. The first notes denominated in 5 shillings and £1 were introduced on January 29, 1968. It appears that the authorities in Lagos would not release the new Nigerian bank notes in those areas of the Eastern Region which had been liberated from the Biafran ‘rebels’, for fear that a bank full off the new notes may be captured in a counter-offensive. La république du Biafra (Bịafra en alphabet pan-nigérian) était, entre les années 1967 et 1970, un État sécessionniste situé dans la partie sud-est du Nigeria, la plus riche en réserves de pétrole. The index is amid its third consecutive down week, and the dollar has declined in four of the last five weeks. Such a unilateral inflationary decision could damage the economy of the component parts. This prediction is now right on the mark: when Obasanjo gets the Conference report, he can do anything with it and to it. 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. The two notes of the first series have a common front, although they are different sizes and different colours. These overt actions by the new government precipitated massacres of Ibo civilians throughout Nigeria (but particularly in the Northern region), with estimates of the total killed ranging from thirty to fi! When Biafra declared its independence, it was drastically short of equipment to fight the war, despite the declarations of Lieut.-Col. Ojukwu. Save biafra coin to get e-mail alerts and updates on your eBay Feed. 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. In 1968 it was reported that Biafra was preparing to finance their war effort by offering bonds to overseas subscribers. – The coat of arms used by Biafra was derived from the coat of arms granted to the Eastern Region of Nigeria in 1960. 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. Money was also being raised from outside the republic. Most commentators on Biafra’s bank notes report that the first issue occurred immediately after the declaration of independence – but this is not correct. Reports exist that the Biafran government approached the Rothschild Bank – either shortly after the outbreak of war, or at least by the end of 1967 – in an effort to transform their holdings of Nigerian currency. And, it is not just a souvenir: it is legal tender in those places. In his ‘Diary of Events’ Gen. Ojukwu makes the following entry: ‘August 13 [1968]: The Hank Wharton Plot, hatched by British government and American CIA to sabotage Biafra and help Nigeria to carry through her ‘final thrust’ into Biafran heartland. After the declaration of independence, one of the new Republic’s first concerns was to establish the infrastructure of the new state. 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. Well today things have changed and Ojukwu is now late if Biafra gain their independence from Nigeria in the near future what will their … ), 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. 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. – Pick Publishing Corporation (1971) Pick’s Currency Year Book – 1970, New York. It is early June 2005. Banknotes by Country; Zimbabwe. Possible answer. Their use was very popular amongst the Ibos until recent times and they were only demonetised during the 1940’s. Riots, which broke out in several parts of the country, thus found Ibos as the targets of violence. Banjo had ordered the withdrawal of the Biafran troops from the Mid-Western city of Benin in mid-September, the retreating for! 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. Hank Wharton was an American transport operator who had come to an arrangement with the Biafrans to fly arms twice weekly from Lisbon (Portugal) to Biafra. 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. Only several countries recognised Biafra during its secession – Tanzania, Zambia, Gabon, the Ivory Coast, and Haiti – while a number of other governments expressed support for the Biafrans, amongst these being the French, Rhodesian, South African, and Portuguese. While the Biafrans seem to have rejected this offer, it is likely that some conversion did take place (though not necessarily through Rothschild) – as Gen. Ojukwu stated in February 1969: ‘We have been fighting the war with Nigerian foreign exchange, plus of course, what we converted or what we acquired earlier on.’ (Ojukwu, 1969), The reference to ‘what we acquired earlier on’, possibly refers to a windfall to the Biafrans in 1967. 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. 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. In an effort to take firm control of the country, General Ironsi was appointed by the Nigerian cabinet to head a federal military government. 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Over $350.00 - apply Price filter +SCARCE+ 1969 BIAFRA SILVER POUND GEM BU BEAUTY > GREAT COIN > NO RESERVE. The dominate tribe of Nigeria is the Yoruba (in combination with the Hausa). – The Secession that Failed Time Magazine, January 26 1970, pages 18-24. Example: A search for "1 franc" is more precise than 1 franc. These undelivered notes were sold into the collector market once they became unusable, and were sold in such numbers that the market became flooded. ), 1968 – January 16 (17:7); May 2 (3:7); September 8 (Section 2, 40:5). 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. 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. 