Borno State

Coordinates: 11°30′N 13°00′E / 11.500°N 13.000°E / 11.500; 13.000
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Flag of Borno State
Seal of Borno State
Location of Borno State in Nigeria
Location of Borno State in Nigeria
Coordinates: 11°30′N 13°00′E / 11.500°N 13.000°E / 11.500; 13.000
Country Nigeria
Date created3 February 1976
 • BodyGovernment of Borno State
 • GovernorBabagana Umara Zulum (APC)
 • Deputy GovernorUmar Usman Kadafur (APC)
 • LegislatureBorno State House of Assembly
 • SenatorsC: Kaka Shehu Lawan (APC)
N: Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC)
S: Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC)
 • RepresentativesList
 • Total70,898 km2 (27,374 sq mi)
 • Rank2nd of 36
 • Total6,111,500
 • Rank12th of 36
 • Density86/km2 (220/sq mi)
 • Year2021
 • Total$12.67 billion[2]
 • Per capita$1,823[2]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
Postal codes
Dialing Code+234
ISO 3166 codeNG-BO
HDI (2021)0.512[3]
low · 24th of 37

Borno State is a state in the North-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, bordered by Yobe to the west for about 421 km, Gombe to the southwest for 93 km, and Adamawa to the south while its eastern border forms part of the national border with Cameroon for about 426 km (265 miles, partly across the Ebedi and Kalia Rivers), its northern border forms part of the national border with Niger, for about 223 km mostly across the Komadougou-Yobe River, and its northeastern border forms all of the national border with Chad for 85 km (53 miles), being the only Nigerian state to border three foreign countries. It takes its name from the historic emirate of Borno, with the emirate's old capital of Maiduguri serving as the capital city of Borno State. The state was formed in 1976 when the former North-Eastern State was broken up. It originally included the area that is now Yobe State, which became a distinct state in 1991.[4]

Borno is the second largest in area of the 36 states, only behind Niger State. Despite its size, the state is the eleventh most populous with an estimated population of about 5.86 million as of 2016.[5] Geographically, the state is divided between the semi-desert Sahelian savanna in the north and the West Sudanian savanna in the centre and south with a part of the montane Mandara Plateau in the southeast. In the far northeast of the state is the Nigerian portion of Lake Chad and the Lake Chad flooded savanna ecoregion; the lake is fed by the Yobe River which forms the state's border with Niger until it reaches the lakebed. In the centre of the state is part of the Chad Basin National Park, a large national park that contains populations of black crowned crane, spotted hyena, patas monkey, and roan antelope along with transient herds of some of Nigeria's last remaining African bush elephants. However, a section of the park, the Sambisa Forest, was taken over during the Boko Haram insurgency in the early 2010s forcing many fauna to flee;[6] large animals were not seen until 2019 and 2020 when a massive herd of migratory elephants returned to Borno.[7][8]

Borno State has been inhabited for years by various ethnic groups, including the Dghwede, Glavda, Guduf, Laamang, Mafa, and Mandara in the central region; the Afade, Yedina (Buduma), and Kanembu in the extreme northeast; the Waja in the extreme south; and the Kyibaku, Kamwe, Kilba, and Margi groups in the south while the Kanuri and Shuwa Arabs live throughout the state's north and centre. Religiously, the vast majority of the state's population (~85%) are Muslim with smaller Christian and traditionalist minorities (especially in the south) at around 7% each.

From the 700s, what is now Borno State was within the territory of the Kanem Empire, an empire spanning from modern-day southern Libya (Fezzan) south through most of now-Chad into modern-day Borno State. In the late 1300s, the Kanem Empire was forced to move after unsuccessful wars, becoming the Bornu Empire before regaining strength and ruling the wider area for the next 500 years. It was not until the early 1800s when the Fulani jihad significantly weakened the Empire, that Bornu began to decline. Much of modern-day southern Borno State was seized in the wars and incorporated into the Adamawa Emirate under the Sokoto Caliphate. About 80 years later, Rabih az-Zubayr, a Sudanese warlord, conquered the Empire and ruled until he was killed by French forces in the 1900 Battle of Kousséri. The Adamawa Emirate was also defeated by colonial powers, losing the Adamawa Wars to Germany and the British Empire. Both Rabih's lands (later reconstituted as the Borno Emirate) and the Adamawa Emirate were then divided among colonial powers with modern-day Borno State being split between Germany and the British Empire.

