About Kaduna State

The word Kaduna is said to be a corruption of a Gbagyi word/name for a river. Another version of the etymology of the name is a narrative linked to the Hausa word for crocodile – but this is contested by the Gbagyi people known to have lived in the area for centuries. It is therefore indicative that the name, Kaduna, was taken up by Lord Frederick Lugard and his colonial colleagues when they moved the capital of the then Northern Region from Zungeru to Kaduna in 1916. This move of the colonial office to Kaduna started in 1912-1918/20 with the initial effort having been made in 1902 from Jebba to Zungeru.At the start of British colonial rule in northern Nigeria the people groups who live in the area became ‘Northern Nigerians’- a construct which continues even today. By 1967 these people groups again were carved into ‘North Central State’; this was the case until 1975 that ‘Kaduna State’ was formerly created by the then military leader, Gen. Murtala Mohammed, with all distinct identities amalgamated into one state without a referendum. The state hence is the successor of the old Northern Region of Nigeria, which had its capital at Kaduna which is now the state capital to about 6.3 million people (Nigerian census figure, 2006).In 1967, the old Northern Region was divided into six states in the north, leaving Kaduna as the capital of North-Central State, whose name was changed to Kaduna State in 1976. Meanwhile, Kaduna State was further divided in 1987, creating Katsina State. Under the governance of Kaduna are the ancient cities of Zaria, Kafanchan, and Nok, the area where Africa’s earliest civilization is recorded to have been excavated. The most intriguing aspect of this area is that the colonial construction and its post-colonial successor called ‘Nigeria’ hardly documented the history or the method of how Kaduna state’s people groups encompassed in these constructs define and identify themselves as such the people groups who populate the area have lived in near oblivion or obscurity as they often are thought of as Hausa people.

Kaduna State, north central Nigeria, is politically classified as belonging to the now ‘North – West’ zone of the current six Geo – political zones of Nigeria. It is populated by about 59 to 63 different ethnic groups, if not more, with the exactitude of the number requiring further verification through genuine field work [Hayab, 2014]. The question as in the last paragraph with the Hausa and Fulani as the dominant ethnic groups followed by at least 60 others. These groups include:

  1. Adara (dubbed Kadara)
  2. Akurmi (labelled Kurama by the Hausa)
  3. Anghan (dubbed Kamanton by the Hausa)
  4. Amo
  5. Aruruma (named Ruruma by the Hausa)
  6. Atachaat (dubbed Kachechere)
  7. Atyab (dubbed Kataf by the Hausa)
  8. Ayu
  9. Bajju (dubbed Kaje by the Hausa)
  10. Bakulu (Ikulu by the Hausa)
  11. Bhazar (named Koro)
  12. Bur (Sanga)
  13. Binawa
  14. Dingi
  15. Fantswam
  16. Fulfulde
  17. Gbagyi (Gwari in Hausa)
  18. Gure
  19. Gwandara
  20. Gwong (Kagoma in Hausa)
  21. Ham (dubbed Jaba in Hausa)
  22. Hausa
  23. Jangi (dubbed Gwari by the Hausa)
  24. Kaibi
  25. Kahugu
  26. Kanufi
  27. Kigono
  28. Kinugu
  29. Kitimi
  30. Kiwafa
  31. Kiwollo
  32. Koro
  33. Kuvori (called Surubu)
  34. Kuturmi
  35. Lemoro * not sure
  36. Mada (Mardan) Mada must have migrated during colonial rule
  37. Nandu
  38. Nduyah
  39. Numana
  40. Nindem
  41. Ningeshe
  42. Ninkyop
  43. Ninzo
  44. Nyenkpa (Yeskwa)
  45. Oegworok
  46. Pikal
  47. Pitti
  48. Ribang
  49. Rishuwa
  50. Rumada