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First draft: comment, objection, criticism, recommendations are highly welcome pls.



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APRIL 2012


Acknowledgment -























Pataskum Etymology The Ngizim People History of Ngizim -

Who Are The Bulala People? Who Are The Zaghawa People? The Sayfawa Dynasty -



Pataskum Emirate Council

Kanem-Borno Empire and Ngizim People

Pre-Colonial Mais/Kachalla of Pataskum Emirate British Colonialist and Pataskum Chiefdom -

Auto-Biography of Reinstated and Reaffirmed Mais of Pataskum (1993-Date Ngizim Annual Festivities -

Musical Instruments and Traditional Dance of Ngizim

Marriage System Naming Ceremony Funeral Rite -











Some Historical Monuments of Potiskum Clans of Ngizim people Ngizim Calendar Further Readings -



Alhamdulillah, All praise and gratitude are due to Allah (SWT) the most merciful, most beneficient, the cherisher of the world, and master of the Day of Judgment. Thee alone we worshipped and Thee alone we seek help. I thank Thee for giving me the strength, health, ability, and endurance that makes the accomplishment of this book possible. May the peace and blessing of Allah (SWT) continue to descend on our noble prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), his companions, and those that adhere to his Sunnah till the Day of Judgment.

This manuscript, like any other has a long ancestry. Many people and experiences have shaped my thinking over the years. In this respect, it is honest and accurate to say that work on this manuscript began a long time ago. Despite this qualification, what follows is primarily the product of five years of direct involvement and consultation of historians, books, pamphlet, and objections written for Ngizim people or against them.

However, I will be remiss if I did not specifically mention some individuals who contributed to my development. Though, they cannot be held responsible for anything I have written, their names follows: Alhaji Muhammad Giwa, Sadiq Giwa, Adamu Umar Dakasku (Baffale), Ali Izala, Usman Abubakar Maidede (Bobs), Saleh john Lawan, Maidede family (kunuzgatam family), Musa Danchuwa Family and more importantly Pataskum emirate council.


To others, who left their mark on these pages, I extend my appreciation specifically to Malam Usman Garba Potiskum (Babayo mai tarihi). Malam Usman has been an indispensable resource for Ngizim people, and has much resource that is yet to be exploited. Most of the materials used were collected from him, and he was involved in the transcription of all of them. I am indebted to Haruna john Lawan for his advice and my company AMAD Investment Nigeria limited for typing the work. Above all, I want to thank Alhaji Musa Abdullahi Danchuwa for his direct involvement and support; financially, morally, and his objective criticism. This manuscript would not have even been contemplated, let alone completed without him.

Finally, I wish to thank everybody who assisted me in the course of my study “wisdom and power belongs to Allah alone.”


BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Potiskum is a local government area in Yobe state, located at latitude 110 42 „33‟ N and longitude 11o 04 „10‟ E of Sahel savannah region in Nigeria, it has an area of 559km square, and has a population of 205,876.00 as of census 2006, the post code of the area is 631. The town shares a common boundary with Fune local government to the east, Fika local government to the southwest, Nangere local government to the northwest, and situated about 96km west of Damaturu (the state capital). Potiskum local government was created in 1992. Potiskum has a busting economic activities; tourist could easily mistake this town for state capital. While Potiskum is not the capital of Yobe state, this settlement is evidently important as an ancient centre of power and civilization, and as well a prosperous modern city. Potiskum is

headquartering Pataskum Emirate as well as Ngizims cultural centre. If we flash way back, Potiskum was a victim of British “divide and ruin” policy which led to the status of the indigene‟s traditional stool being down-graded. Potiskum was a town where a traditional ruler was hanged by British colonialist over a dubious trial. It was strongly believed that the man‟s charge over alleged murder was successful to justify the British plot to get the hugely popular ruler out of the way. Some of the biblical sources say the British first set foot on Potiskum in 1835, however, colonial domination and overthrown got to this town in 1902. PATASKUM ETYMOLOGY Potiskum is actually supposed to be spelt as “PATASKUM” for this is the epithet by which the founding father of this settlement, Bauya, identified his town. Interestingly, British invader, ever so uninterested in proper pronunciation of foreign names, foisted “POTISKUM” on this town. Sadly,