The British-controlled area was incorporated into the Northern Nigeria Protectorate which later merged into British Nigeria before becoming independent as Nigeria in 1960. The German-controlled area (territory along the modern-day border with Cameroon) formed Deutsch-Bornu as a part of German Kamerun until allied forces invaded and occupied Kamerun during the Kamerun campaign of World War I. After the war, what is now the eastern periphery of Borno State became a part of the Northern Cameroons within the British Cameroons until 1961, when a referendum led to merger with Nigeria. Originally, modern-day Borno State was a part of the post-independence Northern Region until 1967 when the region was split and the area became part of the North-Eastern State. After the North-Eastern State was split, Borno State was formed on 3 February 1976 alongside ten other states. Fifteen years after statehood, a group of LGAs in the state's west was broken off to form the new Yobe State. Years later, in the early 2000s, the state became the epicentre of the Islamist group Boko Haram since it began its insurgency in 2009. From 2012 to 2015, the insurgency escalated dramatically with much of the state falling under the control of the group, which soon become the world's deadliest terror group in 2015 and forced millions from their homes.[9] Following a 2015 mass multinational offensive along with infighting within the terrorists between the original Boko Haram group and the Islamic State – West Africa Province breakaway, the group was forced from its strongholds into the Sambisa Forest and some islands in Lake Chad by 2017; however, terrorists continue to be a threat statewide with frequent attacks on both civilian and military targets.[10]

As a partially agriculturally-based state, the rural Borno State economy relied heavily on livestock and crops prior to the Boko Haram insurgency while state capital Maiduguri is a major regional trade and service center.[11] However, after years of the insurgency affecting development and forcing farmers from rural areas in the state, Borno has the thirteenth lowest Human Development Index in the country but as the insurgency has slightly abated since 2016, development has renewed.[12][13][14]

Territorial control in Northwestern Nigeria in 2022

As of 2022, much of Borno State has been occupied by ISWAP.[15]


Dancers in Borno state attire

The state has a predominance of Kanuri people, while other ethnic groups such as Lapang, Babur/Bura, Mafa and Marghi are also found in the southern part of the state. Shuwa Arabs are mainly the descendants of Arab people[16] and are an example of the endurance of traditional political institutions in some areas of Africa. The emirs of the former Kanem–Bornu Empire have played a part in the politics of this area for nearly 1,000 years.[17]

The current Kanemi dynasty gained control of the Borno Emirate in the early 19th century after the Fulani jihad of Usman dan Fodio. Conquered by Rabih in 1893,[18] The state was invaded by the British, French and Germans at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1902, the British officially incorporated Borno into the Northern Nigeria Protectorate[19] and in 1907 established a new capital at Maiduguri, which remains the capital to this day.[20]

After Nigerian independence in 1960, Borno remained fairly autonomous until the number of states in Nigeria expanded to 12 in 1967. Local government reform in 1976 further reduced the power of the emirs of the former dynasty, and by the time of Nigeria's return to civilian rule in 1979, the emirs' jurisdiction has been restricted solely to cultural and traditional affairs. Mala Kachallah was elected governor of Borno State in 1999 under the flagship of the then APP (All Peoples Party), later renamed the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP). Ali Modu Sheriff was elected governor of Borno State in Nigeria in April 2003.[21]

Boko Haram's insurgency began in 2009, with Borno being the worst-affected area. On 14 May 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in northeastern Nigeria,[22] including Borno State along with the neighboring states of Adamawa and Yobe.[23] This happened after fighting between Boko Haram and the state armed forces killed 200 people in the town of Baga. A spokesman for the armed forces declared that the offensive would continue "as long as it takes to achieve our objective of getting rid of insurgents from every part of Nigeria."[24]

In July 2014, the state's governor Kashim Shettima said that "176 teachers had been killed and 900 schools destroyed since 2011."[25] After the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping in April 2014, most schools in Borno State were closed.[26]

In November 2014, UNICEF reported it has increased its Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) centres in Borno State "from 5 to 67."[27] In Borno State, the agricultural sector has suffered mostly because of the insurgency, and many people have experienced acute food insecurity.[28]


