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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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.

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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

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A statue of Orangun with the Ogbo.

The Igbomina or Igbonna is a distinct dialectal unit of the Yoruba race. The term ‘Igbomina’ or ‘Igbonna’ refers to the people and the land they occupy. They occupy the Northern part of the Yoruba geographic map.

Geographical location.
The Igbomina land is bounded on the North-West by Ilorin; on the South by the Ijesa, on the South-East by the Ekiti, on the East by the Yagba, and on the North by the non-Yoruba Nupe region South of the Niger River. Igbomina is bounded on the West by minor neighbouring communities: Ibolo, Offa, Oyan and Okuku in the West. Geographically, Igbominaland lies between longitude 40E and 60E and Latitude 80N and 90N.

The Igbominaland touches two Yoruba states in Nigeria (Kwara and Osun). It covers three Local Government areas (LGAs) in Kwara State: Irepodun, Ifelodun and Isin LGAs. In Osun, it touches two Local Government areas: Ila and Ifedayo LGAs. Igbomina is an epic traditional conglomeration. This commanding dominance is what is raising internal agitations by the indigenes of this community for a new state to be carved out of Kwara and Osun state.

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Adim is a cultural community that refers to a set of people that occupy a certain quarter in Biase Local Government area in Cross river state, Nigeria. The Adim people speak Adim and Efik language. According to reports, Adim is spoken by about 16,000 speakers. The Adim community is administered by clan heads and are assisted by chiefs.

1.1. Historical Background of the Adim People

There is no general acceptability among the people of Adim as to their historical origin. Some people posit that their ancestors came from Otum Usa. Some others believe that they had dominated the present day location from time in inception negating the stance that they are ancient migrants into the community. This research based its scope on tracing the real source. However, after a prolonged attempt, we are able to arrive at the justification that Adim people are indeed migrants. The people of Adim’s initial origin is indeed located around Otum Usa settlement (Abi LGA) in Ebom-Ebijiakara on the Eastern bank of Cross river state. The migrants first settled at Orum-Ugom before finally pitching their tent in the present day Biase LGA.

Biase LGA,which is now the new abode of the Adim people, consist of the 3 basic Adim groups with diverse views about their origin:

i. The Isobo
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TRIBES AND CULTURE: UBANG COMMUNITY~ where Men and Women speak distinct languages.

This week on Tribes and Culture, our voyage takes us more South as we cross so many rivers to reach the famous Obudu LGA in Crossriver state. Ubang is a little known rural community within the wider local government area of Obudu, in the northern region of the southeastern state of Crossriver. Muzzammilwrites brings to you their historical and socio-political profile. It was a wonderful experience from onset till finish. We were amazed not only at the sights and scenery but also at the tales and myth surrounding the creation of the wonderful community.

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people of Ubang.

Do you know that God himself visited this place? Yes, you heard it. Find out more in the report below.


As stated earlier, Ubang is a little known rural community within the wider local government area of Obudu, in the northern region of the southeastern state of Crossriver. One notable linguistic feature of this community is the presence of two separate speech varieties each of which is spoken distinctly by men and women. This simply means that the language of the men is quite different from that of the women in the community.

As at the time of this research, little effort has been made towards the documentation of historical antecedents of the origin of Ubang. Therefore, results gathered are based on comprehensive oral literature and mythical belief. Results claim that the people of Ubang have been existing for very long a time. Infact, one part of the myth has linked their origin to then biblical story of the Tower of Babel. According to this myth, the variation noticed in their language is as a result of the curse laid by God as covered in the story.

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Drawings of the Biblical Tower of Babel.

The sons of men were building a tower in their attempt to reach God’s abode, God frustrated the effort by waving them into confusion and misunderstanding. They were cursed to distinctly begin to speak different languages that they may not understand one another anymore. At the long run, the sons of man were not able to continue their mission; so the Tower collapsed. This story has been sighted for the differences in languages all over the world.

It was at this point of confusion that Ubang was allotted two languages. Some however claimed they were given two languages because they were the most stubborn sects amongst the sons of men at the time as they still route to continue the project.

Another myth surrounding the presence of two different forms of languages reads that after generally allotting one language each to every other community in the world, God was left with two different languages. He doesnt want to return (to Heaven) with leftover. So He gave Ubang the remaining two Instead of one each has he has done for the other communities. They also claim that God was standing on a high mountain (Okwe Asirikwe) within the community when He was sharing the languages. According to them this very very wide footpath seen on this Mountain is a clear sign that He once stood here. No theory or research has been able to unravel the source of the gigantic print. Therefore, it remains a mystery.  Some villagers go to this location to bow their heads in praise and worship to God.

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A replica of what form of print is on the mountain.

A village head at the time of this research, Chief Joseph Ale Iyiang, also narrates that the community was blessed with two languages because they were God’s first creation amongst men. He said “Ubang are the first creation of God by presumption because it is the only community, in the world, that has two languages”. He further related that they were more than the size they are at the moment. But due to some internal pressure, separation was necessary.

“…about 150 years ago, we were about 11 communities but today we are three communities because of inter-tribal squabbles’’.

In addition, he said the broke out communities disappeared and submerged into other neighboring communities. The communities that constitute the Ubang at present are Okweriseng, Ofambe and Okira.

The total population of the Ubang community is estimated to be 5400 (source: and the name of their language is Ubang.


The Ubang people are distinguished from others in their own way of life. Their culture is very rich and they believe so much in it. The language serves as a means of communication in the society, in the market and even in the religious system and it is also aimed at being a medium of expression and instruction in schools.

