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Potiskum is a Local Government Area in Yobe State, Nigeria, on the A3 highway at 11°43′N 11°04′E / 11.717°N 11.067°E / 11.717; 11.067Coordinates: 11°43′N 11°04′E / 11.717°N 11.067°E / 11.717; 11.067.

It had an area of 559 square kilometres (216 sq mi) and a population of 205,876 at the 2006 census. The postal code of the area is 631.[1]

Potiskum is the main settlement for the Ngizim, Kare-kare and Bolewa people. The current Emir of Potiskum Mai Umar Ibn Wuriwa Bauya was awarded a national honour of officer of the order of the Niger (OON) by the former president and commander in-chief of the armed forces of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR in 2004.

Potiskum has been a thriving trade hegemony in Yobe State because of its strategic position as a centre of commerce, learning, spiritual and cultural revival. People from neighbouring Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi and Gombe States, and numerous others from Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Benin and Central African Republic have stakes in the ‘biggest cattle market in sub-Saharan Africa,’ which is situated in Potiskum.[2]

Potiskum Cattle Market[edit]

Potiskum is the largest city in Yobe State with booming business in the area. It has one of the largest cattle market in Africa and the largest in West Africa. Most of the cattle are transported to other parts of the country.[3]

Potiskum Grain Market[edit]

Close to the cattle market is the Potiskum grain/millet market. It was estimated in 2008 to sell 500 bags of grain on market day. The millet market is the largest in north-east Nigeria. Most products are transported to other parts of the country and neighboring countries.[4]

Potiskum Airstrip[edit]

Potiskum Airstrip is located in city's GRA from the western part of the town along Kano road. The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) office in the field, which is supposed to be responsible for the transmission of air traffic information to aircraft flying over the airfield, is not fully functional as the Omni-Directional Range Equipment installed there was not equipped with computers to enable the workers scientifically spot planes hovering over Potiskum. The airport came into being during the scramble for Africa by the colonialists because Potiskum was a sprawling town in the north which was earlier annexed by Germany before the United Kingdom took over. The aim of constructing the airport was to make the movements of the white men in and out of Potiskum easy because the town was also the gateway to other nearby towns in the north, which had enhanced trading activities and other associated commercial services in the region.

Boko Haram attacks[edit]

In July 2009, Boko Haram members set a police station in Potiskum on fire during their uprising.[5]

A May 2012 attack on the Potskum cattle market left over 34 people dead, but appeared to be an attack by criminals seeking revenge, and not Boko Haram.[6][7]

On 25 December 2012, a mass shooting occurred at a church.

On 3 November 2014, at least 30 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a Shia Muslim religious procession at Faydia Islamic school.[8] Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam promised members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (ISMN) that he would demand full investigation of allegations of shootings of its members by soldiers deployed to the scene of the attack.[9][10]

On 6 November 2014, sixteen men arrested by Nigerian Army soldiers were "found dead of bullet wounds hours later." (Another source puts the number at eighteen.)[11][10]

On 10 November 2014 at least 46 boys were killed and 79 wounded, by a suicide bomber during a student assembly at the Government Science Secondary School."[12][13][14]

On 11 January 2015, four people were killed and over 40 were injured at Kasuwar Jagwal GSM market after an attack by two female suicide bombers, one of whom appeared to be about 15 years old.[15][16] A bombing involving a parked car also occurred that day, killing two people and injuring one, at the Divisional Police Station.[17]

On 13 January 2015, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam condemned the attacks, and "proposed the establishment of an Emergency Response Centre at the General Hospital in Potiskum." He stated that the medical bills for those injured in the attack would be paid, including for the injured who had been transferred to other hospitals for treatment.[18]

On 22 February 2015 there was a suicide attack.[19]

On 5 July 2015, a six people were killed in a suicide bombing.


  1. ^ "Post Offices- with map of LGA". NIPOST. Archived from the original on 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2009-10-20.
  2. ^ Ola Amupitan (August 2002). "Potiskum's Challenge to Damaturu as Yobe Capital". Fika Online. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
  3. ^ Yobe State, Nigeria Galleria, 2004.
  4. ^ Yobe State, Natural Resources and Potential for Development. Online Nigeria, 12 Feb 2003
  5. ^ Deadly Nigeria Clashes Spread. Al Jazeera English - Africa, July 27, 2009
  6. ^ [https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-17936549 Nigeria’s Potiskum Cattle Market Raid ‘Kills Dozens.’[ BBC News, May 3, 2012
  7. ^ A Resident Walks among Burnt Cattle Market in Northeast Nigerian Town of Potiskum on May 4, 2012. Getty Images. Accessed January 18, 2015
  8. ^ Musikilu Mojeed. Nigeria: Car Bomb Explosion Kills 6 in Yobe. Premium Times - allAfrica.com, December 31, 2014
  9. ^ Njadvara Musa. Nigeria: Yobe to Probe Potiskum Blast, Death Toll Rises to 30. The Guardian - allAfrica.com. Accessed January 18, 2015
  10. ^ a b Njadvara Musa. Nigeria: Yobe to Probe Potiskum Blast, Death Toll Rises to 30. The Guardian - allAfrica.com. 6 Nov 2014. Accessed January 18, 2015
  11. ^ Hamisu Kabir Matazu and Ibrahim Kabiru Sule. Nigeria: Tension in Potiskum As Soldiers Kill 18. Daily Trust - allAfrica.com, November 7, 2014
  12. ^ Nigeria School Blast in Potiskum Kills Dozens. BBC News - Africa, November 10, 2014.
  13. ^ Schiavenza, Matt. Suspected Boko Haram Suicide Bomber Kills 50 in Government Science Technical College Potiskum The Atlantic, 10 November 2014
  14. ^ Nossiter, Adam. Bomb at School in Nigeria Kills Nearly 50 Boys. New York Times, November 10, 2014
  15. ^ Ndahi Marama With Agency Reports. Nigeria: Female Suicide Bombers Kill 39 in Potiskum, Maiduguri Markets. Vanguard - allAfrica.com, 12 January 2015
  16. ^ In Pictures: Aftermath of Bombing in Nigerian Town of Potiskum. BBC News, 12 January 2015
  17. ^ Hamisu Kabir Matazu. Nigeria: Fresh Bomb Blast Kills Two Policemen in Potiskum. Daily Trust - allAfrica.com, 11 January 2015
  18. ^ Gaidam Proposes Emergency Centre At Potiskum Hospital. Channels Television, 13 January 2015
  19. ^ http://www.aljazeera.com/watch_now