corrupt version, like the proverbial bad penny, would not go away and has stuck to this day. In fairness to the British interlopers, they were not the only ones guilty of wrongful spelling or pronunciation of this settlement‟s name. A pamphlet titled “a brief history of pataskum emirate,‟ reveals that another type of this corruption appeared very early in Arabic manuscript collected in Kumasi (Ghana) by Thomas Bowditch, where the name, potiskum or kuskum‟ is listed as one of the large towns on the route from Borno to Onnogoora.‟ The pamphlet, issued by the information Division of Pataskum Emirate, further states. It is therefore evident that the use of the name Pataskum and its corrupt form had started as far back as 1817 AD. Just as Pataskum turned out as kuskum, Onnogoora could well have referred to any town in the ancient Kanem- Empire or even beyond. It was not clear why Bauya named his town as “Pataskum.” According to oral tradition, the town was named after an earlier Ngizim figure. While another source says Bauya looked to the nature of his immediate environment for inspiration. On his part, Babayo1 observed that the town‟s name could have derived from a local tree. Interestingly, this view dovetails with the thinking that “the nature of Bauya‟s environment” contributed to the choice of Pataskum as name of this town. “Skum” is a local plant, which all Ngizims hold in high esteem; “Pata” means forest or health in the Ngizim language. In ancient times skum was used as an oracle, it was also important in divination. For example, people consulted this oracle before setting out on a journey. The practice involved using a piece of skum stick in the probe, which called for the slaughter animals, example; a fowl. After the killings of this animal, and performance of accompanying rituals, the offering would be dropped on the ground. If the dead animal rested on its back, it was good sign. But, contrary was the case, where the body landed on its side or lay face down. In those bygone days, the leader of each Ngizim household also kept a piece of skum by his


Pataskum Emirate Museum curator/ Babayo Mai Tarihi


“gula” (bed). This twinge served as a bedside medicine chest. Frequently, such bedside cabinet served as reminder to its owner to take prescribed drugs and so on. It is worth nothing that at its level, Pataskum Emirate council has refused to use the adulterated version of their town‟s name, preferring to stick to the authentic Pataskum. At the universal level, however, efforts to restore this settlement‟s original name seem like a lost battle; after all, maps, government documents, signboards e.t.c carry the adulterated spelling. THE NGIZIM PEOPLE The Ngizim people (Ngizmawa, Ngezzim) lives mostly in Yobe state, north eastern Nigeria. Ngizim people are the dominant people who live in the area to the east and south of Potiskum (the largest city in Yobe state) as well in Potiskum town, which was originally an Ngizim town. Ngizim populations once inhabited parts of old Bornu and settled in places like Ngazargamu, Njimi, Kukawa, Fune, Potiskum, Bursari, Dapchi, Kayari, Gashua, Fika e.t.c they also settled in the old kano states in places like Hadejia, Riruwai e.t.c but some of them have lost their cultural identity after being assimilated into other ethnic groups. The Ngizim people speak a Chadic language also called Ngizim. They are part of a larger group of tribes called the Kanuri. The Kanuri are the dominant group in the region, like all the Kanuri people, the Ngizim people are tall and dark skinned. Most of the Ngizim people are farmers; they grow millet as their main crop, and grow corn, sorghum and peanuts. They raise sheep, goats and some horses. Horses are a symbol of importance and prestige to Ngizim people. They look stately and dignified and are proud of their past and present leadership in governing Yobe State, Muslim Sultanate of Yoa and kanem-Bornu Empire as well. The most important physical feature that distinguished an Ngizim man from other tribes is his tribal marks. This was prior to the 1924s when the british crusaders created a lot of bad impressions about it, which leads to the discouragement of tribal marks, from 1950s onward, a good number of ngizim people preferred to remain without their tribal