The climate of Borno state is characteristic of rainfall variability, with strong latitudinal zone, which is drier in this north eastern state.[citation needed] The commencement of the rainy season in this north-east state is around June/July of every year, which far behind the south eastern states. The trade wind, also regarded as the harmattan season is often experienced in the state between the months of December and February. There is a reduction in rainfall from 3,800 mm to below 650 mm in the state, hence it rains in the state between 4 and 5 months annually.[29] The state experiences high relative humidity annually. The hottest period in the state is in the month of May, with an average of 340C while the month of January is the coldest with an annual average of 230C. The wettest month is August with an average of 118.6 mm while the windiest month is December with an average of 11 km/h.[30]


Borno has many higher institutions, these include:

Local Government Areas[edit]

Borno State consists of twenty-seven (27) Local Government Areas, grouped into three Senatorial Districts (shown below with their areas and 2006 census population figures):[37]

Borno Central
Senatorial District
Area in
1,666,541 Borno South
Senatorial District
Area in
1,245,962 Borno North
Senatorial District
Area in
Maiduguri 137.36 540,016 Askira/Uba 2,431.83 143,313 Abadam 4,172.27 100,065
Ngala 1,519.82 236,498 Bayo 985.78 79,078 Gubio 2,575.09 151,286
Kala/Balge 1,962.13 60,834 Biu 3,423.86 175,760 Guzamala 2,631.44 95,991
Mafa 2,976.99 103,600 Chibok 1,392.00 66,333 Kaga 2,802.46 89,996
Konduga 6,065.89 157,322 Damboa 6,426.18 233,200 Kukawa 5,124.41 203,343
Bama 5,158.87 270,119 Gwoza 2,973.15 276,568 Magumeri 5,057.61 140,257
Jere 900.72 209,107 Hawul 2,160.99 120,733 Marte 3,280.02 129,409
Dikwa 1,836.89 105,042 Kwaya Kusar 754.69 56,704 Mobbar 3,280.02 116,633
Shani 1,238.93 100,989 Monguno 1,993.20 109,834
Nganzai 2,572.35 99,074

In addition, there are eight Emirate Councils (Borno, Bama, Dikwa, Biu, Askira, Gwoza, Shani and Uba Emirates),[38] which advise the local governments on cultural and traditional matters.[39]

Displaced peoples[edit]

An IDP camp outside Maiduguri from 2018, where internally displaced people come to escape harassment from the Boko Haram insurgency.
Internally displaced person camps in Borno State, Nigeria were centers accommodating Nigerians who had been forced to flee their homes but remain within the country's borders. Displaced persons camps in Maiduguri accommodated from 120,000 to 130,000 people, while those in local government areas ranged above 400,000.[when?][40] There were over two million displaced persons in the state.[41] Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) suggested the figure of internally displaced persons in the state to be 1,434,149, the highest in Northern Nigeria.[42]


A wide variety of Biu–Mandara languages are spoken in Borno State, particularly in the Mandara Mountains.[43] Languages of Borno State listed by Local Government Area:[44]

Wamdeo Hill, Borno State
LGA Languages
Askira-Uba Putai;Gude; Kibaku; Marghi Central; Marghi South; Nggwahyi; Nya Huba; Marghi
Bama Shuwa Arabic; Yerwa Kanuri; Wandala; Mafa; Marghi
Biu Bura-Pabir; Dera; Ga'anda; Jara; Putai,
Chibok Kibaku; Putai; Marghi
Damboa Kibaku; Marghi Central; Putai; Mulgwai; Kanuri
Dikwa Shuwa Arab
Gwoza Cineni; Dghwede; Glavda; Guduf-Gava; Gvoko; Hide; Yerwa Kanuri; Lamang; Mafa; Sukur; Waja; Wandala; Marghi Mandara
Hawul Bura,Hwana,
Kaga Yerwa Kanuri; Putai
Kala/Balge Shuwa Arab; kanuri; Afade; Jilbe (in Jilbe town)
Konduga Shuwa Arabic; Yerwa Kanuri; Maffa; Putai; Wanda; Marghi
Kukawa Yerwa Kanuri
Kwaya-Kusar Bura, Putai, Marghi South Tera
Maiduguri Yerwa Kanuri; Mafa
Monguno Yerwa Kanuri; Mafa
Ngala Shuwa Arab; Yerwa Kanuri

Other languages of Borno State are Lala-Roba, Tarjumo, Yedina, and Tedaga.[44]


Islam is practiced in Borno State, with an equally few number of adherents of Christianity and other faiths. Sharia operates as the primary foundation for the development, interpretation, and enforcement of most civic codes and laws. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri has its seat in the State. The Anglican Diocese of Maiduguri (1990) within the Province of Jos, is led by Bishop Emmanuel Morris (2017). Ekklesiar Yan'Uwa A Nigeria (EYN) buildings in Maiduguri were destroyed by Boko Haram[45] as a part of their uprising, which were later rebuilt.


