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LGA and town
Motto: Majestic City of Stallion
Hadejia is located in Nigeria
Coordinates: 12°27′N 10°2′E / 12.450°N 10.033°E / 12.450; 10.033
Country  Nigeria
State Jigawa State
 • Type Monarchy
 • Emir Adamu Abubakar Maje
Time zone WAT (UTC+1)

'Hadejia' (also Hadeja, previously Biram) is a Hausa town in eastern Jigawa State, northern Nigeria. Hadejia is currently the largest and most important commercial town in Jigawa State. The City itself has a population of over 450,000 people strangely divided with the influence of the then Kano State into at least 3-4 Local government areas. Majorly taken by Hadejia (southern part of the town, including the old city), then by Malam Madori (the northern part including the Shagari Quarters, the GRA, Gandun Sarki and Gandun bundugoma) and by Guri LGA(the eastern part, including the Rice mill factory area). This significantly lowers the actual population of the area considered as Hadejia LGA.

History: Prior to the jihadist conquest at the beginning of the 19th century, the territory now known as Hadejia emirate consisted of several separate and distinct Kingdoms whose rulers received titles from and owed allegiance to the Habe Galadima of Borno. The former Habe Kingdoms included Auyo,Garin Gabas(Biram),Hadejia,Kazura,Gaturwa,Marma,Dawa and Fagi. The process of the evolution of these Kingdoms of seems to be obscure except perhaps for the Kingdoms of Hadejia,Auyo and Garin Gabas. At the time of the foundation of Hadejia, a number of small settlements were said to have existed in the territory that came to be known as Hadejia emirate. For example,on the North-eastern side of Hadejia town, there was Madagwaigwai, whose present site is near Rubban Dakata a village about 10kilometres east of Hadejia Kiri kasamma road. While on the eastern side of the town was Maskangayu (kulunfardu), a village said to have been established by Damagarawa immigrants whose ancestors now live in Hadejia (ILALLAH). The old site of Kulunfardu was located near Tandanu, just by the valley of River Hadejia, about 15kilometres from TURABU. There was a tradition in Turabu which said that, at the side of kulunfardu, there was a large Tamarind (Tsamiyar linzamai) whose branches were said to have bent due to the weight of the Luggage of soldiers of Mai Ali of Borno when they camped there on their way to attack Kano during the reign of Sarkin Kano Muhammadu Kambari Dan shariff(1731-1734) By the western side of Hade's camp was KADIME (still located to the site) which was about 9kilometre from Hadejia. By the Northern side of Hadejia was Majeri a few kilometre from Mallam madori, and by the southern side were Auyakayi(Tunawa), Unik(Arki), Majawa and Auyo. These settlement were clearly established in the surrounding areas much earlier than Hadejia town

The Reign of Muhammadu Buhari Sambo ( written by Shehu U. Abdullahi)

In the year 1848, Sultan Aliyu of Sokoto sanctioned the selection and installation of Muhammadu Buhari as the 4th Emir of Hadejia. This approval by the Sultan though important was not in fact essential: Buhari would have installed himself even had the Sultan vetoed the idea. As it were, Buhari was turbaned at Hadejia by the Sultan’s envoy and second-in-command, the Waziri of Sokoto. And thus began the reign of the most controversial figure the Emirate, if not the Caliphate, had ever produced.

Buhari was and still remains a different thing to different people. He is one of those figures about whom it is impossible to be neutral: one either detests them, or adores them. To his detractors, Buhari was ruthless, a rebel and an infidel to boot; while to his supporters he was a great administrator, a superb general and a progressive leader who numbered among his closest advisers persons of servile origin.

Succession Whatever else may be said about the man, it has to be admitted that on the issue of succession, Buhari had a valid claim to the throne. Just what was the reason which made Sambo attempt to by-pass Buhari and oft for the junior brother, Ahmadu, as the Emir designate will never be known. But going by past precedents, the attempted change in the normal though unwritten rule of succession was quite unfair to the elder son.

When Sambo, Buhari’s father, came to the throne in 1808, he appointed his eldest son, Garko, as chiroman Hadejia and thus by tradition heir apparent. In 1845 Sambo, already a septuagenarian, abdicated his throne and appointed Garko Emir. He then offered the post of Chiroma to his second son, Abdulkadir. A few years later Garko died. So it was a straightforward issue, and in keeping with traditional rules, for Sambo, still very much alive, to crown Abdulkadir Emir, and to appoint his third son, Buhari, as Chiroma and thus the Emir-in-waiting.

