TRIBES AND CULTURE: THE ANCIENT CITY OF KEFFI (NASARAWA STATE).

Sitting at the central part of Nigeria (Nasarawa State to be precise) and populated with about 85,919 inhabitants, Keffi is a beautiful town founded in the 1800 by Abdu Zanga (Abdullahi), a Fulani warrior from the north. Keffi is located just west of a junction of local roads that gives it quick access to Abuja and Nasarawa Toto. On the east, it connects the trunk highway at Akwanga, and the main railway at Lafia. It is apparently a center of connects.

Map of Nigeria.

History Of Keffi.

Based on research and archive studies, the early history of the though bigger Nasarawa province is not effectively documented. Facts can only be garnered from references to legends and oral literatures.

As far back as the 18th century or beyond, various movement and settlements into the (Nasarawa) province had happened already. Although, these movement cannot be so traced with lucid certainty. But at about the rising of 19th century, during the the era of the Fulani invasion, it was recorded that the Northern axis of ten province was raided by the Fulani and Habe (now in present day Abuja).

Hence; their settlement and dominance in the province. This invasion did not stop at the Northern axis but went southwards till Benue and even Idah kingdoms. Of course the Fulani invasion never stopped, until the arrival and bailings of the British colonial government; first through the Royal Niger Company and then later Fredrick Lugard’s establishment.

Lugard had this to say about the Nasarawa province in 1902:

‘… in the Nasarawa country, a once fertile and populous province, one can now only, view the remains and ruins of the large and totally deserted towns, bearing witness to the desolating wrought by 100 years of internecine strife and slave-raiding by the Fulani’.

Before the end of the (Fulani) administrative dominance, 5 Muslim kingdoms/ Emirate have already been established and keffi was one of them. The Emirates include:

  • 1802 A.D Keffi circa (originally Katsina Fulani)
  • 1804 A.D Abuja (originally Habe, kingdom of Zozo)
  • 1804 A.D Lafia Beriberi circa (originally Bornuese)
  • 1811 A.D Jemaan Darroro (originally cattle Fulani trunkajur)
  • 1835 A.D Nasarawa (originally of the keffi Fulani).

Only but a few other tribes (within the province) were not subdued by the raging Fulani dynasty and were able to maintain their resistance even up till the arrival of the British rule. Mada, Nungu, and Mama tribes (very close to the Bauchi Plateau) and some more are amongst the independent tribes.

As always, trust Muzzammilwrites to bring you scoops of all other tribes as mentioned above. Stay glued.

The Keffi Emirate (1802 A.D).

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Fulani herdsmen who had annually brought their herds to graze in the dry season on the rolling grass country of which the central portion of Nasarawa Province consists, were encouraged to settle

Continue reading

Advertisements

TRIBES AND CULTURE: THE BADAGRY PEOPLE OF LAGOS.

Background of the People of Badagry.

Traditionally referred to as Gbagle, Badagry is a coastal town and local government area (LGA) in Lagos State, Nigeria. It is situated between the city of Lagos, and the border with Benin at Seme.

The name Badagry was culled from the means of livelihood of the indigenes of the city which include fishing, farming, salt making. Others believe the city got its name from ‘Agbadarigi’—a farm owned by a popular farmer of that time, Agbedeh. The farm was one of the reasons Europeans explored. Agbadarigi would later be rephrased for easy pronunciation by the Europeans to ‘Badagry’.

In the early eighteen century Badagry serve as a route for the Europeans where slaves were transported to new destination of their buyers. It homes the cenotaph –‘Point of No Return’ stream. The well at this place was enchanted to ensure slaves that drink from it forget their source.

At the end of eighteen century, Badagry was one of the routes that benefited from the recurrent battle between Portnovo and Dahomey for the movement of slave. Badagry was noted as the auction point for slaves captured during inter-villages warfare.

Badagry is a monarchy headed by the Wheno Aholuship, a kingship head by the Akran of Badagry and his seven white cap high chiefs. The white cap chiefs administer the eight quarters into which Badagry is divided, they include Ahovikoh, Boekoh, Jegba, Posukoh, Awhanjigo, Asago, Whalako and Ganho. These quarters and the families that ruled them played prominent roles in brokering slave trade with the Europeans and Brazilians.

