|Emirate of Kano|
Gate to the Gidan Rumfa, the Emir's palace
|• Emir||Ado Bayero|
The Kano Emirate is a traditional state in Northern Nigeria with headquarters in the city of Kano, capital of the modern Kano State. Preceded by the Sultanate of Kano the Emirate was formed in 1805 during the Fulani jihad, when the old Hausa Kingdom of Kano became subject to the Sokoto Caliphate. During and after the colonial period the powers of emirate were steadily reduced. Ado Bayero became the emir in 1963, and still has great influence, although subject to the government laws and political leaders.
The Hausa Kingdom of Kano was based on an ancient settlement of Dala Hill. While small chiefdoms were previously present in the area, according to the Kano Chronicle, Bagauda, a grandson of the mythical hero Bayajidda, became the first king of Kano in 999, reigning until 1063. Muhammad Rumfa ascended to the throne in 1463 and reigned until 1499. During his reign he reformed the city, expanded the Sahelian Gidan Rumfa (Emir's Palace), and played a role in the further Islamization of the city as he urged prominent residents to convert. The Hausa state remained independent until the Fulani conquest of 1805.
Fulani conquest and rule
At the beginning of the 19th century, Fulani Islamic leader Usman dan Fodio led a jihad affecting much of northern Nigeria, leading to the emergence of the Sokoto Caliphate. Kano became the largest and most prosperous province of the empire. This was one of the last major slave societies, with high percentages of enslaved population long after the Atlantic slave trade had been cut off. Heinrich Barth, a classical scholar who spent several years in northern Nigeria in the 1850s, estimated the percentage of slaves in Kano to be at least 50%, most of whom lived in slave villages.
From 1893 until 1895, two rival claimants for the throne fought a civil war. With the help of royal slaves, Yusufu was victorious over Tukur, and claimed the title of emir.
British colonization and later history
British forces captured Kano in 1903. The 7th emir of Kano, who was in Sokoto when Kano was occupied, was captured and exiled to Lokoja where he died in 1926. The British made Kano the administrative centre of Northern Nigeria. It was replaced as the centre of government by Kaduna, and only regained administrative significance with the creation of Kano State following Nigerian independence. Although the Emir has limited formal powers, he continues to exert considerable authority and provides leadership on issues such as the tension between Christians and Muslims in the city.
Emirs of Kano under Sokoto vassalage
- Suleiman (ruled 1805–1819)
- Ibrahim (ruled 1819–1846)
- Usman I (ruled 1846–1855)
- Abdullah (ruled 1855–1883)
- Mohammed Bello (ruled 1883–1893)
- Mohammed Tukur (ruled 1893–1894)
- Aliyu (ruled 1894–1903)
Emirs during and after the colonial period:
- Muhammad Abbas (ruled 1903–1919)
- Usman II (ruled 1919–1926)
- Abdullahi Bayero (ruled 1926–1953)
- Muhammadu Sanusi (ruled 1954–1963)
- Muhammad Inuwa (ruled 1963)
- Ado Bayero (ruled 1963–current)
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