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Zamfara State, Nigeria ( Overview, History and Summary Information )

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Zamfara State, Nigeria

Zamfara State
—  State  —
Nickname(s): Farming is Our Pride
Location of Zamfara State in Nigeria
Coordinates: 12°10′N 6°15′E / 12.167°N 6.25°ECoordinates12°10′N 6°15′E / 12.167°N 6.25°E
Country Nigeria
Date created1 October 1996
 - Governor
Mahmud Shinkafi (PDP)
 - Senators 
 - Representatives 
 - Total
 39,762 km2 (15,352.2 sq mi)
Area rank7th of 36
 - Estimate (2005)3,602,356
 - Rank23rd of 36
 - Year
 - Total$4.12 billion
 - Per capita$1,237[1]
Time zoneWAT (UTC+01)
ISO 3166 codeNG-ZA

Zamfara State is a state in northwestern Nigeria. Its capital is Gusau and its Governor is Mahmud Shinkafi, a former member of the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP), now a member the People's Democratic Party (PDP). 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.


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.


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

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


Zamfara State is mainly populated by Hausa and Fulani people, with some members of Gwari, Kamuku, KambariDukawaBussawa and Zabarma ethnic communities. [2] 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.


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


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


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


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Updated 6 Years ago

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