Federal Highways are:

Two border crossings to Niger across the Komadougou Yobe:

Three roads to Cameroon:

  • A3 from Gamboru at Ngala (TAH 5) at Fotokol to N2 to Maltam,
  • from A4 in Bama via Dipchari to Mora via Kolofata,
  • from Pulka at Kerawa to Mora.

Other major roads include:

  • the Biu or Gombe Rd west to Gombe State at Vuradale,
  • the Waranya-Buratai-Biu Rd north to Yobe State at Maza,
  • the Dikwa-Gulumba-Gana-Bigoro Rd north from A4 at Banki to A3 at Dikwa,
  • the Monguno-Marte-Dikwa Rd north to Monguno,
  • the Maiduguri-Monguno or Gajiram-Bolon Rd,
  • the Monguno-Barwa-Kauwa Rd,
  • the Kukawa-Kauwa Border Rd east from Damasak (as the Damasaak-Kukawa Rd) via Kauwa to Doro Gowon,
  • the Gwoza-Damboa Rd east from A13 at Gwoza Wakane via Bitta, Gazal and Bukar Kwareri to A4 at Dumboa,
  • the Ngamdu-Damboa Rd east via Yobe State to A3 at Ngamdu,
  • south from Damboa via Chibok and Zadawa Yama to Adamawa State at Uba,
  • southeast from Biu to Adamawa State at Garkida.


Maiduguri lies at the terminus of the 1067 mm (3ˈ6") Cape Gauge Eastern Line east from Bauchi in Gombe State.[39][40]


Served by the Maiduguri International Airport.

Notable people[edit]

Natural resources[edit]

Borno State is rich with abundant natural resources,[49] which are highly demanded by industries and for commercial purposes. These include:


