Biafra, officially the Republic
of Biafra, was a secessionist state in south-eastern Nigeria that existed from
30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970, taking its name from the Bight of Biafra (the
Atlantic bay to its south). The inhabitants were mostly the Igbo people who led
the secession due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among
the various peoples of Nigeria. The creation of the new country was among the
causes of the Nigerian Civil War.
There are still a number of
political and clandestine organisations that want an independent country for
the Igbo People of south-eastern Nigeria.
One of the most active groups is
the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
They accuse the state of marginalising the Igbo people. MASSOB says it is a peaceful
group and advertises a plan to achieve its goal peacefully. There are two arms
to the government, the Biafra Government in Exile and Biafra Shadow Government.
In 2009, MASSOB launched "the Biafran International Passport" in
response to persistent demand by Biafrans in diaspora.
These coins were
produced under the authorization of the Biafra Government in Exile