The Zaria Emirates

His Highness Alhaji (Dr) Shehu Idris (CFR),
Emir of Zazzau
Zazzau Emirate

Our most important source for the early history of Zazau is a chronicle composed in the early twentieth century from oral tradition. It tells the traditional story of the foundation of the Hausa kingdoms by Bayajidda, a culture hero and gives a list of rulers, along with the length of their reigns. According to this chronology, the original Hausa or Habe kingdom is said to date from the 11th century, founded by King Gunguma. This source also makes it one of the seven Hausa Bakwai states. Zazzau’s most famous early ruler was Queen (or princess) Amina, who ruled either in the mid-fifteenth or mid-sixteenth centuries, and was held by Muhammed Bello, an early nineteenth century Hausa historian and the second Sultan of Sokoto, to have been the first to establish a kingdom among the Hausa.

Zazzau was a collection point for slaves to be delivered to the northern markets of Kano and Katsina, where they were exchanged for salt with traders who carried them north of the Sahara. According to the history in the chronicle, Islam was introduced to the kingdom around 1456, but appears to have spread slowly, and pagan rituals continued until the Fulani conquest of 1808. At several times in its history, Zazzau was subject to neighboring states such as Songhai, Bornu and Kwararafa.

The Gbagyi Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Dr. Danjuma S. Barde,
Sa-Gbagyi I
Gbagyi Chiefdom,

The Gbagyi Chiefdom of Kaduna State was created in the year 2000 via the Establishment of (Traditional Councils and Districts) Order 2000, with 14th September, 2000 as the commencement date. The creation of the Gbagyi Chiefdom was greeted with much excitement and high expectations in the Gbagyi Community in Kaduna State, and indeed elsewhere. This excitement and high expectation was not really because the long-standing demands of our Gbagyi people for our own chiefdom had finally been met. After all, what was granted to us in 2000 as chiefdom only covered Chikun local government area, leaving out strategically and historically important Gbagyi populations and traditional settlements in Kaduna South, Kaduna North and Igabi local government areas.
The reasons for this blatant administrative disaggregation of the Gbagyi community were as obvious as they were unjust and unfair.

The Gbagyi Community had high expectations and was excited with the creation of the Gbagyi Chiefdom in 2000 not because their desires had been met but because, as they reasoned, the Chiefdom (limited and constricted as it was) would afford them an opportunity to start tinkering with initiatives targeted at advancing their material and social circumstances. We reasoned that the struggle to expand the restricted territory of the Chiefdom shall, of course, continue but now at least, the Gbagyi Chiefdom, as it exists, can be the base from which the long struggle of the community for self-determination, human dignity and material progress may finally start to be implemented

