Northern Region, Nigeria

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Jihar Arewa Ta Trayar Jumhuriyar Najeriya
Northern Nigeria
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Aiki da Ibada
"Work and Worship"
Anthem: National Anthem of Northern Nigeria
Capital Lokoja
Largest city Kano
Official languages English
Major languages
Government Constitutional Monarchy
 -  Governors
 -  Premier of Northern Nigeria Sir Ahmadu Bello
Legislature Assembly of Northern Nigeria
 -  Upper house Senate of Northern Nigeria
 -  Lower house House of Representatives
 -  Proclamation of Protectorate 1897 
 -  Independence 15 March 1953 
 -  Republic declared 1 October 1963 
Part of a series on the
History of Northern Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
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The Northern Region was one of Nigeria's federal divisions. It was created before independence in 1960, with its capital at Kaduna. In 1962 it acquired the territory of the British Northern Cameroons, who had voted to become part of Nigeria.

In 1967 the region was split into states - Benue-Plateau State, Kano State, Kwara State, North-Central State, North-Eastern State and North-Western State. These would later be renamed and split up themselves. The North Central State's capital was Kaduna, and after further loss of territory is now known as Kaduna State.


Hausa States[edit]

The Hausa States or Hausa Kingdoms were a collection of independent city-states situated in what became Northern Nigeria. Although, the people have been Muslims for many centuries, traditional beliefs and paganism were often mixed with the practice of Islam. In the early 1808, Usuman dan Fodio, the head of the Sokoto Caliphate warned the Hausa rulers that if they didn't separate religion from paganism, a war would be waged against them. By failure to cleanse Islam from the pagan practices, the Hausa state was finally conquered by Usuman dan Fodio and incorporated into the Sokoto Caliphate. The leadership of Sokoto has helped unite the people into a centralized state. The second and the most obvious leadership of Sokoto was to unite people so people become responsible to each other and to avoid ethnic violence.

Arrival of the Hausa[edit]

Between 500 CE and 700 CE Hausa people, who had been slowly moving west from Nubia and mixing in with the local Northern and Central Nigerian population, established a number of strong states in what is now Northern and Central Nigeria and Eastern Niger. With the decline of the Nok and Sokoto, who had previously controlled Central and Northern Nigeria between 800 BCE and 200 CE, the Hausa were able to emerge as the new power in the region. Closely linked with the Kanuri people of Kanem-Bornu (Lake Chad), the Hausa aristocracy adopted Islam in the 11th century CE. By the 12th century CE the Hausa were becoming one of Africa's major powers. The architecture of the Hausa is perhaps one of the least known but most beautiful of the medieval age. Many of their early mosques and palaces are bright and colourful and often include intricate engraving or elaborate symbols designed into the facade. By 1500 CE the Hausa utilized a modified Arabic script known as Ajami to record their own language; the Hausa compiled several written histories, the most popular being the Kano Chronicle.

The Fourteen Kingdoms[edit]

The Hausa Kingdoms emerged in the 13th century as vibrant trading centers competing with Kanem-Bornu and Mali. The primary exports were leather, gold, cloth, salt, kola nuts, animal hides, and henna. Except for minor alliances, the Hausa city-states functioned independently. Rivalries generally inhibited the formation of one centralized authority.

There were fourteen Hausa Kingdoms: The "Hausa Seven" and the "Bastard Seven"

The Hausa Kingdoms began as seven states with a shared mythology with its founders being the sons of a Queen. They are known as the Hausa Bakwai meaning Hausa Seven. The states included:

The growth and conquest of the Hausa Bakwai resulted in the founding of additional states with rulers tracing their lineage to a concubine of the Hausa founding father, Bayajidda. Thus they are called the 'Banza Bakwai meaning Bastard Seven. The Banza Bakwai adopted many of the customs and institutions of the Hausa Bakwai but were considered unsanctioned or copy-cat kingdoms by non-Hausa people. These states include:

Fulani Empire and Bornu Empire[edit]

Usuman dan Fodio led a jihad against the Hausa States and finally united them into the Muslim Fulani Empire. The Fulani Empire was under the overall authority of the Commander of the Faithful, all of whom after Usman dan Fodio also used the title Sultan of Sokoto. Under him the Empire was bicephalous and divided into two territories each controlled by an appointed vizier. Each of the territories was further divided into autonomous Emirates under mainly hereditary local Emirs. The Bornu Empire was initially absorbed into the Fulani Empire of Usman dan Fodio, but broke away after a few years later.

Royal Niger Company Territory[edit]

Initially the British involvement in Northern Nigeria was predominantly trade-related, and revolved around the expansion of the Royal Niger Company, whose interior territories spread north from about where the Niger River and BENUE River joined at Lokoja. The Royal Niger Company's territory did not represent a direct threat to

History of the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria[edit]

Map of Nigeria, 1909

Northern Nigeria was a British colony formed in 1900. The basis of the colony was the 1885 Treaty of Berlin which broadly granted Northern Nigeria to Britain, on the basis of their protectorates in Southern Nigeria.

Britain's chosen Governor, Frederick Lugard, with limited resources, slowly negotiated with, and sometimes coerced, the emirates of the north into accepting British rule, finding that the only way this could be achieved was with the consent of local rulers through a policy of indirect rule which he developed from a necessary improvisation into a sophisticated political theory. Lugard left the protectorate after some years, serving in Hong Kong, but was eventually returned to work in Nigeria where he decided on the merger of the Northern Nigeria Protectorate with Southern Nigeria in 1914.

President of the House of Chiefs[edit]

Name Period
Alhaji Haruna, CMG, Emir of Gwandu ? - ?

Speakers of the House of Assembly[edit]

Name Period
Richard Doherty 1954 - ?
Alhaji Umaru Gwandu ? - ?


Coordinates: 10°31′N 7°26′E / 10.517°N 7.433°E / 10.517; 7.433