History of the People of Badagry.

Founded in the early 15th century on a lagoon off the Gulf of Guinea, its protected harbour led to the town becoming a key port in the export of slaves to the Americas, which were mainly to Salvador, Bahia in Brazil. It was also such a big departure point for slaves headed for French Saint-Domingue, today’s Haiti, that a main God of Haiti’s Official Religion of Vodun is called Ogun-Badagri.

The settlement in Ketu, present-day Benin Republic (formerly known as Dahomey), might be an appropriate starting point for a brief history of the Gbe-speaking peoples. In Ketu, the ancestors of the Gbe-speaking peoples separated themselves from other refugees and began to establish their own identity.

Continue reading

INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIALS: FULL TEXT OF THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH.

BROADCAST BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI ON OCTOBER 1ST, 2017

My dear Nigerians,

October 1st remains a special date for all Nigerians as this marks the day when we attained one of the most precious of human desires — freedom. Over the years the country has gone through trials and tribulations, but October 1 st is always a day for celebrations. It is a day for thanks giving , reflection and re – dedication .

It is also a day for remembrance. We should remind ourselves of the recent journey from 1999 – 2015 , when our country happily returned to democratic rule. However , in spite of oil prices being an average of $ 100 per barrel and about 2 . 1 m barrels a day, that great piece of luck was squandered and the country ’s social and physical infrastructure neglected . We were left with no savings and huge infrastructure deficit .

The APC Government’ s Campaign rallying cry to restore security, re – balance the economy and fight corruption was not all rhetoric. The country must first be secured . The economy must be re -balanced so that we do not depend on oil alone . We must fight corruption which is Nigeria ’s Number One Enemy. Our Administration is tackling these tasks in earnest.

In the past two years, Nigeria has recorded appreciable gains in political freedom . A political Party at the Centre losing elections of State Governor, National Assembly seat and even State Assemblies to the opposition parties is new to Nigeria . Added to these are complete freedom to associate , to hold and disseminate opinions. Such developments clearly attest to the country ’s
growing political development . But like all freedoms , this is open to abuse .

Recent calls on re – structuring , quite proper in a legitimate debate, has let in highly irresponsible groups to call for dismemberment of the country. We can not and we will not allow such advocacy.

Continue reading

INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIALS: THE CHRONICLE OF BRITISH EXPEDITIONS IN NIGERIA. (III)

THE NORTHERN EXPEDITION: How the North fell.

Regularly, the British expeditions often starts from a water based area. The North wasn’t an exception. Lokoja (in the present day Kogi) was the start point in 1867. As usual, a consulate was established.

The British interest in the trade of along the Niger, the United African Company (UAC) was established in 1879 perhaps to gain a united font over other rivals (French and German explorers) within the region. The UAC later became N.A.C (National African Company) in 1881.

Having successfully created trading stations all over the waterways across the region (Onitsha, Asaba, Idah, Aboh) and creating a rapport with the Emirs in the North, the British took steps to dominate. The dreams came through in 1885 (British conference).

The N.A.C soon became R.N.C (The Royal Niger Company Chartered and Limited). RNC controlled the trading matters along the coast while every respective Emir manned his territory according to the statement of the treaties in smooth partnership. This was why the later Indirect rule system was successful in the region.

The rift only started when some Emirs (especially the Emir of Nupe) began to raise questions as to the conduct of the company in determining who comes into their country/Emirate. They felt they practically have no say concerning their territorial boundary laws.

Due to the pressure from the other rivals as they plan to hijack the territory from her, the company wasn’t ready to give in to the agitations of the locals. He therefore planned to silence the agitation for once and all.

In 1897, it ordered a military expedition into Nupe and Ilorin. The success of it gave it more strength to further occupy the rest if the Northern territory.

However, the pressure from outside kept increasing and thus it became clear to the British government that the hold of her territory in the Northern Emirates cannot be left in the hands of a ‘company’. British then financed a military force officered by the British army under the capable hands of Lord Frederick Lugard to dominate the RNC.