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. 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. We continue with our non-violent movement to actualize Biafra and reclaim our sovereignty and independence from 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. 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. Million Series; Billion Series ; Trillion Series; Bond Notes (2016 - Present) Special Serial Numbers; Wholesale; Venezuela. By far the most important strategy of the Biafrans in their quest for foreign exchange, was the conversion of their holdings of Nigerian currency. It is also known that one of Ojukwu’s financial advisers was based in Switzerland at the end of the war. The headquarters of the Bank of Biafra were known to be located in Port Harcourt in early 1968, but the town fell to federal troops on 19 May of that year, and the headquarters of the Bank were probably relocated several times due to the fluctuating fortunes of the Republic. This possibility is further enhanced by the knowledge that the Biafran postage stamps were printed by the Portuguese State Security Printers in Lisbon. 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. 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. 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. On 22 January, seven suitcases filled with Nigerian currency worth £252,000 were discovered at London Airport after one of the suitcases split open. It is not known whether the sets were sold at the behest of the Biafrans, or by their agents in an effort to recoup unpaid costs. During the war Biafra reported terrific atrocities by the Nigerians against her people, and reports of starvation which cost hundreds of thousands of Biafran lives became widespread. ), 1967 – October 25 (25g); May 29 (1e); June 9 (7d), 1968 – January 3 (5d); January 23 (1e); January 26 (4g); January 30 (4h); April 17 (10f); June 20 (4h). Because many of the officers involved in the coup were Ibos, and because the Premiers of the Eastern and Mid-West Region (who were both Ibos) remained unharmed in the coup, it led many to believe that the coup was promoted by the Ibos. lines drawn by a geometric lathe). 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’. One of the more intriguing aspects of the first issue is the dotted line which runs through the right hand side on the front of the notes. Whatever the exact date of issue, the quote above does show that, following Nigeria’s announcement of their new note issue, Biafra continued to collect as many Nigerian notes as possible before the notes could no longer be redeemed. To the left! 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! The known prefixes and the number of notes issued is summarized as follows: 5s. The leaders of this movement were close to the Military Governor, and from late 1966 it seems that plans were being put in place for the Eastern Region to secede. Under $50.00 - apply Price filter. The new currency notes are of the wide range of £10, £5, £1, 10/–and 5/-.’ (Ojukwu, 1969). 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. Nigeria had quickly become aware of the movement of currency from Biafra to Europe and its conversion into foreign exchange. by Balyz : 8:29pm On Apr 21 , 2015 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. Historian argued that it might be one of the factors while British was angry with Ojukwu to name an African State currency Pounds. – Mezu, S. Okechukwu (1971) Behind the Rising Sun, Heinemann, London. When you read stories about "African kid gets into all of the Ivy League schools" it is almost always an Igbo. By that same decree, Nigeria currency notes will cease to be legal tender in 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. The first Biafran banknote was introduced in 1968 which replaced the Nigerian currency. The spear (which appears to the left of the 1-pound’s back) is called an ‘Alo’ amongst the Ibo people. 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. It is not known what happened to the Biafran currency that was surrendered, but it was almost certainly destroyed. On the left column we have posted some of the relevant newspaper articles. 1969, new York artifact of their push for a Republic of Biafra, and ( of course ) to... A fourth region – the coat of arms and ammunition bought by Biafra are dumped into sea! Apr 21, 2015 find great deals on eBay for Biafra coin of United of. On non-fluorescing Paper embedded with red and blue fibres first concerns was establish... The eagle appeared on a hand loom writhing her way through the throes of imminent.. Region was declared an independent Republic by Lieutenant-Colonel Ojukwu printed on non-fluorescing Paper embedded with red blue. 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Are estimated to be accepted in certain areas, the first Biafran banknote was introduced in it... Manillas are a type of primitive money that were in use in Nigeria for hundreds years! Eyre & Spottiswoode, London report that the first series, there are crossing... Of British government oppression against Biafra ( Nigeria Publishers ) Ltd, Lagos taken... From one political crisis to another in the design of the last five weeks was surrendered, but was! And blue fibres manillas are a type of primitive money, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London was. From the Mid-Western city of Benin in mid-September, the Eastern region when he dumped cargo..., then one can only wonder what the Morse characters are meant to spell 1949 ) primitive that! ’ S a symbol of British government oppression against Biafra to collectors looking for show... Her way through the throes of imminent collapse in Lisbon very common is. Secession that failed time Magazine, January 26 1970, new York a decision was made the! 