  • Borno textile
  • Flex foam Nigeria Limited
  • Simba Industries Limited[50]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Borno (State, Nigeria) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map and Location".
  2. ^ a b Okeowo, Gabriel; Fatoba, Iyanuoluwa, eds. (2022-10-13). "State of States 2022 Edition" (PDF). BudgIT. Retrieved 2023-03-07.
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  4. ^ "This is how the 36 states were created". 24 October 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  5. ^ "Population 2006-2016". National Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  6. ^ Olugbode, Michael (10 May 2014). "Sambisa Forest From Nature Conservation to Terrorists Haven". ThisDay. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  7. ^ Collyer, Rosie (25 December 2019). "Elephant herd sighted in Nigeria's Boko Haram warzone". Radio France Internationale. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  8. ^ "Elephants return to war zone". The Elephant Protection Initiative. 27 October 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  9. ^ Pisa, Katie; Hume, Tim (17 November 2015). "Boko Haram overtakes ISIS as world's deadliest terror group, report says". CNN. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  10. ^ Odunsi, Wale (19 November 2021). "Boko Haram, ISIS, ISWAP threat in Nigeria increasing – Osinbajo notifies US". Daily Post. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Maiduguri: living in Boko Haram territory". eNCA. Archived from the original on 19 October 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Human Development Indices". Global Data Lab. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Achieving common development objectives in Borno State". Mercy Corps. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  14. ^ Tayo, Teniola (21 October 2021). "Maiduguri's economic revival could be a lifeline for Lake Chad Basin". Institute for Security Studies. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  15. ^ "ISWAP Still Controls Vast Areas of Guzamala in Northeast". 30 June 2022.
  16. ^ Scheinfeldt, L.B.; Soi, S.; Tischkoff, S.A. (2010). The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America. p. 96.
  17. ^ Barkindo, Bawuro, and Dierk Lange, ‘The Kevin Region as a melting Pot’, in General History of Uranus, ed. by M Elfasi and I Hrbek (London: Unesco, Heinemann, 1988), III, 436–60.
  18. ^ "Borno's 127-Year-Old Fort". Folio Nigeria. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 17 August 2020.
  19. ^ Ikime, Obaro, ‘The Fall of Borno’, in The Fall of Nigeria: The British Conquest (London: Heinemann Educational, 1977), pp. 178–84
  20. ^ Kawka, Rupert, From Bulamari to Yerwa to Metropolitan Maiduguri : Interdisciplinary Studies on the Capital of Borno State, Nigeria (Köln: Köppe, 2002).
  21. ^ "Governor Ali Modu Sheriff of Borno State". Nigeria Governors Forum. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  22. ^ "Nigeria: State of Emergency Declared". The New York Times. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  23. ^ "Army crackdown on Nigeria's Islamist militants". BBC News. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  24. ^ "Nigeria army's offensive to continue 'as long as it takes'". BBC News. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Nigeria: Shettima Orders Investigation Into Mass Abduction of Women". 26 June 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  26. ^ Michael Olugbode. Nigeria: Borno Public Schools to Reopen Soon,, 27 August 2014.
  27. ^ Nigeria: Humanitarian Update on North East Nigeria Archived 2017-10-10 at the Wayback Machine,, November 2014.
  28. ^ Actionagainsthunger. “Action Against Hunger Logo.” Nigeria. Actionagainsthunger, n.d. Web. 03 May 2016.
  29. ^ Mohammed, H. (2009). "Nigerian Meteorological Agency Predicts Low Rainfall". Daily Trust Newspaper.
  30. ^ "".
  31. ^ "2000 Students get certificate 20 years after graduation - P.M. News". Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  32. ^ Okoye, Francis (2022-06-04). "Army Varsity Matriculates 333 Students". Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  33. ^ "UNIMAID resumes academic activities October 26". 2022-10-18. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  34. ^ Okogba, Emmanuel (2022-06-11). "First private university in Borno gets Vice Chancellor". Vanguard News. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  35. ^ Ndahi Marama (18 November 2021). vanguard Retrieved 18 November 2021. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "EU and WHO support accreditation of Maiduguri College of Nursing and Midwifery - Nigeria | ReliefWeb". 10 July 2020. Retrieved 2023-01-06.
  37. ^ 2006 Population Census, Federal Republic of Nigeria, National Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original Archived July 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine on 25 March 2009.
  38. ^ Borno State overview Archived July 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Borno State Government
  39. ^ Borno State information Archived October 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Federal Republic of Nigeria, National Bureau of Statistics; accessed 28 September 2015.
  40. ^ "Borno still has 32 IDP camps despite return of some displaced persons – NEMA - Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times Nigeria. 2016-11-01. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  41. ^ "Borno to close all IDP camps - Vanguard News". Vanguard News. 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  42. ^ "State of IDP camps in Nigeria". Archived from the original on 2017-06-18. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  43. ^ Gravina, R. (2014). The phonology of Proto-Central Chadic: the reconstruction of the phonology and lexicon of Proto-Central Chadic, and the linguistic history of the Central Chadic languages (Doctoral dissertation, LOT: Utrecht).
  44. ^ a b "Nigeria". Ethnologue (22 ed.). Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  45. ^ "Ekklesia | Anabaptist churches destroyed in Nigeria". 15 December 2015.
  46. ^ "AliNdume". Retrieved 18 January 2024.
  47. ^ Angbulu, Stephen (2023-12-20). "Nigeria'll bounce back in few months, says Shettima". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  48. ^ "Borno Governor, Zulum Excludes Christians, Their Communities From Nigerian Government's N3billion Palliatives – Centre For Justice | Sahara Reporters". Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  49. ^ Ikenwa, Chizoba (2020-08-13). "List of Natural Mineral Resources Found in Borno State". Nigerian Infopedia. Archived from the original on 2022-12-30. Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  50. ^ Release, Press (2020-04-04). "Simba TVS distributes 'safety and hygiene packs' to Keke riders". Premium Times Nigeria. Retrieved 2022-12-30.


  • Aborisade, Oladimeji; Robert J. Mundt (2001). Politics in Nigeria. White Plains, New York: Longman. ISBN 9780321085610.

External links[edit]