The Kagoro Chiefdom

His Highness Mr. Ufuwai Bonet
Oegworok (Chief of Kagoro)
Kagoro Chiefdom

The tribe as well as the people are called Kagoro. (Oegworok as they called themselves). Their land is Abin Oegworok and their chief is Oegwam Oegworok.
The traditional always say that they came from the east and probably  from Sudan. They left there for reasons of wars and pleasures and travelled southwest through south of Chad into Borno. (There is a tribe known as Kagoro in French west Africa whose link may not be coincidence). The left there to southwestward until they reached Bauchi and settled at southern Bauchi around Fobur  areas (now in plateau state).
They stayed there for many years until they left and travelled southwestward to Assop ( Plateau state) and from there to numbio (presently Nimbia) near the Kagoro Hills. They found no one there but bush forest full of wild animals. While there, though they hunted the wild animals for food yet the had to move away after many years because there domestic animals were being tomented by the wild animals. The move up to the Kagoro hills and settled at Tsok-Busa on top of the hills. They discovered a good plain land at the western side while the esthern and the northern part were occupied by the Kachechere (Tacharak) who were under the Dominion of Kajuru. The Oegworok came down fought and drove them northwards and settled on the plains. It was during this war that Yomuang Ada the famous Zafan warior killed seven Tacharak in one day after which skulls of tribal enemies legitimately acquired in combat later became superior trophies. Some of the Tacharak later came back and peacefully they all became Oegworok.
The time Oegworok left Bauchi to Assop and Numbio was around 1600-1700. How ever around the same period some Kagorians were said to have further migrated to other directions of which Kamantan perhabs said to be one origin while Angan believe themselves to be Kagoro immigrants. Others who later migrated individually or in small groups infused and became powerful clans within other tribes. Between 1700-1800 they too were increased in population by some followed up groups from other directions and thus adding to the Oegworok known as Ankwai. The occupied a large area extending with boundaries with Ganawuri to the east and Kaningkong to the to the southwest.
The first such group was the Kata who M.G. Smith suggested may have originated in the  kpaisa lineage (Ma-Kata) of the Agbat clan among the Kataf while the clan head explained that the group got its name from the woven local hat known as Kata which was said to be mostly worn by them and they came from Miango. However they were called Kpashan. Later arrives after the Kpashan were called Muzaram but were all placed under the tribal control of the Kata. The name Kpashan and Muzaran were inter-changeably used  for all strangers but later the term Kpashan came to be accepted for all strangers. Oegworok political system and administration were then organized in moieties of Ankwai and Kpashan. In 1905 Kagoro came under the British rule and in August 1926 when the Plateau province was created, the independent district of Kagoro was included.
On the 1st November, 1934 the District was transferred to Zaria province. It remained there until the creation of states in which it was grouped with Kaduna State under Jema’a Local Government. In 1989  including Marwa District both became kaura Local Government created by the federal Government. Presently Kagoro chiefdom has 3 districts with 18 villages as created by the military Administration of Kaduna state Edict dated 26th December, 1991. Here we are calling the attention of Kaduna state Government praying and hoping they will create more districts within the Chiefdom to allow the chiefdom operate administratively and traditionally as it historically existed.

The Ham Chiefdom

His Highness Mallam Danladi Gyet Maude (OON)
Kpop Ham
Jaba Chiefdom

The origin of the word ‘Jaba’ is suggested by Koelle (1854:19) to have emerged during the contact of the people of Ham with the Hausa just about the 1800s. Koelle’s book records four (4) Ham youth captured during a war with the Hausa in 1846/7 and sold into slavery as revealed in an interview in 1853. According to the youth, the people are Ham or Fu Ham but labelled ‘Jaaba’ by the Hausa. This suggests the label, Jaba, was not accepted by the Ham at least before the year 1846–7 when the youth who gave information about the area were captured. The use of Jaba to refer to the Ham, therefore, may not have been more than 168 years now. Further, the meaning of the word ‘Jaba’ is not clear but it is revealingly a derogatory description of the people of Ham as the house mouse/rat with the long mouth, poisonous and dangerous (John 2017).

The question one would expect therefore is how this seemingly derogatory term got to be accepted by the people and utilised to describe them and even gazetted as the identity of a people or the location they are found calls for an inquiry. Historically, the Ham must have lived in their current location for 4,000 years with reference to the age of the famous Nok terracotta excavated from the Ham village of Nok. In fact, the town of Nok is barely four (4) kilometres from Har Kwain (Kwoi) where the local government secretariat of ‘Jaba’ is located. It is even shorter by a footpath via Sab Zuro, also an area believed to have been the earliest settlements of what is today Kwain (Kwoi town) (John 2017).

The word ‘Kwoi’ is a corruption of the term ‘Kwain’ (“to scratch” in Hyam). The influence of Hausa contact and its language hence has left an indelible mark on the people of Ham and their association with the name, ‘Jaba’. The Ham, however, are not only located in ‘Jaba’ local government area but are found in equal number if not more in Kachia local government with sparse populations in Jema’a and Kagarko local governments. There are also Ham villages like Akaleku Sidi, Ayaragu, Masaka, Gitata and Panda with over fifty (50) years of settlement in present-day Nassarawa state of Nigeria (John 2017).