Continue reading

INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIALS: THE CHRONICLE OF BRITISH EXPEDITIONS IN NIGERIA (II).

THE NIGER-DELTA/BIAFRA EXPEDITION: How the rest of the South was conquered.

Although Lagos was the first place the British conquered, it appeared that there was also a concomitant push going on in the South South of what is today called ‘Nigeria’ as at the same time when Lagos was been bombarded. The interference also came as an impact of the British military (Navy) presence in the Niger-Delta area.

Thus: in order to practically abolish slave trade, British warships patrolled the West African coastline in 1807. The military passed a Slave Trade Abolition Act but up until 1836, when they employed the use of real force, Bonny was still a great dealer in slave trade through the coast.

To stop them,the British Navy initiated a clean operation which of course met resistance from the then King of Bonny, Alali. Alali arrested the Captain of the British Warship (liet. Tyron) and his troop in a bid to counter react.

Apparently, the move didnt end well for the Bonny Camp. British relaunched a tougher operation into Bonny with more warships. At the longrun, Bonny had to surrender and was made to sign a treaty of ensuring the safety of European lives and property within the coast. Because Alali later flaunted the agreement in 1837, the British Military toppled his rulership and installed a new King: W.D Pepple, a native who was practically an ally to the Europeans. This laid a solid ground for the British to ride on.

The military then made use of the opportunity to

Continue reading

INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIALS: THE CHRONICLES OF THE BRITISH EXPEDITIONS IN NIGERIA [I].

In 1862, shortly after the abolition of slave trade off the Atlantic coast of Lagos and after gaining full dominance, in the order that they wade off potential hijackers (French and Portuguese Government), the British administration employed the use of force and guns on the Lagoon. This move eventually compelled the then King of Lagos: Oba Dosunmu to ceding his kingdom to the British.

THE YORUBA EXPEDITION: How the Yoruba region was captured.

By the treaty (of ceding) signed by the King, it meant that the Queen (from London) shall then control and administer the Port and Island of Lagos with all rights, profits and territories so as to assist, defend and protect the people of Lagos. This was the beginning of official colonialisation in the coast.

Although, the King (Oba Dosunmu) alongside his dynastic rival, Kosoko was rewarded with a pension scheme of £1030/year, he

Continue reading

TRIBES AND CULTURE: THE IGBOMINA YORUBA RACE (In Kwara and Osun states) 2.

continued from https://muzzammilwrites.com/2017/05/02/tribes-and-culture-the-igbomina-yoruba-race-in-kwara-and-osun-state-1/

Igbomina logo

Administrative Head and control:

According to Afolayan (1998:77), it is not definitely known when the modern reign began. Local traditions emphasize the existence of the fairly well defined states in the area before the 19th century. Indeed, by the early 18th century many independent state structures could be identified. These included Omu-Aran, Omu-ipo, Ajase, Isanlu-Isin, Iwo, Edidi, Oro, Ora, Aun, Ikosin and Igbaja. Each of these possessed separate traditions of foundation and growth distinct from the Ila kingdom. It is out of these conglomerations that the modern Igbomina came into being. Most notable of these was the kingdom of Ila which is regarded to be the traditional head of the Igbomina race.

Akintoye (1971) informs thus:
“Among the Igbomina, the Orangun of Ila is regarded as something of a ‘father’ and the original inheritor from Ife of the land on which all the Igbomina later settled. Before coming to Ila, the seat of government of the Orangun had been established for brief periods in a number of localities, the best remembered of which are Oke-Ila and Ila-Yara. Probably in the sixteenth century and because of a dispute or famine, the centre of the kingdom was once again moved from the latter place to Ila under the leadership of Igbonnibi, a scion of the dynasty. The traditions say that because crops grown around Ila did much better than those grown around the older settlements, more and more people came to settle at Ila. In the end, therefore, Ila became a very large town.”

Apart from Ila headed by the Orangun (Oba Wahab Kayode Adedeji Oyedotun), some other kingdoms in the ethnic include:

Olomu of Omu-ipo Oba Yakub Adebayo Buhari. Continue reading