As it happened the waiting was to be very brief indeed, for Abdulkadir too died only after a few months. Fate itself seemed to be making Buhari’s ascension to the Hadejia throne quite smooth and easy. But Sambo decided to go against fate, and now the troubles began.

Quite inexplicably, and against all established rules of succession, Sambo decided that Ahmadu, Buhari’s junior brother, was to be the new Emir. To this effect he sent a message from his Camp David-styled retreat, at Mairakumi, summoning Ahmadu to come and receive some charms, which will ensure that he prevailed as Emir over his rival, Buhari.

Unfortunately for the designs of the aged king-maker, one of the Jakadiyas privy to the summons was sympathetic to the cause of Buhari and took no time in passing on the vital intelligence to the necessary quarters. Always a man of action, Buhari took the initiative.

Buhari now latched on to the privileged information to hatch his own counter deceptive plan. In the ensuing saga which unfolded, and in subsequent years, he would show not the slightest hesitation in employing deceit whenever necessary, to achieve his goals. “The fact is,” wrote Nicolo Machiavelli, “a man who wants to act virtuously in every way comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.” Like a true Machiavellian Prince, Buhari was on occasions definitely not virtuous.

So when he learnt of Sambo’s plan the crown Prince arrived just ahead of the hour set for Ahmadu’s visit. Since Sambo was by then virtually blind, all Buhari had to do was to add to his other accomplishments the art, or rather act, of voice mimicry. And this he did so successfully as to convince Sambo that it was Ahmadu speaking. Thus Buhari was able to secure the important formula, which supposedly confirmed him as the Emir of Hadejia.

Buhari’s Rule Having established his rule, Buhari set about expanding his realm. It is true that his approach to this was less than tactful, but then expansionism was not a business for the diplomatically inclined.

His first targets were the towns in the Hadejia-Machina frontier which, with the aid of Sarkin Misau, he subdued. Then he turned southwards and invaded the wealthy region of Miga with the armed support of Shehu Umar of Bornu. Miga, incidentally, was the town where Buhari as a child learnt the recital of the holy Qu’ran………….

At Miga a counter-expeditionary force said to have included some 10,000 horses, was marshalled against Buhari, but were all put to flight by him. This emboldened him to carry out his attacks deeper and deeper into the east Kano Emirate until at one point, according to the German traveller Heinrich Barth, he marched as far as the Kano town walls.

Much closer home, Buhari stationed two of his ranking officers, the Mabudi and Jarma of Hadejia, at Kafin Hausa and Dakayyawa, respectively. Their orders were to carry out regular offensive raids along the Miga-Jahun countryside. Such constant harassment of course had the effect of seriously curtailing both farming and grazing in the affected areas: it is a very rare farmer indeed (or animal) that will stay put while some characters are constantly throwing nasty missiles all around. As a result, famine ensued in the Miga-Jahun complex.

This resulting famine might not be altogether fortuitous. It may well be that Buhari had calculated that he could achieve his goal of bringing Kano Emirate to the negotiating table through a deliberate policy of starving her subjects – the sort of policy which the late Awolowo advocated against the Biafrans over a century later. If that was indeed his plan, Buhari succeeded admirably. For barely five years of intimidation later, in about 1857, Buhari and Sarkin Kano Abdullahi reached an agreement that ceded to Hadejia a number of towns on their common boundary.

Now Buhari began to incur the displeasure of Sultan Aliyu Babba. To be sure, there had never been any love lost between the duo: after all, the Sultan would rather have had any of the other two rivals of Buhari, namely Ahmadu and Nalara, as the Emir of Hadejia. In fact, it was the execution of Sarkin Auyo Nalara by Buhari on charges of disloyalty to the crown, which finally persuaded the Sultan to take a decisive step to punish the erring Emir. In view of the eventual dismal failure of the intended penalty, he should not have bothered.