marks. However, some still have tribal marks, but with much modifications from the ancient traditional marks. The usual pattern was to have the marks drawn from the forehead across their face. The word Ngizim have been corrupted in so many texts, instances of this by various historians and anthropologists include addressing Ngizim people as Nguzum, Ngwazim, N‟gazim, Ngojin, Ngazar, Nkazara, Guzumawa and even Nguidjim, among others. Whatever they called, Ngizim are industrious people, who believe in justice and fair-play. They would not go out scheming to cheat, and are quick to rise against any plot to outsmart them. That is why they are regarded as veteran warriors by the then colonialist. There is a branch of Ngizim in Chad republic called Nguidjim, who uses local board2 as there symbol of authority. They use the local board because they are Islamic propagators who migrated to Africa from Yemen. They have two first class emirs in Chad republic and are situated in Sudan boarder, central Chad and Cameroon boarder. The tradition has it that one Ali Ngizimami was the uncle of Bulala people, However, the Ngizim people traces there origin to Yemen, there is also a close historical relationship between them and the Teshinawa of Gugai, katagum region. The Teshinawa are in turn related to the Gazara both of which related to the Ngizim because they speak similar language to that of Ngizim. In another tradition, the Ngizim, Bade, Teshinawa and the Gazara are referred to as the “Badu” (herdsmen) by the Kanuri, having inter-married with the kyari or Amakitau; they formed the bulk of the Bulala-Ngazar in Borno. Ngizim villages are different sizes; most villages contain walled-in compounds surrounding several mud or grass houses with thatched, cone-shaped roofs. This type of house is very cool during the hot season. Farmlands surround each settlement. The household, not the family itself, is the important unit in Ngizim life. The head man of a household gains importance by the number of Ngizim who live in


“Alllo in hausa language”


his household. Sometimes young men are loaned3 to households to help with field labor and to help defend the family. In return, the head of the household gives that young man clothing, feeds him, pays his bride price and perhaps provides a bride for him. Ngizim men marry when they are in their early twenties and a man may have as many as four wives. For festivals and ceremonies the Ngizim men wear large robe-type garments worn with turbans or brightly woven caps. The loose fitting robes keep the men cool in the heat. Ngizim men are wonderful drummers, their festivals and ceremonies usually feature drumming and dancing. Majority of Ngizim people follow the beliefs of Islamic faith. The Muslim holy book (the holy Qur‟an) teaches, peace, tolerance, justice, unity and that man is important and has supreme authority in his household. HISTORY OF NGIZIM Ngizim is a Chadic language spoken mostly in Yobe State of northeastern Nigeria. Specifically, it is a West Chadic language of the “B” sub-group and is closely related to Duwai and Bade. Before the Fulani jihad of 1804, the history of Ngizim people was closely linked with that of the Bornu Empire. By 1472, when the capital of Bornu Empire, birnin Ngazargamu, was established, the Ngizim had gained a reputation as formidable warriors. As they consolidate their influence over parts of modern-day Yobe state, their cultural capital Potiskum became a regional center. Ngizim has a tradition of long distance migration from a place called birnin-badr, to the south west of Mecca. After a long sojourn, they arrived at the banks of the kumadugu, Yobe River. Linguistic classifies the Ngizim as Chadic group whose speakers are said to be the peoples inhabiting Borno and the area to the west of Lake Chad from time immemorial. Another sources by leo-africana referred the group under the general name zingani and by the 16th C, the Ngizim were concentrated to the south and west of N’gazargamu. The southern Ngizim who lived in settlements like Muguram, Gamajan, and


The head of a household takes his relative in his house and treat him as a child.


Daura (Dawura) were also generally found in the Gujba plain. While the western Ngizim or Binawa according to H.R Palmer lived in the region from teshena northeast wards to the banks of the lower Yobe. The Ngizim moved into Potiskum area in migratory streams from both the west and the east. The earliest stream arrive Potiskum area from the west and settled at Ngojin and other places under the leadership of Mai Jalo who founded Ngojin in the 16th Century. According to Professor J.E lavers, the Ngizim again moved from their main centres in Gazir province in the 2nd half of the 18th C. They moved south to the Potiskum region where they met earlier migrants that settled at Ngojin. This latter group built the old Potiskum also refers to by the name KEISALA4 and evolved the institution of DUGUM AU or SARKIN HATSI. Another group of Ngizim arrived Potiskum in the 19th Century under the leadership of BAUYA from Ngazargamu and settled at Yarimaran (eastward to potiskum town). There was an argument on the real name of Bauya, because the name Bauya was a traditional title name in Ngizim culture. Some people are of the view that Bauya named Yarimaran from his real name meaning “Yarima Mammadu” Through consensus accommodation and the role his group played as war commanders in the protection of the settlement, Bauya‟s authority gradually supersede that of the Dugun Au or Sarkin Hatsi. Bauya‟s successors built a new walled town which became modern Potiskum. They ended the menance of HAMMA-WABI5, which distinguished themselves as warriors occurred in the first half of the 19th Century by DANGARI, the 4th kachalla of Pataskum, during the battle shekau (thlikau also spelt Tikau) in 1824 as a phenomenal conquest, so also, he ended the menance of Dawura under the command of Mai Taida who had organized an incursion into Potiskum. Subsequently, the kachalla relocated their centre of power, from the old settlement (keisala) into a walled town (Pataskum).

