Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Northern Nigeria is a geographical region of Nigeria. It is more arid and has less population density than the south. The people are largely Muslim, and many are Hausa. Much of the north was once politically united in the Northern Region, a federal division disbanded in 1967.

History

Main article: Hausa States Hausa States
Between 500 CE and 700 CE Hausa people, who had been slowly moving west from Nubia and mixing in with the local Northern and Central Nigerian population, established a number of strong states in what is now Northern and Central Nigeria and Eastern Niger. With the decline of the Nok and Sokoto, who had previously controlled Central and Northern Nigeria between 800 BCE and 200 CE, the Hausa were able to emerge as the new power in the region. Closely linked with the Kanuri people of Kanem-Bornu (Lake Chad), the Hausa aristocracy adopted Islam in the 11th century CE. By the 12th century CE the Hausa were becoming one of Africa's major powers. The architecture of the Hausa is perhaps one of the least known but most beautiful of the medieval age. Many of their early mosques and palaces are bright and colourful and often include intricate engraving or elaborate symbols designed into the facade. By 1500 CE the Hausa utilized a modified Arabic script known as ajami to record their own language; the Hausa compiled several written histories, the most popular being the Kano Chronicle.

Arrival of the Hausa
The Hausa Kingdoms emerged in the 13th century as vibrant trading centers competing with Kanem-Bornu and Mali. The primary exports were leather, gold, cloth, salt, kola nuts, animal hides, and henna. Except for minor alliances, the Hausa city-states functioned independently. Rivalries generally inhibited the formation of one centralized authority.
There were fourteen Hausa Kingdoms: The "Hausa Seven" and the "Bastard Seven"
The Hausa Kingdoms began as seven states with a shared mythology with its founders being the sons of a Queen. They are known as the Hausa Bakwai meaning Hausa Seven. The states included:
The growth and conquest of the Hausa Bakwai resulted in the founding of additional states with rulers tracing their lineage to a concubine of the Hausa founding father, Bayajidda. Thus they are called the 'Banza Bakwai meaning Bastard Seven. The Banza Bakwai adopted many of the customs and institutions of the Hausa Bakwai but were considered unsanctioned or copy-cat kingdoms by non-Hausa people. These states include:

Daura ? - 1806
Kano 998 - 1807
Katsina c. 1400 - 1805
Zazzau (Zaria) c. 1200 - 1808
Gobir ? - 1808
Rano
Biram c. 1100 - 1805
Zamfara
Kebbi
Yauri (also called Yawuri)
Gwari (also called Gwariland)
Kororafa (a Jukun state)
Nupe (of the Nupe people)
Llorin (a Yoruba state) Northern Nigeria The Fourteen Kingdoms
Usuman dan Fodio led a jihad against the Hausa States and finally united them into the Muslim Fulani Empire. The Fulani Empire was under the overall authority of the Commander of the Faithful, all of whom after Usman dan Fodio also used the title Sultan of Sokoto. Under him the Empire was bicephalous and divided into two territories each controlled by an appointed vizier. Each of the territories was further divided into autonomous Emirates under mainly hereditary local Emirs. The Bornu Empire was initially absorbed into the Fulani Empire of Usman dan Fodio, but broke away after a few years claiming increasing corruption of the Fulani Empire.

Fulani Empire and Bornu Empire
Initially the British involvement in Northern Nigeria was predominantly trade-related, and revolved around the expansion of the Royal Niger Company, whose interior territories spread north from about where the Niger River and Benin River joined at Lokoja. The Royal Niger Company's territory did not represent a direct threat to the powerful Fulani empire.

Royal Niger Company Territory

Protectorate of Northern Nigeria
Northern Nigeria was a British colony formed in 1900. The basis of the colony was the 1885 Treaty of Berlin which broadly granted Northern Nigeria to Britain, on the basis of their protectorates in Southern Nigeria. There was, however considerable uncertainty about the borders which Britain could assert and the trade rights other Europeans might have, and as a result British involvement in Northern Nigeria was initially considered a political priority in Africa due to the threat of German and French rivals. There was particular uncertainty over the border with French colonies in the North West.
Britain's chosen Governor, Frederick Lugard, with limited resources, slowly negotiated with ,and sometimes coerced, the emirates of the north into accepting British rule, finding that the only way this could be achieved was with the consent of local rulers through a policy of indirect rule which he developed from a necessary improvisation into a sophisticated political theory. Lugard left the protectorate after some years, serving in Hong Kong, but was eventually returned to work in Nigeria where he decided on the merger of the Northern Nigeria Protectorate with Southern Nigeria in 1914. The unification was done for economic reasons rather than political — Northern Nigeria had a budget deficit. Frederick Lugard sought to use the budget surpluses in Southern Nigeria to offset this deficit [1], and also believed that administration of the whole area would be easier if united, especially since northern Nigeria had no access to the sea. At the time, neither Lugard nor other British administrators, nor Africans, considered Nigeria to constitute a potential national unit- in fact the north and south were considered culturally radically different- and the merger was an economic and administrative convenience. Under an umbrella administration for all Nigeria, the north and south continued to have their own separate administrations, and each had its own Lieutenant-Governor answering to Lugard and his successors. However, nationalism developing in Nigeria soon took the whole of Nigeria as a natural future national unit.

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