To be fair to the Sultan, before resorting to the use of force he did try to peacefully mediate between Buhari and Nalara, even to the extent of summoning both to his presence at Sokoto. The rivalry was inevitably because of Nalara’s increasingly assertive claim to the crown. His claim was by virtue of the fact that he was the first son of Yusufu, the junior brother of Sambo. But as any impartial observer will adjudicate, Buhari had a far stronger claim. So the Sultan made what he thought was a permanent conciliation between the rivals, and was infuriated to learn later that it was nothing of the sort. But by then, of course, it was rather too late……………

The man to whom fell the unenviable task of bringing the supposedly recalcitrant Emir to order was the very man who, ironically, had been the major supporter of Buhari’s succession within the Sultan’s inner circles – the Waziri of Sokoto. However, the Waziri of Sokoto was not the type of man to be worried by ironical twists. Once he had his orders from “the commander of the faithful” the Waziri would just as easily slay a man as turban him. Just what exactly were the precise orders the Waziri received as regards Buhari is still a matter of speculation. But he went about carrying them out with the seriousness of a loyal and devoted general.

Waziri Abdulkadir first landed in kano and picked up a force of Kanawa military. Under ordinary circumstances a Sultan’s delegation would go straight from Kano to Hadejia. But this was an extraordinary mission, and so the Waziri headed for Katagum instead. It was to this alleged neutral ground that the Waziri now, rather disingenuously, invited Buhari to join him for “consultations”.

Any reader of present day thrillers can easily see the net of intrigue about to be woven here. But possibly because Buhari did not read thrillers, or more likely because he felt confident enough to handle any eventualities that might arise, he accepted the invitation. As an insurance he arrived outside the gates of Katagum with a large column, which included all his central government officials and many loyal sarakuna. From there he sent word to Waziri within, that he was ready to negotiate.

But the Waziri insisted on meeting inside Katagum, claiming that he had a message from the Sultan. Buhari reluctantly agreed, and got ready to enter through one of the city gates. Had he succeeded in doing so, he probably would not have emerged alive. As it happened, a timely intervention by one of Buhari’s praise-singers, Dan Fatima, probably saved his life. “Garba, in ka shiga,” he exhorted, “ka gaida min Nalara da Sarkin Dutse Bello.” This rather poignant warning was enough to make Buhari turn back and, with his army, head back for his capital.

At this point a section of Katagumawa came into the act in a somewhat chaotic manner. Infuriated by the fact that Buhari had refused to “confer” with the Waziri, the mob followed Buhari as he moved down the road, shouting “coward”, “pagan” and other insulting names at him, and even killing a few of the rearguard. Acts of hooliganism, it would seem, are not the monopoly of British soccer fans alone.

Buhari may have departed, but he left behind a seething Waziri who was yet to accomplish his mission. Almost immediately he rallied a mixed army of Kano and Katagum troops and advanced on Hadejia, forcing Buhari and his nearest followers to flee northwards to Machina. Subsequently, the Waziri installed Ahmadu as the new Emir of Hadejia. Now mission completed, the Waziri returned to Kano.

Even at this point Buhari did not despair of peace with the Sultan, for he still sent peace offers to the Waziri in Kano. However, all his overtures were summarily rejected. Alhaji Sa’id, a well-known chronicler and a contemporary of Buhari, ventured that the Waziri was bribed by Kano sarakuna to fight Buhari rather than accept his peace overtures.

Meanwhile Buhari had moved out of Machina towards Hadejia, with a much larger following. He encamped near the capital and showed a curious reluctance to enter it. He would, at will, attack all surrounding areas but leave Hadejia town itself alone.

The reason for this behaviour was, according to oral tradition, that Buhari was averse to the idea of fighting his junior brother for the throne. It could well be that he felt his brother was no more than a pitiable pawn of the Sokoto power brokers. When in the aftermath of the battle of Takoko Ahmadu was pursued and executed by Sarkin Arewa Tatagana, Buhari was disconsolate: “why”, he lamented, “did you have to kill my poor brother.”

The battle of Takoko was itself forced on Buhari. A year after he was driven out of Hadejia, the Sultan sent Dangaladiman Sokoto to the capital. His mission was to continue where his brother, the Waziri, has left off. At Hadejia the Dangaladima and Ahmadu were joined by contingents from Kano, Katagum, Misau and Jama’are. A joint attack was then launched on Buhari at his camp, leaving him no alternative but to fight back. Indeed, Buhari used the opportunity to drive the Caliphate allies beyond Hadejia city, and re-enter the palace. In a rather hollow gesture, the Sultan now appointed Tukur, another junior brother of Buhari’s, as his own “Emir” of Hadejia. Tukur died in 1904, having lived quietly for the rest of his life in Kano and Katagum emirates.

