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

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