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.
Potiskum Cattle Market
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.
Potiskum Grain Market
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.
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
On 3 November 2014, at least 30 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a Shia Muslim religious procession at Faydia Islamic school. 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.
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. A bombing involving a parked car also occurred that day, killing two people and injuring one, at the Divisional Police Station.
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.
On 22 February 2015 there was a suicide attack.
On 5 July 2015, a six people were killed in a suicide bombing.
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