Jaba (or should it be Ham?) local government had an area of 368 km2 and a population of 155,377 at the 2006 census. It is inhabited predominantly by Ham people, part of the people likely to have created the NOK Culture, where the first terracotta head was uncovered in West Africa during mining activities led by the British colonial government. As noted above, Nok culture is one of Africa’s number one and most magnificent Art history of ancient Civilization dating back to 500 BC – 200 AD. In 1943, tin mining in the vicinity of the village of NOK near the Jos Plateau region of Nigeria, the area where Jaba local government of Kaduna state is currently located was brought to light as a terracotta head, evidence of the oldest known figurative sculpture south of the Sahara was excavated.

Although stylistically related heads, figures, animals, and pottery shards have been found in a number of Nigerian sites since that time, such works are identified by the name of the small village where the first terracotta head was discovered. A lack of extensive archaeological study that has severely limited our understanding of Nok terracotta. One of the earliest African centres of iron working and terracotta figure production, the Nok culture remains an enigma. Inhabitants of Jaba Local government could be reached by road from the southern parts from Abuja via the Nassarawa state town of Keffi or via Kafanchan, which lies roughly 40  km away from the Headquarters of the Ham in Kaduna State, Nigeria.

From the Plateau State capital, Jos, it is a journey by road to Kafanchan to Sambang, Kwoi (Kwain), Nok, and to all other villages. From Kaduna, it is a journey through Kachia, Ngboodub, Ghikyaar and to Har Kwain. Jaba local government is in the southern part of Kaduna state and near to Jos Plateau region and Abuja, which lies in the central part of Nigeria in West Africa. As a result of natural erosion and deposition, Nok terracottas have been found to be scattered at various depths throughout the Sahel grasslands, causing difficulty in the dating and classification of the mysterious artefacts. The Ham (Jaba) has a farming population and rated one of the highest locations where ginger is produced in the world. There are a few administrative offices/agencies with educational institutions with the only higher institution being ECWA Pastors’ Training College in Kwain (Kwoi). The local government capital Kwoi (Kwain) is one the earliest S.I.M. missionary settlements in northern Nigeria across the Niger having opened in May 1910.

The Bajju Chiefdom

His Highness Mallam Nuhu Bature,
Agwam bajju
Bajju Chiefdom

According to oral history, the origin of the Bajju can be traced as far as Bauchi State where a group of people lived in hill caves and had watchers atop the hill to watch for enemies. These people were called ‘mutanen duwatsu’ (literal translation in English is ‘the stone people’). It was believed that their migration was for the search of better hunting grounds. They migrated from Bauchi State to Plateau State (of Nigeria) and settled on a hill called ‘Hurruang’. The hill was already occupied by a tribe called the Jarawa, but the Jarawa people left and lived on another hill called ‘Tsok-kwon’.

The Jarawa were a faction of a larger tribe called ‘Miango’. The Bajju, Miango, and Jarawa tribes collectively called themselves ‘Dangi’ (meaning ‘those of same stock’) because they share cultural and linguistic similarities.

Two brothers named Zampara and Wai were said to have left ‘Dangi’ settlement and migrated South of the Plateau. The Chawai people of today are the descendants Wai. Wai settled at a place and named it Chawai,considering that the forefathers of both the Bajju and Chawai people had family ties made both nations affiliated.

Zampara migrated further and settled at Hurbuang , which is now called ‘Ungwan Tabo’. Zampara gave birth to two sons, Baranzan and Akad. When Zampara, their father died Akad left his elder brother Baranzan and stayed near the hills. He did so and became the ancestor of the Atakat people. That was how the Atakat tribe got associated with the Bajju. It was because of this close relationship that the Atakat and Bajju people made it a tradition and a religious law never to intermarry.

However, some stubborn Bajju and Atakat people intermarried, and this caused the widespread death of 1970, Gaiya (2013). The Gado of Bajju, along with his people, met with the Gado of Atakat, along with his people, to discuss the crisis of frequent deaths of people of both tribes as a result of the intermarriages.

