Zaria Emirate
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Zaria Emirate
Gate to the palace of the emir of Zazzau
Gate to the palace of the emir of Zazzau
Flag of Zazzau
Zazzau is located in Nigeria
Coordinates: 11°04?N 7°42?E / 11.067°N 7.700°E / 11.067; 7.700
Country Nigeria
StateKaduna State
 o TypeMonarch
 o EmirAhmed Nuhu Bamalli

The Zazzau, also known as the Zaria Emirate, is a traditional state with headquarters in the city of Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. The current emir of Zazzau is Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli who succeeded the former emir, late Alhaji Shehu Idris.[1]

Early Hausa kingdom

The most important source for the early history of Zazzau is a chronicle composed in the early 20th century from oral tradition. It tells the traditional story of the foundation of the Hausa kingdoms by the culture hero Bayajidda, 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.[2] 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-15th or mid-16th centuries, and was held by Muhammed Bello, an early 19th-century Hausa historian and the second Sultan of Sokoto, to have been the first to establish a kingdom among the Hausa.[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

Mosque of the palace

Later Fulani emirate

In December 1808 the kingdom was captured in the Fulani jihad.[6] The Hausa ruler had escaped to Abuja, where he established a state now known as the Suleja Emirate, retaining his independence and the title of "Sarkin Zazzau". The ruler of the modern Zazzau Emirate also uses the title "Sarkin Zazzau" or "Sarkin Zaria". After the jihad, the culturally similar but pastoral or nomadic Fulani intermarried with the more settled Habe farmers, and the people of the Emirate today are generally known as Hausa-Fulani. The government of the Zaria Emirate differed from other emirates created at this time in that offices were rarely hereditary, but were appointed based on merit or obligation.[5]


Hausa kingdom

Names and Dates taken from John Stewart's African States and Rulers (1989).[7]

Capitals (c. 1010 – c. 1578): Turunku, Wuciciri, Rikoci, Kawar[8]

Start End Ruler
c. 1010 ? Gunguma
? ? Matani (or Matazo)
? ? Tumso (or Tumsah)
? ? Tamusa
? ? Sulimano
? ? Nasabo (or Maswaza)
? ? Danzaki (or Dinzaki)
? ? Saiwago (or Nayoga)
? ? Kwasari (or Kauchi)
? ? Nwaiku (or Nawainchi)
? ? Besekal (or Machikai)
? ? Kuna (or Kewo)
? ? Bashikarr
? ? Maji Dadi (or Majidada)
? ? Kirari (or Dihirahi)
? ? Jenhako (or Jinjiku)
? 1505 Sukana
1505 1530 Rabon Bawa (or Monan Abu)
1530 1532 Gudumua Muska (or Gidan Dan Masukanan)
1532 1535 Tukuariki (or Nohir)
1535 1536 Uwan (or Kawanissa)
1536 1539 Bakwa Turunku (female ruler)
1539 1566 Ibrihimu
1566 1576 Karama
1576 1578 Kafow

The kingdom's name changed to Zaria at the end of the 16th century.[8]

Capital (c. 1578 – 1835): Zaria (originally founded in 1536 and named after Chief Bakwa's daughter Zaria)[9]

Start End Ruler
1578 1584 Ali
1584 1597 Bako Majirua
1597 1608 Bako Su Aliyu
1608 1611 Bako Mahama Gabi (or Gadi)
1611 1611 Bako Hamza (ruled for one day)
1611 1618 Bako Abdu Ashkuku (or Abdaku)
1618 1621 Bako Brima (or Burema)
1621 1646 Bako Ali
1646 1647 Bako Majam Rubu
1647 1660 Bako Brima
1660 1670 Bako Shukunu
1670 1678 Bako Aliyu
1678 1682 Bako Brima Hasko
1682 1710 Bako Mahama Rubo
1710 1718 Bako
1718 1727 Bako Aliyu
1727 1736 Bako Dan Musa
1736 1738 Bako Ishihako (or Ishaq)
1738 1750 Bako Makam Danguma
1750 1757 Bako Ruhawa
1757 1758 Bako Makam Gaba
1758 1760 Bako Mair ari Ashaka Okao
1760 1762 Kao
1762 1764 Bako Bawa
1764 1770 Yonusa
1770 1788 Baba (or Yakuba)
1788 1793 Aliyu
1793 1795 Chikkoku
1795 1796 Mai haman Maigano
1796 1802 Ishihako Jatao (or Ishaq Jatao)
1802 1804 Makkam (or Muhamman Makau)