Gamon Kaffur Barely a year after Buhari re-entered Hadejia, Sultan Aliyu organised perhaps the most menacing expedition against him. This time virtually all the major Sokoto emirates were involved. Apart from Sokoto itself, there included Zamfara, Zaria, Kano, Katagum, Bauchi, as well as Gombe, Misau and Jama’are.

According to some estimates horses alone numbered at least 20,000. The Kanawa contingents were led by Galadiman Kano Abdullahi. Overall command fell to the Sultan’s strongman, the formidable Wazirin Sokoto, though his was more or less a supervisory role only. Sarkin Miga Umaru was supposed to show the way because he was the one most familiar with the approaches to Hadejia. For all the difference that made, the expedition could as well have been guided by a blind man………

To be fair, Sarkin Miga cannot be blamed if the expedition chose to move in a formation that had always been vulnerable to an ambush. Because once the allied units converged on southern Hadejia, they had formed in solid phalanxes, moving forward in a slow, confident procession towards the capital. Somebody should have told them that that was the sort of thing you don’t do, especially in an area with which you are not thoroughly familiar. Certain units of Federal troops were fond of this type of advance during the Nigerian civil war, and were made to pay dearly by relatively ill-equipped Biafrans.

The allied expedition confident – indeed over-confident – in its numbers was oblivious to any imminent danger. They had anticipated that they will not meet any real opposition till they reached the Hadejia walls, and once there had no doubts whatsoever that they could squash any opposition Buhari could muster. How wrong they were…………

Because, as it turned out, Buhari did not stay to be surrounded in his capital, but intercepted the expedition forces at Kaffur village, six miles from Hadejia. The eventual victory of Buhari at this decisive battle owes, more than any other thing else, to the fact that he was the one who picked the field of battle. And his choice of the Kaffur terrain amply demonstrated his military genius.

Movie buffs are familiar with scenes in old westerns, where a number of Indians have suddenly appeared on a ridge dominating a plain over which certain cowboys have pitched their tents. To the helpless cowboys the Indians always seemed to materialize from nowhere, and their numbers likewise invariably appear more than is actually the case.

At Kaffur Buhari had, very much like an Indian War Chief, quietly slipped his men into position along a high ridge overlooking a broad plain containing the expedition forces. He then had his maroka drum out his well-known arrival tune to the “unorganised mass of soldiery” – according to Victor Law – resting below. What ensued was pandemonium. Barden Rinde Muhammadu vividly described the resulting melee:

“On hearing the drum beat, Galadiman Kano’s army began to flee. Instead of bridling their horses’ fronts they bridled their tails. All was confusion as they attempted to save their lives. No one stood his ground.”

In the subsequent rout that followed the general confusion, a number of prominent casualties were recorded. A son of Sarkin Zaria and three of Sarkin Kano were killed, as were seventeen sons of various Kano sarakuna. The Sultan himself lost a grandson. As for the Waziri, we was reportedly seen riding at full rein and would later surface at Shira town, some seventy miles from Kaffur.

Aftermath of Gamon Kaffur The victory at Kaffur was both materially and psychologically beneficial to the Hadejawa in general. To Buhari in particular the triumph earned him a period of non-interference from Sokoto. The Sultan simply tried to forget the Hadejia problem and probably prayed for the speedy death of Buhari. But Buhari still had a decade of his life to live, and he spent those years promoting the cause which had always been the cornerstone of his foreign policy: the expansion of the Hadejia frontier.

Marma was the first to suffer his wrath. Seizing on a disagreement with the Emir of Marma, Buhari besieged the capital, tunnelled under the town wall, and at dawn carried out a punitive attack on the inhabitants. Since then, Marma and its subject towns have become parts of Hadejia Emirate. Then in 1860 he turned his attention once again on Miga, forcing the evacuation of that district; but though it remained deserted for three years, Miga was never incorporated into Hadejia Emirate. Buhari now switched his forces to Katagum – always a problem Emirate for him. In order to capture Katagum Buhari needed an advance headquarters close to the city. And he decided that the town of Tashena would serve this purpose adequately. First though, he went to Sarkin Tashena and asked for assistance in an expedition he planned against Gorgaram, a request which was willingly granted since the Emir hated the guts of his rival at the Badde capital.