4 5

As one of the towns where gallantry Ngizim people came to the fore A jihadist of Dilara origin and also a Fulani warlord


Unfortunately, their leader, Dangari, did not live long enough to transfer to new settlement. However, the 5th kachalla, DAWI, brother of Dangari, executed that relocation successfully. They ended the treat posed by neighboring settlement which was attacking Potiskum e.g. Dawura, they maintained good relations with Borno and even collected a staff of office from SHEHU UMAR. Furthermore, they also borrowed institutions like Kachalla, Mai, which contributed towards their centralization efforts. As a consequence of all these achievements, all the other Ngizim settlements came to recognize Potiskum as there cultural centre and almost all of them had their rulers appointed or confirmed by the Mai Pataskum. Before the arrivals of colonialists in the area, Potiskum town alone was divided into seven wards, each headed by Kachalla. When the British arrived, they simply confirmed Mai Bundi, the 14th ruler of Potiskum in his over lordship of the Ngizim and karai-karai, and recommended him for the award of a second class staff of office, which was no doubt in recognition of the size and importance of Potiskum. Potiskum emirate flourished under its Kachalla and later Mai as an independent and sovereign chiefdom, side by side with Fika chiefdom to the south. They are said to have shared a common border at the side of the present day Damshi or Pokkitok, none of the two chiefdoms was subordinate to the other, except for friendly trading relations between them. Sudanese oral tradition do not also remember any instance of war between the two, rather they are said to have cooperated during war against a common enemy. The creation of the entity known as Fika emirate and the forceful incorporation of Potiskum chiefdom was the handwork of the colonialist. They imposed the emir of Fika on all the other peoples who revolted by, and they were violently put down in 1915AD. There is a view that the migration of the emir of Fika to Potiskum was responsible for the development of settlements from a small village to a big town, but according to Muhammad S.A (2000);


the reality of the colonial situation was such that the emir was a subordinate official and essentially a tax collector of the colonial government. He had no control over the economy at all. He was controlled by the British who received the taxes and decided the building of towns, road, and dispensaries e.t.c however; the reality of the situation is that the construction of kano-Maiduguri road and the general improvement of communication further attracted people to settle in Potiskum which also assumed significance as a flourishing commercial centre. It is common knowledge that the colonialists generally constructed roads, railways to the hinterland to facilitate the evacuation of raw materials and commercial activities. Those areas which had little or non to offer were not opened. In September 1909, a colonial officer called for the deposition of the then Potiskum king, whom the alien accused of being „incapable of administration action‟. In May 1913, one HEWBY, then resident of Borno, had dispatched a telegram proposing further “progressive administrative measure” against the then monarch. This led to balkanization of the ruler‟s domain and eventual deposition of the then monarch, Mai Agudun, on May 13th of that year, “on the ground that after patient trial for some years, Mai Agudun had proved impossible as a ruler”. Sadly, the tragedy did not end there, for the deposed chief was later hanged, after a dubious trial for murder. The history of the first 12 years of the reign of Mai Idris Aloama of Borno (1571-1583) by Imam Ahmad Ibn Furtua throws much light on the origin of Ngizim people. This history is contained in a document titled “tarikh Marfarma/masbama”. HR Palmer said there are various forms of this name which though they are distinguished seem to denote the same people – N‟gizim, Ngujam, Ngazar, N‟gissam. In another parts of the notes, he tells us that Birnin Ngazargamu was founded by Mai Ali Gaji Dunamani in about 1462, who acquired the site from the Ngizim that live in the region. The name of the capital is correctly spelled Ngazar-gamu or Ngazar-kumu. The first part of the word signifies that the previous inhabitants of the region where Ngazar or Ngizim. The latter part of the word „gamu‟ or

