People and Places of Kebbi State

Kebbi resisted the Fulani jihad of the early 19th-century, but in the later 19th-century the area largely converted to Islam through peaceful means.


Kebbi is a state in north-western Nigeria with its capital at Birnin Kebbi. The state was created out of a part of Sokoto State in 1991.

Kebbi State is bordered by Sokoto State, Niger State, Zamfara State, Dosso Region in the Republic of Niger and the nation of Benin. It has a total area of 36,800 km².

Kebbi is traditionally considered by Sarki mythology as the homeland of the Banza bakwai states and Hausa Kingdoms.

According to recent research based on local oral traditions, king lists and on the Kebbi chronicle, the state of Kebbi was founded towards 600 BCE by refugees of the Assyrian empire conquered by Babylonian and Median forces in 612 BCE.

A major local event was the conquest by Songhai in the second half of the fifteenth century CE.
Kebbi resisted the Fulani jihad of the early 19th-century, but in the later 19th-century the area largely converted to Islam through peaceful means.

History of Zuru 
Zuru emirate is divided into five administrative chiefdom: Dabai, Danko, Fakai, Sakaba, and Wasagu. The third class chief who is also member of the Zuru town in Dabai chiefdom, where the emirate headquarters also is located, heads each. Zuru Emirate is located in the southern part of Kebbi State Nigeria, occupying an area of about 9000sq km.

It is boarded by Gummi in Zamfara State in the North. To the south is Niger State, this borderline extends also arbitrarily on land to the west to a point where it ends a few kilometers to the west of large tributary of the Dan Zari River. Here a northwest ward protrusion of Yauri Emirate of Kebbi.

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In fact, going by history, Zuru people being multi-ethic are grouped into categories. First category is of those that claim long term settlement and the second category is of the much more recent settlers who in fact regard themselves – and are also regarded by the others as recent immigrants or even as temporary strangers. In the first category are the Achifawa, Kambari, Dukkawa Fakkawa,’Dankawa, Worawa, Katsinawa and Lelna (Dakarkari’ such as sindawa’).

It is characteristic to find that some of them lay some claim to origin from Hausa. Zuru as was said, was as a result of upheaval resulting from events such as Kanta’s breakaway from Songhai and Nupe-Kororofa control. Moreover, the Katsinawa, who in fact see themselves as immigrants from the old state of Katsina which had made political in road Zuru region, especially from the 16th century A.D. onward, and had enabled them to settle and to area’s indigenous population.

Kebbi state was created out of the former Sokoto State on 17 August 1991. The State has a total population of 3,137,989 people as projected from the 1991 census, within 21 Local Government areas.

The state has Sudan and sahel-savannah. The southern part is generally rocky with the Niger River traversing the state from Benin to Ngaski LGA.

The northern part of the state is sandy with the Rima River passing through Argungu to Bagudo LGA where it empties into the Niger. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people especially in rural areas, Crops produced are mainly grains; animal rearing and fishing are also common. Christianity and Islam are the dominant religions of the people.

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There are 225 political wards, 3000 settlements and 1036 hard to reach settlements in the 21 Local Government Areas in the State.

Local Government Areas 
Kebbi State consists of 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs), four emirate councils (Gwandu, Argungu, Yauri and Zuru), and 35 districts. The LGAs are as follows:






















Kebbi State is mainly populated by Hausa people, with some members of Fulani, Lelna, Bussawa, Dukawa, Dakarkari, Kambari, Gungawa and Kamuku ethnic communities.
The people of Kebbi are predominantly Muslims who practice Islam as a religion.

Current governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu
Abubakar Atiku Bagudu since assuming office in 2015, has transformed Kebbi State from being a purely civil servant state and made it more industrialised.

Kebbi State has become one of the major producers of rice in Nigeria. The current participation of more than 70,000 farmers in the Anchor Borrowers Rice and wheat farming is heading towards making Kebbi a new destination and hub for agro based commodities of the Country.

Abubakar Bagudu then led a high level delegation from Kebbi to visit Lagos state in a bid to encourage interstate relations in the Agric sector.

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Part of the deliberations include a number of mutual trade relations including Rice production and marketing alliance, Animals trade, farm produce processing and marketing as well as tourism promotions. At the end of deliberations, A Memorandum of Understanding was signed, which they aid would culminate in the production of 70% of Nigeria’s rice requirements annually.

In addition, Officials of the Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc led by its Managing Director were not left out of this quest of exploring the agriculture potentials of Kebbi State. The giant Flour Mills Plc aims to establish a full fledges Flour Mills Company in the State, because of the abundance rice cultivation and production which cut across 17 out of the 21 local government areas of the State.

To reiterate his commitment to ensure that Kebbi state isn’t only dependent on Federal allocation, the active Governor Atiku Bagudu paid a visit to Benin Republic last year and while on the trip, signed a number of bilateral trade protocols with the Government and Business Community of Benin Republic with a view to fostering trade, industrial and tourism relationships with the country..

Abubakar Bagudu is also the Chairman, National Task Force on Rice and Wheat Production in Nigeria

This feature was first published by Arewa Affairs on 4th August 2019

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