“A prudent ruler cannot, and must not honour his word when it places him at a disadvantage,” wrote the-not-so-honourable Machiavelli. Buhari couldn’t agree more. For once the Tashena cavalry had joined his own, Buhari fell on the town, killed its Emir and then made Tashena the field headquarters from which for six months he laid siege on Katagum city.

Perhaps it was poetic justice that he was unable to overcome the town, and was forced to withdraw due to overwhelming logistical problems. But he did return, this time storming through southern and central Katagum, where he unsuccessfully attacked Azare, conquered Bidir and Gambaki, and destroyed Jama’are town.

For all his conquests, Buhari’s dream of an extensive Emirate remained largely that – a dream. The truth was that he simply did not possess the manpower to keep many of the areas he conquered under any but temporary occupation. Even in his lifetime Buhari had to helplessly watch areas he conquered revert to their former status.

The ambitious Buhari finally suffered “death for his ambition”, to use a Shakespearian phrase. And, like the Caesar to whom the quote referred, he too was a victim of the treachery of his own intimate circle. In fact, had Buhari possessed the melodramatic bent of the fictitious Caesar, his last words might have been “Et tu, Haruna?” For although Haruna, another of Buhari’s brothers, did not, in the manner of Brutus, actually slay his more illustrious relative, there was not the slightest doubt that he was guilty of planning it.

Buhari’s Death On his last campaign, which was against the Badde capital of Gorgaram, Buhari found himself alone, with only a few men, at the head of one column. All his officials had hung back as he made his advance, partners in an act of premeditated desertion orchestrated by the scheming Haruna. He was struck by an arrow, and died later on the road back to Hadejia.

Late Muhammadu Buhari is remembered in Hadejia as much for his military prowess as for some of the civil contributions he made during his 15-year chequered tenure. During his time the number of administrative offices was doubled. Numerous slave-quarters as well as homes for leading figures were constructed. The royal compound itself was greatly enlarged. Indeed, all the Manyan Soraye of pre-colonial Fada dated from Buhari’s time, as did the modality of managing the Fada itself. And, as we have seen, Buhari showed little class distinction in his choice of officials.

The man might have been a rebel; but Muhammadu Buhari was not a rebel without a cause.

[1] The people of Hadejia are largely Muslim, although some follow indigenous belief systems. The town lies to the north of the Hadejia River, and is upstream from the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, an ecologically important and sensitive zone.[2]

Hadejia was once known as Biram, and is referred to as one of the "seven true Hausa states" (Hausa Bakwai),[3] because it was ruled by the descendants of the Hausa mythological figure Bayajidda and his second wife, Daurama.[4] By 1810, during the Fulani War, the Hausa rulers of the Hausa Bakwai had all been overcome by the Fulani.[5] Hadejia Emirate itself had been founded two years earlier, in 1808, and lasted until 1991, when it was absorbed into Jigawa State. In 1906 Hadejia resisted British occupation, under the then Emir (Muhammadu Mai-Shahada)[1]

Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic has its College of Agriculture at Hadejia.[6]

The Duwai language is spoken in Hadejia LGA.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Hadejia". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 2006-12-22. 
  2. ^ Muhammad J. Chiroma, Yahaya D. Kazaure, Yahya B. Karaye, Abba J. Gashua. "Water Management Issues in the Hadejia-Jama’are-Komadugu-Yobe Basin: DFID-JWL and Stakeholders Experience in Information Sharing, Reaching Consensus and Physical Interventions" (PDF). International Water Management Institute. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  3. ^ "Daura". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  4. ^ Dierk Lange. "Oral version of the Bayajidda legend" (PDF). Ancient Kingdoms of West Africa. Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  5. ^ Johnston, H. A. S (1967). "The Consolidation of the Empire". The Fulani Empire of Sokoto. Amana Online. Retrieved 2007-01-21. 
  6. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  7. ^ "Duwai". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 12°27′N 10°02′E / 12.45°N 10.04°E / 12.45; 10.04