They reached a decision to abolish the law religiously and traditionally so that there would not be any consequence for the intermarriage. That was how the Atakat and Bajju people began to intermarry freely.

The previously mentioned Baranzan (son of Zampara, and brother of Akad) left Hurbuang and cleared a place by a riverside called ‘Duccuu Cheng’. He settled the Kajju there (Kajju was the initial name of the Bajju). The name ‘Kajju’ was derived from the name which Baranzan gave the new settlement, which was ‘Kazzu’.

Although it is unclear from oral history when the migration occurred, but evidence suggests that the Bajju were in their current location since the early 1800s, Gaiya (2013).

Moro’a Chiefdom 

His Highness Mallam Tagwai Sambo (OFR),
Chief of Moro’a 
Moro’a Chiefdom

Atakad Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Mr. Tobias Nkom Wada
Agwam Takad
Takad Chiefdom
Fadan Attakar.

Jema’a Emirate 

His Royal Highness Mr. Tanko Tete
Kaninkon Chiefdom

Gwong Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Mr. Paul Zakka Wyom,
Gwong Chiefdom
Fadan Kagoma.

Godogodo Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Mr. Iliya Ajiya Antang
Chief of Godogodo
Godogodo Chiefdom
Gidan Waya.

Fantswam Chiefdom 

His Royal Highness Mr. Musa Didam
Agwam Fantswam
Fantswam Chiefdom

Kaninkon Chiefdom 

His Royal Highness Mr. Tanko Tete
Kaninkon Chiefdom

Nyankpa Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Mr. Sako Gajere
Odyong Nyekpa
Nyenkpa Chiefdom


Birnin Gwari Emirate

His Highnes Alhaji Zubairu Jibrin Maigwari II
Emir of Birnin Gwari
Birnin Gwari Emirate
Birnin Gwari.


Adara Chiefdom

His Highness Mr. Maiwada Galadima
Agom Adara III
Adara Chiefdom


Kajuru Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Alhaji Alhassan Adamu
Sarkin Kajuru,
Kajuru Chiefdom


Atyap Chiefdom

His Highness Dr. Harrison Y. Bungon
Agwatyap II
Atyap Chiefdom
Samarun Kataf.


Ikulu Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Mr. yohanna Sidi Kukah
Agwom Akulu
Ikulu Chiefdom


Anghan Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Mr. Adamu Alkali
Ngbia Anghan,
Fadan Kamantan.


Numana Chiefdom

 His Royal Highness Mr. Gombo Makama,
Etum Numana


Ninzo Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Alhaji Ibrahim Yakubu,
Uchu Ninzo
Ninzo Chiefdom
Fada Ninzo.

Ayu Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Alhaji Yahaya Mahammud
Sarkin Ayu,
Ayu Chiefdom,


Lere Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Brig. Gen. Abubakar Garba Mohammed (Rtd)
Sarkin Lere
Lere Chiefdom

Saminaka Chiefdom 

His Royal Highness Alhaji Musa Muhammadu Sani
Sarkin Saminaka II
Saminaka Chiefdom

Kurama Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Dr. Damina I. Sabo
Bugwam Kurmi II
Kurama Chiefdom

Piriga Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Mr. Silas Angai
Pukarma Pirig
Piriga Chiefdom

Kauru Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Alhaji Ja’afar Abubakar,
Sarkin Kauru
Kauru Chiefdom

Kumana Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdullahi
Pukgom Kumana,
Kumana Chiefdom,


Tsam Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Alhaji Danlami Yahaya,
Tsam Chiefdom


Kagarko Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar,
Sarkin Kagarko
Kagarko Chiefdom

Koro Chiefdom 

His Royal Highness Mr. Yohanna Akaito,
Koro Chiefdom

Jere Chiefdom

His Royal Highness Dr. Sa’ad Usman,
Sarkin Jere
Jere Chiefdom