Sunday, July 9, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series -

Thank you, Mobolaji and Salimonu, for clearly establishing even when you didn't set out to do so

  • that returnee Biafrans who came forward with old Nigerian currency from the enclave were denied the opportunity to have those exchanged for new Nigerian notes because they failed to exchange them within the window allowed by the CBN – and in spite of the fact that there was a law that could not have allowed them to do so even if they wanted to at that time; and
  • that returnee Biafrans whose monies were in Nigerian banks during the war (and who therefore would not have had any need to exchange them since this was not cash and the banks would do the conversion automatically) also were not able to get back their deposits as long as they were unable to come up with their passbooks or cheques – since their account records with the banks were (conveniently?) destroyed during the war.

For me, the facts have now been clearly established with your testimonies.

I agree that it is a master stroke to have asked returnees to come forward with both Biafran and Nigerian currencies and, having captured them all, then determine that there was no way Nigerian could accommodate the exchange of the old (Nigerian) and the illegitimate (Biafran) currencies, thus paving the way for a kind and considerate £20 "dash," aka ex-gratia.

Since Kadiri continues to insist that only a handful of Igbos patronized banks prior to the war, is it then unreasonable to conclude that MAJORITY of Igbos began life after the Civil War with either NOTHING at all (since Biafran notes were rightly not considered legal tender) or made do with the £20 ex-gratia?

Who wants to disagree?

I suspect that Bolaji probably would as I notice that he has introduced another idea that may be deployed in the future to show that returnee Biafrans were paid other monies, in addition to the ex-gratia. We await full details of that one.

At the end of what would appear to be mockery of amateurish attempts by a desperate people to pick up their lives after surviving a horrendous war and their bumbling efforts to reap where they once sowed, we appear to have come full circle to the original proposition – which is that there was a deliberate, well thought-out strategy to ensure that those who misplaced or lost evidence of account ownership with banks were systematically dispossessed of their deposits because the banks, acting alone or under instructions, claimed that their account records no longer existed.

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