find out more about NIGERIAN STates
Capital - Maiduguri
Motto - The People's Paradise
Population (2006) - 5,925,668
Area - 70,898 sq km
Local Government Areas
Shani, Kwanga-Kusar, Hawul, Biu, Askira/Uba, Dumboa, Gwoza, Konduga, Bama, Kaga, Magumeri, Gubio, Mobbar, Kukawa, Nganzai, Monguno, Marte, Ngala, Dikwa, Mafa, Maiduguri, Jere, Abadan, Chibok, Guzamala, Kale/ Balge and Bayo.
Main ethnic groups: Kanuri
Language: Hausa, Fulani
Sanda Kyarimi Zoo
Shehu Borno’s Palace
Borno tradition has it that the people originally migrated from Kanem under the leadership of their Seifawa rulers who build their capital at Gazargamo in the centre of the Komadugu Yobe valley. This town remained the centre of Borno culture and supremacy for well over 300 years. The most famous among the rulers of this period was Mai Idris Alooma. As a result of persistent Fulani onslaughts and the inability of the Seifawa rulers to repel the attacks, Gazargamo was burnt down forcing the people to move further eastwards to Kafela where they again settled and built a capital. Even then, the attacks did not cease and the Seifawa rulers were forced to negotiate an alliance with Muhammed Al-Amina Ibn Mohammed El-Kanemi, a scholar with vast military skills based in Ngala. He surceeded in securing the States and in effect the Seifawa dynasty, with the help of his Shuwa allies.
The succeeding power intrigues between the Seifawa and El-Kanemi resulted in the destruction of both Kafela and Kukawa, El-Kanemi's town and the execution of the last Seifawa ruler in 1846. El-Kanemi's son, Umar, then succeeded to the Seifawa Kingship and consolidated the capital of Borno at kukawa, making Borno in the process, once more a State and one that caught the attention of European States.
The beginning of the 20th century however marked the decline of the glorious Borno empire with Rebeh Fadel Allah, a Cchadian war monger defeating Borno in 1893 and unleashing a seven year reign of terror on the empire. Rabeh so much exhausted Borno of her human and economic resources that the British met with little resistance in their conquest of Borno in 1902. Borno was occupied and diviced between Britain and Germany; thus, the origin of the two Borno Emirates i.e. Borno and Dikwa Emirates.
The Emirates of Biu, Fika and Bade though distinct in language, have a lot of cultural similarities with Borno and also trace their genealogy to the Komadugu Yobe valley. Yamtarawala, the legendary founder of the Biu dynasty is said to have contested the Mais-ship at Gazargamo but lost to Mai Mohamed. The establishment of the Chiefdoms of Gwoza, Uba, Askira and Shani originated in this century. The family history of the Chief of Shani starts with Bila Wati, the first of a long line of succession. Askira and Uba became independent Chiefdoms as a result of boundary adjustments between Adamawa and Borno in 1921. Gwoza which is the most cosmopolitan of the Chiefdoms is linked with Haman Yaji who was a famous warrior for some; the notorious marauder for others; and, for the rest, opponent of colonial imperial advances.
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