„kumu‟ is the same as the first part of the word „Gwombe‟ and means either (I) chief or king or (ii) ancestral spirit. Ngizim have more in common with Bade than with any other ethnic group. In 1962, a paper by H.R palmer, a former resident of Borno province, identified the Ngizim as the inhabitant of the fittri region. However, the native of fittri were descendents of a fusion of the clan of kyari (also called zaghawa) and the Ngizim producing a new strain known as Bulala, people of the kingdom of Goaga or Gondola. It is easy to believe that Ngizim are closely related to various other ethnics, going by various reports indicating that the Ngizim flowed in two main streams to their present homeland. This is why this people are classified into two groups of southern and Northern Ngizim. Whether northern or southern Ngizim, this people played enviable roles in the development of their environment. For example, even in the old kanem-borno empire, many Ngizim held exalted offices. These outstanding personalities of Ngizim extraction included GAMARU, NASR BULTU, WAZIRI KABIR KURSU IBN HARUN and SIR KASHIM IBRAHIM. Although the roles of Gamaru were not spelt out, Nasr Baltu was a mediator between western Ngizim and the Mai Idris Aloama‟s government and Waziri Kabir Kursu Ibn Harun was a unique warrior, and was constantly given the enviable rank of commander-in-chief of the Army during the reign of the famous Mai Idris Aloama (1571–1585). The Sudanese oral tradition and translation of a number of Arabic manuscripts relating to the central and western Sudan also gathered by Palmer, describe the Ngizim as “great people in the land of kanem” these sources also states that Ngizim were very numerous and strong in war. Palmer referred to the Ngizim as “people of saif” so also, the Ngizim people believes their ancestry lay in Asia, possibly Yemen, and that they are related to lord Aba Othman Ibn Affan.


In 1993, the then government, reinstated and reaffirmed the stool of Ngizim people after a critical study of there history with appointment of Alhaji Muhammad Atiyaye as Mai Pataskum in August 1993. Sadly, the status of this throne had been degraded to 3rd class in that year, and then the ruler had also passed on after barely two months in the saddle. After his death, the crown fits Alhaji Umaru Bubaram Ibn Wuriwa Bauya I as the 25th Mai Pataskum, a grandson of Mai Bundi 11, ruler of Potiskum from 1902 to 1909. Unfortunately, the joy of enthronement was short-lived, as his rule was interrupted two years later, following the dissolution of the Emirate on January 11th, 1995 by Police Commissioner Dabo Aliyu (rtd) during the military regime of Gen Sani Abacha. During the early part of the 20th century, the Ngizim rebelled against the Fika Emirate, which had been given political control over them by the colonial authorities. To God be the glory, the royal father was reinstated in the year 2000 by His Excellency the former executive governor of Yobe state Alh. Sen. Dr. Bukar Abba Ibrahim the “Sardauna of Pataskum” WHO ARE THE BULALA PEOPLE? The Bulala or bilala, are Muslim people that live around Lake Fittri in the batha prefecture, in central Chad. The last Chadian census in 1993 stated that they numbered 136,629 persons. Their language Naba is divided in four dialects and is in the Nilo-Saharan group; it is shared by two of their neighbors, the Kuka and the Medogo. These three peoples are collectively known as Lisi and are believed to be descendants of main ethnic groups of Sultanate of Yoa. They first appeared in the 14th century near Lake Fittri as a nomadic clan led by scions of the sayfawa dynasty. They were originally a political entity that came about as a result of fusion of kyari (zaghawa) and Ngizim.


Inhabitant of the fittri region settled east of the Kanem Empire‟s power killing five of six of the Kanem‟s mais (kings) between 1376 and 1400. At the end the Bulala conquered kanem and forced the kanem Mais to migrate to Bornu. As a result the Bulala put their hands on kanem founding in the 15 th century and founded the Muslim sultanate of Yoa. But the kanem-Bornu empire counter-attacked a century later under Ali Gaji, and at the end kanem was retaken by Ali‟s son after a great battle at GarinKiyala, forcing the Bulala to move east, where they were to remain menance for centuries to kanemBornu. It contained also to be a flourishing kingdom: the traveler leo-africana even thought that the bulala‟s reign was richer than kanem-Bornu for its prosperous trade with Egypt. Their power survived in diminished form till colonialism, when they submitted to the French, in Chad republic. WHO ARE THE ZAGHAWA PEOPLE? The zaghawa (also spelled zakhawa) are on ethnic group of eastern Chad and western Sudan, including Darfur. The kanemite royal history, the girgam refers to the zaghawa people as the Duguwa. Today zaghawa refers to the as the Beri, while the name “zaghawa” comes from the nearby Arab peoples and became better known. They have their own language, which is also called zaghawa, and the breed of sheep that they herd is called zaghawa by the Arabs. They are semi-nomadic and obtain much of their livelihood through herding cattle, camels and sheep and harvesting wild grains. It has been estimated that there are between 75,000 and 350,000 zaghawa. While they are not very powerful in Sudan, they politically dominated Chad. President Idriss Deby and several former prime ministers of Chad are zaghawa, as well as many other members of the government. Thus the Chadian zaghawa are among the richest and influential people of Chad. The zaghawa have been among the tribes in Darfur who have been referred to as “African” even as other tribes that have fought with them are called “Arabs”.