Below is a Map of Cross River Showing the Various Local Governments and the location of Obudu where Ubang can be found.


One unique thing about their culture so far is the linguistically present variety of their language where the language of the female inhabitant is different from that of the male yet they understand and communicate with themselves perfectly. Neighboring villages, who know about the development look at the people with the feeling of awe. Not even with the ego, style and pride at which they use to tell different versions of their stories of existence in order to justify their wonderful talent.

They boast that God loves them most and that is why he gave them two varieties. And they have no plan to merge or fuse the two varieties except if God comes down again to the spot where He handed them the language and directs otherwise. There is a claim that God, himself came down to earth and stood on a very high mountain when He was doing the distribution. Infact, they say His footpaths are still visible on the top of the mountain.

Worthy of note is the fact that every child, right from birth, knows he or she will have to learn and speak the language of his or her sex. Therefore, any attempt by the child to learn the version of the opposite sex will end up futile.

“If a female tries to speak the language of the male or vice versa, she will not be able because she will be confused and make a lot of mistakes”

An elderly woman in the village, Mary Orim, said the words that form the different versions of the language were given by God. Therefore, no version is superior to the other and each gender speaks the words as allotted to their version with pride and confidence.

            For example, men folks call;

  1. Water; ‘Amie’ while the female folks say ‘Banu’.
  2. Yam; is ‘ketung’ for men and ‘iri’ for women.
  • Stone; is ‘okai’ for men and ‘koka’ for women.
  1. Shirt; is ‘nki’ for men and ‘ariga’ for women.

She added that if a woman begins to speak like a man, no matter how hold she is, the women folk will laugh and ridicule her.

The name given to the men’s version is ‘ziebenche’ while that of the women’s is called ‘iziebenyinye’. In addition, speakers of the Ubang language are adjudged to be fast learners of other languages. They do understand the languages of even neighboring ethnic groups like Alege, Okpe, Bete, Boki, Ijagam, and Utugwang. Only that these neighboring villages might find it difficult understanding theirs.

Ubang people are proud of their culture and heritage. They are friendly and accommodating. They make a meal of their inheritance and guard it judiciously.


The Ubang people are mostly recognized with the Christianity religion. Based on statistics, about 65% of the community population is of the Christian faith while the remaining are traditionalist. The people of this community still depend more on herbal medicines for treatments. There is this nocturnal dreaded cult (ikwong) they operate which forbids non-indigenes and women from participating.


Language informants say that the people of Ubang still believe so much in traditional marriage even though they are majorly of the Christian faith.  Thus, their marriage rites still have some elements of traditionalism and culture heritage.


The major occupation of the Ubang people is cocoa farming. They practice commercial farming in the Ubang community.  Some of their farm products are; cocoa, rice, yam, e.t.c. The people of Ubang also practice trading.  They trade with their smelt product such as Anklets, bracelets, local necklace, cutlasses, iron weapons, knives, plates, hoes and pot. They trade with the neigbouring community and all their products are involved in their trading. However, the community experience lack of transport-able roads which is more reason why travelers and tourists less visit the community.

We are glad you enjoyed it. More content will be uploaded about the general administrative style and language. Tribes and Culture (an initiative of Muzzammilwrites) will keep you informed and entertained with knowledge across the Nigerian tribes and community. Our voyage will be taking us through another tribe nextweek. Anticipate…

Goethe (Germanphilosopher) said “if you desire to be more knowledgeable than the others, then travel”.



General administration in Enwan.

Chief O.C Daudu (Odafe of Enwan)

Traditionally, Enwan is ruled and governed by a king. Like the yoruba and bini kingdom, Enwan operates an Obaship system of governance. As a paramount ruler, Odafe is the title given to the king of Enwan. He serves as the head of the clan. So far, as at the time of this research, they have successfully had fourteen (14) Odafe.

Due to the fact that the kingship title isn’t completely hereditary, every kindred in Enwan has the right to the Odafeship. As a matter of fact, it rotates, in cycle, around every of the nineteen kindred of the 3 quarters. For instance, it will be the turn of Imiezua quarters if it has rotated every of the 4 kindred in Imiezakhor quarters. Then it will rotate all 8 kindreds in Imiezua before it becomes Imievanne’s turn to rotate. Thus, everyone is entitled to the throne. Though, a candidate must be popular, free from diseases; physical deformity and crime to be eligible. On the authority of the eldest man in the appropriate ruling house, a suitable candidate will therefore be chosen via consensus. This is, however, the summary of the declaration of customary law regulating succession to traditional ruler title under the executive council of the then Bendel state of Nigeria relating to Enwan. As at the time of the research, the new Odafe of Enwan, in person of Chief O.C. Daudu, has not been coronated as the case of his rightful succession is being challenged by another man from his kindred in court. We will do a little more research to know if he has now been crowned. But he has been actively up and doing, serving for the betterment of the community.

Mode of Dressing among Enwan People.

The traditional mode of dressing is very similar to that of the Yorubas. In the older days of the Enwan community, before the advent of European civilization, many people will prefer to use their native attires. However, present day outfits in the community include shorts, trousers, blouse and wrappers, etc.

Burial Rites in Enwan Land

As the highest title which man will attain after gathering every other thing on earth, death is inevitable. Everyone is as equal as one another in the eyes of death. When an elderly person dies, information will be sent to the relations in other part of the town so as to commence burial rites. However, Continue reading