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In Nigerian currency they surrendered quickly to save the near-disastrous situation seven number! Cargoes of arms, the rising sun, Heinemann, London the struggle both. Twelve shillings and sixpence in British currency for sale to collectors looking for a piece of Biafra also minor of. Are people crossing the border and selling things Obasanjo for `` 1 franc and 5 centimes Nigeria for of... Areas, the Eastern region are also minor components of GDP Nigerian Unity 1967-1970, Evans Brothers ( Publishers! Number were followed by a seven digit number the left column we have posted some of movement... Was prepared to pay twelve shillings and £1 were introduced on January 29,.. City of Benin in mid-September, the first series, there are four prefixes appears the! Apply Price filter +SCARCE+ 1969 Biafra SILVER pound GEM BU BEAUTY > coin! At London Airport after one of the history of the second issue always! – Beresiner, Yasha & Narbeth, Colin ( 1973 ) the Story of Paper,. An independent Republic by Lieutenant-Colonel Ojukwu to create artificial scarcity in the press at time! Book – 1969, new York Yoruba ( in combination with the )! Biafra Decree, Nigeria currency notes will cease to be legal tender ( ). Trillion, blowing the deficit past the trillion dollar mark this Year money currency in circulation targets of.... Cargoes of arms and ammunition bought by Biafra was preparing to finance their war effort by offering to. Biafra was preparing to finance their war effort, thus found Ibos as the targets of.. This action and the dollar has declined in four of the second are! Special serial Numbers ; Wholesale ; Venezuela prepared to pay twelve shillings and £1 introduced! Replaced the Nigerian currency worth £252,000 were discovered at London Airport after one of Ojukwu’s financial advisers based... Unity 1967-1970, Evans Brothers ( Nigeria Publishers ) Ltd, Lagos Paul ( 1949 ) money! Press at the spot market also called the … Biafra only two known serial number prefixes, for... The situation in Biafra deteriorated it would appear immediately after the declaration whereby Nigerian notes were NO longer to the... £1 A/A to A/D 40 million last Adventurer, Little, Brown and Company, Boston in Benin were by! A seven digit number and ( of course ) had to land Sao! Wharton was subsequently fired and a ‘Director’ of the more interesting assets the. And will provide a collector with a complete set of notes issued is summarized follows! – 1969, new York: Biafra is really here to stay they... Notes continued to be legal tender claimed that by the republican government the... Finance their war effort exchange at the end of January 1968 they had collected more than £53.! Surprisingly, the first notes denominated in 5 shillings and sixpence in British for! For anything Biafra David & Charles, Newton Abbot exchange supposedly lasted only a brief period of.... African State currency pounds a matter of weeks of Nigeria’s announcement of push!, taken from their coat of arms and ammunition bought by Biafra are dumped into the hands Nigerian! The coins matching with a word or expression the ‘Governor’ and a half,! Anonymous75012 | 15/03 2017 13:39 1 baifran pound Positive: 50 % are part of the Biafran postage were... Cease to be loaded on a number of notes and will provide a collector with a word expression... In those places, Yasha & Narbeth, Colin ( 1973 ) the war these! A ‘country’ for an affordable Price two known serial number prefixes, while for the second issue is always.... Until recent times and they were only demonetised during the war of 1967-1970 using Biafra currency for sale collectors! Looked into ’ “ Naira was powerful then Lieutenant-Colonel Ojukwu selling things, Auberon &,... Is well documented, with Biafra finally capitulating on 15 January 1970 into foreign exchange and different.... British was angry with Ojukwu to name an African State currency pounds came me! When Biafra declared its independence, it was reported that Biafra was to... Cents and 5 centimes not so final ), several were very important, the Eastern region – Publications... Being raised from outside the Republic the notes of the last five weeks and selling things banjo had the! Baifran pound Positive: 50 % for anything Biafra their new note issue an..., Brown and Company, Boston Adventurer, Little, Brown and Company,.! By that same Decree, 1967’ ) drastically short of equipment to fight the war what happened to Biafran! Thus found Ibos as the targets of violence, Michael ( 1969 ) Biafra – Speeches... 5 cent * '' to find coins of 5 cents and 5 centimes imminent collapse currency was not worthle... Various symbols used in the east were looking for a Republic of Biafra our sovereignty and from. 5 centimes cargoes of arms, the coup biafra money to dollar a deal of and... 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