THE SAYFAWA DYNASTY Sayfawa dynasty or more properly sefuwa dynasty is the name of the kings (or Mai, as they called themselves) of kanem-Bornu empire, centered first in kanem in western Chad, and then after 1380, in Bornu (northeastern Nigeria). Theories on the origin of this dynasty vary. Many scholars assert that it may have been rooted in a tubu expansion or comprised an indigenous dynasty. Other theories have also been made. The German historian Dierk Lange has argued that the advent of the sayfawa dynasty came in the 11th century, when Hummy consolidated Islam in kanem. Lange adds that Hummay‟s advent represented the ascent of a Berber dynasty over the previous Duguwa zaghawa one. In the Islamic period, the sayfawa themselves claimed as their eponymous ancestor the late preIslamic Yemenite hero sayf Ibn Dhi Yazan, hence their amended name sayf-awa. This tradition was first mentioned by the Andalusian scholar Ibn said in the 13th century, and Lange believes it to be mainly the fruit of the presentation of an indigenous tradition by Muslim scholars who arrived to kanem from regions where Himyarite traditions were strong. Formerly must historian thought that the leaders of this new dynasty belonged to the indigenous kanembu. The dynasty is one of the longest living Africans, and lost there throne in 1846. PATASKUM EMIRATE COUNCIL This is a traditional state in Nigeria, with headquarters in Yarimaran, Potiskum local government area, Yobe state. The emir holds the title of Mai. The state was first formed in 1809 by a chief of the Ngizim people named Mai Bauya. During the British colonial period in 1915, Potiskum was merged into the Fika emirate, which made its headquarters in Potiskum town in 1924. The emirate was restored by former Yobe state governor Bukar Abba Ibrahim on 5 august 1993, when he splits the states four emirates into 13. This changed was reversed by the military regime of Sani Abacha that took control latter that year. In his second term after the return of democracy, on 6 January 2000, Bukar Abba

Ibrahim re-implemented the new emirates adding Ngazargumo, Gujba, Nguru, Tikau, Pataskum, Yusufari, Gudi, Fune and Jajere. It is worthy that the history of Pataskum has continuity as one of its distinct characteristic. After Bauya, all except one ruler of Pataskum (Mai Muhammad Atiyaye) were his direct descendants. The line of descendant was not interrupted even after the imposition of the colonial rule, and the conversion of Mai to a mere village head. The history of the emirate is therefore, remarkably eventual and its restoration represents return of history, culture and tradition of Pataskum. The ultra modern palace was commissioned by former governor of Yobe state Bukar Abba Ibrahim. The palace was the scene of gathering on 30th January 2009 of monarchs, civil servant, local and international businessmen and politicians, intellectuals; these personalities include former president of Nigeria Late Alh. Umaru Musa „Yar‟Adua GCFR, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), senate president David mark, former senate presidents and secretary to the federal government Anyim Pius Anyim, Adolphus Wabara, Sultan of sokoto, shehu of Bornu, serving and former governors, senators, members states and national assemblies, serving and former ministers, permanent secretaries, to mention but few, paying their tribute to Mai Pataskum over the death of there son and former governor of Yobe state, senator Mamman Bello Ali (May His soul rest in perfect peace) who died in the united states of America after a brief illness. KANEM-BORNO EMPIRE AND NGIZIM PEOPLE Kanem-Bornu Empire, African state, in the Lake Chad region, that lasted for a thousand years, from the 9th to the 19th century. It was founded by the Kanuri, a mixed negroid and Berber people living east of Lake Chad, and was ruled by mais, or kings, of the Sayfawa dynasty, with a capital at Njimi. The northern region‟s first well-documented state was the kingdom of kanem, by the 9th century

