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History of Zamfara State


Encyclopedia » History
Zamfara

Image:Map of Nigeria showing the position of Zamfara State

 

Zamfara State is a state in northwestern Nigeria. Its capital is Gusau and its Governor is Abdul'aziz Abubakar Yari, a member of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Until 1996 the area was part of Sokoto State.

Zamfara is peopled by Hausa and Fulani peoples. Major groups of people include the Zamfarawa mainly peopling Anka, Gummi, Bukkuyum and Talata Mafara Local Governments areas. Gobirawa peopled Shinkafi Local Government. Gobirawa actually migrated from the Gobir Kingdom. Burmawa are found in Bakura and Fulani peopled Bungudu, Maradun, Gusau and are scattered all over the State. In Tsafe, Bungudu and Maru Local Governments are mainly Katsinawa, Garewawa and Hadejawa. While Alibawa peopled Kaura Namoda and Zurmi.

Although the people of Zamfara have over the years struggled to have autonomy, it was not until 1996 that the then Military Administration of the Late General Sani Abacha detached Zamfara State from Sokoto State. With an area of 38,418 square kilometres, it is bordered in the North by Niger republic, to the South by Kaduna State. In the east it is bordered by Katsina State and to the West by Sokoto and Niger States. It has a population of 2,069,373 according to the 1991 census and contains fourteen local government areas.

welcome sign in Zamfaraculture on Display
Welcome sign in ZamfaraCulture on display

History

Zamfara State derived its name from Zamfarawa, a traditional appellation by which the people of Anka, former headquarters of the ancient Zarnfars Empire, were called. The area today called Zamfara state was one of the old Hausa city-states like Kano, Katsina, Gobir, Kabi and Zazzau. It extends up to the bend of River Rima to the north west and River Ka in the south west. Zamfara Kingdom was established in the 11th century and flourished up to 16th century as a city-state. Its capital has shifted with the fortunes of the kingdom from place to place like Dutsi and Birnin Zamfara. In the first half of the 18th century, its then capital Birnin Zamfara, was destroyed by the Gobir Kingdom and a new capital was established in Anka by the second half of the 19th century. Zamfara had many centers of commerce and scholarship that attracted many scholars like the Yandoto city. It became part of the Sokoto Caliphate after the 1804 jihad by Usman dan Fodio. In fact, Usman Danfodiyo settled in Sabon Gari where Sarkin Zamfara Abarshi had already established a garrison headquarters during the early days of his Jihad as a base from where fought Gobir and Kabi.

At the wake of British colonialism, the emerging town of Gusau became an important commercial and administrative center with road and rail networks passing through it. With the creation of States during the Gowon Administration, Zamfara Kingdom became part of the then North West State and latter Sokoto State.

Climate

The climate of Zamfara is warm tropical with temperature rising up to 38 °C (100.4 °F) between March to May. Rainy season starts in late May to September while the cold season known as Harmattan lasts from December to February.

Local Government Areas

As at 1999 there were 147 electoral wards, twentysix states and seven Federal constituencies and three senatorial districts. Conscious of the importance of tradi tional authority, the former Military Administrator, Lt Colonel Jibril Bala Yakubu, created five Emirate and 11 new District Councils.

The Emirates are Anka, Gusau, Kaura Namoda, Gummi and Talat; Mafara; with the Emir of Anka, a first class Emir, a; the Chairman of Zamfara State Council of Chiefs The other four are second class Emirs. However the chiefs of Zurmi, Bungudu, Bukkuyum and Tsaf are currently third class chiefs. An attempt is currently under way to increase the number of Emiratt Councils in the State. All the Emirs and Chiefs plan an advisory role to the State Government.

As at 1999 there were 147 electoral wards, twentysix states and seven Federal constituencies and three senatorial districts. Conscious of the importance of tradi tional authority, the former Military Administrator, Lt Colonel Jibril Bala Yakubu, created five Emirate and 11 new District Councils.

The Emirates are Anka, Gusau, Kaura Namoda, Gummi and Talat; Mafara; with the Emir of Anka, a first class Emir, a; the Chairman of Zamfara State Council of Chiefs The other four are second class Emirs. However the chiefs of Zurmi, Bungudu, Bukkuyum and Tsaf are currently third class chiefs. An attempt is currently under way to increase the number of Emiratt Councils in the State. All the Emirs and Chiefs plan an advisory role to the State Government.

 

  • Anka
  • Bakura
  • Birnin Magaji/Kiyaw
  • Bukkuyum
  • Bungudu
  • Chafe
  • Gummi
  • Gusau
  • Kaura Namoda
  • Maradun
  • Maru
  • Shinkafi
  • Talata Mafara
  • Zurmi

Demographics

Zamfara State is mainly populated by Hausa and Fulani people, with some members of Gwari, Kamuku, Kambari, Dukawa, Bussawa and Zabarma ethnic communities. Others include the Igbo, Yoruba, Kanuri, Nupe and Tiv.

The state capital is an important commercial center with a heterogeneous population of people from all over Nigeria. As in all major towns in Nigeria, all the major towns in Zamfara have a large population of other peoples from different parts of Nigeria.

Economy

Agriculture is the most important occupation of the people of the state, hence its slogan "farming is our pride".

In several villages of Zamfara State, Nigeria, gold ores are first crushed by hand, and then pulverized in grain grinders such as this one.

crushing gold ore with a grain grinder in Zamfara StateCotton sales Deport Gusau
crushing gold ore with a grain grinder in Zamfara State Cotton sales deport in Gusau

Religion

Islam is the principal and major religion of the state. Zamfara was the first state in Nigeria to introduce sharia law.

Language

English is the official language of the state. Other main languages spoken in Zamfara are Hausa, Fulfulde and Arabic.


Tourist attractions

Kalale Hipopotamus pondKiyawa City walls.
Kalale Hipopotamus pondKiyawa City walls.Just like Kano City walls, Kiyawa City walls were ancient walls constructed purposely to secure the territory against any external oppression

 

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Updated 4 Years ago
 

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Tags:     Zamfara state Zamfarawa Anka     Gummi     Bukkuyum Talata Mafara birawa Gobirawa Burmawa Fulani Gusau Alibawa Kaura Namoda Zurmi Hausa

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