Independent Fulani rulers

The kingdom was taken over by the Fulani Empire in 1804 and became an emirate in 1835.[9] The Hausa rulers went into exile and founded Abuja.[9] The emirate was taken by the British in 1902.[9]

Rulers of the independent Fulani emirate:[6]

Start End Ruler
1804[9] 17 May 1821 Malam Musa ibn Suleiman Ibn Muhammad
1804 1825 Muhamman Makau (Hausa ruler in exile)[9]
June 1821 1835 Yamusa ibn Mallam Kilba
1825 1828 Abu Ja (Hausa ruler in exile)[9]
1835 18 December 1846 Abd al-Karim ibn Abbas
6 January 1847 28 February 1847 Hammada ibn Yamusa
15 Apr 1847 Apr 1854 Muhammad Sani ibn Yamusa
Apr 1854 Dec 1854 Sidi `Abd al-Qadir ibn Musa
Jan 1855 5 Aug 1856 Abd as-Salam ibn Muhammad Ka'i
21 Sep 1856 Oct/Nov 1870 Abd Allah ibn Hammada (1st time)
22 Nov 1870 Jun/Jul 1873 Abu Bakr ibn Musa (d. 1873)
Aug/Sep 1873 Nov/Dec 1878 Abd Allah ibn Hammada (2nd time)
26 Dec 1878 Jan 1888 Muhammad Sambo ibn Abd al-Karim
Jan 1888 13 Feb 1897 Uthman Yero ibn Abd Allah (d. 1897)
17 Apr 1897 Mar 1903 Muhammad Lawal Kwassau ibn Uthman Yero

Colonial period and later rulers

Rulers of the independent Fulani emirate:[6]

Start End Ruler
March 1903 8 April 1903 Sulayman (regent from 11 Sep 1902)
8 April 1904 9 November 1920 Ali ibn Abd al-Qadir (d. 1924)
1920 1924 Dallatu ibn Uthman Yero
1924 1936 Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Lawal Kwassau (b. c.1886 - d. 1936)
1936 August 1959 Malam Jafar ibn Ishaq (b. 1891 - d. 1959)
September 1959 4 February 1975 Muhammad al-Amin ibn Uthman (b. 1908 - d. 1975)
8 February 1975 20 September 2020 Shehu Idris (b. 1936 - d. 2020)[10]
7 October 2020 Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli (b. 1966 - to date)

External links

  • Dan Isaacs (September 28, 2010). "Nigeria's emirs: Power behind the throne". BBC News. Retrieved .


  1. ^ Isa Liman (4 January 2010). "Zazzau Emirate Council to Send Man Who Lost Private Part Abroad for Treatment". Daily Trust. Retrieved .
  2. ^ E. J. Arnett, "A Hausa Chronicle" Journal of the Royal African Society 9 (1910)
  3. ^ Muhammad Bello, Infaq 'l-Maysuur, chapter 7, translated Muhammad Shareef, (Sennar, Sudan,2008)
  4. ^ "Zaria". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved .
  5. ^ a b M. G. Smith, International African Institute. (1960). "Government in Zazzau, 1800-1950". Oxford University Press. Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b c "Traditional States of Nigeria". Retrieved .
  7. ^ Stewart, John (1989). African States and Rulers. London: McFarland. p. 297-298. ISBN 0-89950-390-X.
  8. ^ a b Stewart, John (1989). African States and Rulers. London: McFarland. p. 298. ISBN 0-89950-390-X.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Stewart, John (1989). African States and Rulers. London: McFarland. p. 297. ISBN 0-89950-390-X.
  10. ^ "Just in Emir of Zaria Shehu Idris dies at 84". 20 September 2020. Retrieved 2020.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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