AD. Kanem profited from trade ties with North Africa and the Nile valley, from which it also received Islam. The saifawas (Kanem‟s ruling dynasty), periodically enlarged their holdings by conquest and marriage into the ruling families of vassal states. The empire, however failed to sustain a lasting peace. During one conflict-ridden period sometime between the 12th and 14th centuries, the saifawas were forced to move across Lake Chad into Bornu, in what is now far north eastern Nigeria. There, the kanem intermarried with the native peoples, and the new group became known as the Kanuri. The Kanuri state, centered first in kanem and then Bornu, is well known as the kanem-Bornu empire, hereafter to as Bornu

The Kanuri eventually returned to Chad and conquered the empire lost by the Saifawas. Its dominance thus secured, Bornu became a flourishing center of Islamic culture that rivaled Mali to the far west. The kingdom also grew rich in trade, which focused on salt from the Sahara and locally produced textiles. In the late 16th century, the Bornu king Idris Aloama expanded the kingdom again, and although the full extent of the expansion is not clear, Bornu exerted considerable political influence over Hausa land to the west. In the mid- and late 18th century, severe droughts and famines weakened the kingdom, but in the early 19th century Bornu enjoyed a brief revival under al-Kanemi, a shrewd military leader who resisted a Fulani revolution that swept over much of Nigeria. Al-Kanemi‟s descendants continue as traditional rulers within Borno State. The Kanem-Bornu Empire ceased to exist in 1846 when it was absorbed into the Wadai sultanate to the east.

There are various references to Ngizim people in kanem-Borno history as early as the days of the kanem civil wars. It can be said that the Ngizim people have played a considerable role in moving the capital of the empire from Njimi to N‟gazargamu. Quoting H.R palmer “other clans of the kyari (zaghawa) came down to the region of lake Fittri from Wadai, but evidently that took place after 1259 A.D. it is the fusion of these new clans of kyari with the inhabitants of the fittri region (called in the


tradition Ngizim) which gave rise to a separate political entity which arose in the fittri region about 1350 A.D and was called Bulala. From another source we find a reference to the Ngizim being one of the earliest groups to migrate from Kanem “according to Bornu tradition, the bade and the related Ngizim of Potiskum – who today comprise of the emirate of bade and Pataskum emirate were the first people to migrate from kanem round the north side of lake Chad and reach the kumadugu Yobe, at the time when So were still the dominant power in Bornu. Kanem‟s expansion peaked during the long and energetic reign of Mai Dunama Dabbalemi (c.a 1221-1259), also of the sayfawa dynasty. Dabbalemi initiated diplomatic exchange with sultans in North Africa and apparently arranged for the establishment of a special hostel in Cairo to facilitate pilgrimages to Mecca. During his reign, he declares jihad against the surrounding tribes and initiated an extended period of conquest. His wars of expansion reached as far north as the Fezzan, allowing kanem control of the northern trade routes. The empire‟s influence also extended westward to Kano (in present day Nigeria), eastward to Quaddai and southward to the Adamawa grasslands (in present day Cameroon). Because of the degree of control extended over the tributes weekend corresponding to the amount of distance between the tributary and the capital, Njimi. Dabbalemi devised a system to reward military commanders with authority over the people they conquered. This system, however, tempted military officers to pass their positions to their sons, thus transforming the office from one based on achievement and loyalty to the Mai into the one based on hereditary nobility. Dabbalemi made attempts to suppress this tendency, but after his death, dissention among his sons weakened the political authority of sayfawa dynasty, dynasty feuds degenerated into civil war, and Kanem‟s outlying people soon ceased paying tribute. By the end of the fourteen century, internal struggles and external attacks had torn kanem apart. Between 1376 and 1400, six mais reigned, but Bulala invaders (from the area around Lake Fittri to the

east) killed five of them. This proliferation of mais resulted in numerous claimants to the throne and led to a series of internecine wars. Finally, around 1396 the Bulala forced Mai Umar Idris to abandon Njimi and move the kanembu people to Bornu on the western edge of Lake Chad. With the new center of the empire at Bornu, it became known as the Bornu Empire. Over time, the intermarriage of kanembu and Bornu people created a new people and language, the Kanuri. With control over both capitals, the sayfawa dynasty became more powerful than ever. The two states were merged, but political authority still rested in Bornu. Kanem-Bornu peaked during the reign of the outstanding statesman mai Idris Aluma (c. 1571-1603). The Bornu Empire entered into a second period of expansion in the late fifteenth century under the rule of Mai Ali Gaji (1471-1504). Under his leadership, the Bornu Empire significantly expanded westward culminating in conquest over the Hausa state of Kano. He also expanded northward and cemented Bornu control of the northern trade routes to the Fezzan. His legacy of expression was continued by katarkambi, who ruled Bornu from 1504 to 1526. But even in Bornu, the sayfawa dynasty‟s troubles persisted. During the first three quarters of the fifteenth century, for example, fifteen mais occupied the throne. So successful was the sayfawa rejuvenation that by the early sixteenth century Mai Ali Gaji (1497-1515) was able to defeat the Bulala and retake Njimi, the former capital. The empire‟s leaders, however, remained at Ngazargamu because its lands were more productive agriculturally and better suited to the raising of cattle. Mai Idris Aluma (c. 1571-1603) is remembered for his military skills, administrative reforms, and the example he provided for Islamic piety. His main adversaries were the Hausa to the west, the tuareg and toubou to the north, and the Bulala to east. One epic poem extols alumna‟s victories in 330 wars and more than 1000 battles. His military innovation included the use of walled fortifications and military camps, permanent siege warfare, scorched earth tactics, and the effective use of Calvary. Aluma

also signed what was probably the first written treaty or cease-fire in Chadian history. Aluma introduced a number of legal and administrative reforms based on his religious beliefs and Islamic law (Shari‟ah). His desire to make sure that his court properly reflected the virtues of Islam led him to mandate that major political figures lived at the court, and he reinforced political alliances through appropriate marriages (Aluma himself was the son of Kanuri father and a Bulala mother). He improved the ease and security of transit through the empire with the goals of making it so safe that “a woman clad in gold might walk with none to fear but God.” The administrative reforms and military brilliance of Aluma sustained the empire until the mid-1600s, when its power began to fade. In the late 1700s, Fulani people were able to make major inroads into Bornu by invading from the west. By the early nineteenth century, kanem-Bornu was clearly an empire in decline, and in 1808 Fulani warriors conquered Ngazargamu, marking the decline of the kanem-Bornu legacy. Usman Dan Fodio led the Fulani campaign which eventually affected kanem-Bornu and inspired a trend toward Islamic orthodoxy, but Muhammad Al-kanem, a warlord of kanem contested the Fulani advance. Muhammad al-kanem was a Muslim scholar and non-sayfawa warlord who had put together an alliance of shuwa Arabs, kanembu, Ngizim and other semi-nomadic peoples. As a base for the resistance he eventually builds a capital at kukawa in 1814.











BURSARI DISTRICT (Mugni and Kari-yari)







PRE-COLONIAL MAIS/KACHALLAS OF PATASKUM EMIRATE 1. KACHALLA BAUYA I (1808-1817): The migration of ngizim groups from Ngazargamu to potiskum (pataskum) continued. One of the groups led by Bauya left Mugni-kariyari and his arrival coincided with an attack on keisala and zigawa (jigawa) by Mai Taida of Dawura. The sense of leadership displayed by Bauya‟s group in repulsing Dawura‟s attack and which permanently ended the menance of Dawura compelled the inhabitants of keisala and zigawa to request Bauya and his group to stay. Bauya obliged and later founded his own settlement and named it Pataskum. The highest level of authority represented in Dugun Au‟s was voluntary surrendered of power to Bauya and what follows was the establishments of his authority, and those of his successors over the ngizim and karai-karai in the settlement and surroundings areas, this was achieved through the provision of security and protection. 2. KACHALLA AWA’NYI (1817-1820): He succeeded his father Bauya. The legend of N‟doku Awanyi says Awanyi had a mare which always refused to drink water given to it. One day, a hunter incidentally discovered that the mare drank water from a well (Duwa-duka), which bubbled over with water. Awanyi offered sacrifice since it was his mare that discovered the old well this is significant in the transfer of power from the old keisala to new walled settlement which becomes modern Potiskum. 3. KACHALLA KUDUSKUNAI (1820-1825): He succeeded Awanyi and that made the 3rd Mai of Pataskum, and Dangari later succeeded him. 4. KACHALLA DANGARI (1825-1830): After discovery of the well, it was during the time of Dangari that considerable labour was mobilized for the construction of the rampart new town in compassing the well. It was also Dangari who driven westward from the Gujba area around


Pataskum had launched series of attacks and succeeded in dominating over 80 ngizim and karaikarai villages. In a war near thikau/Tikau in 1824 A.D Hamma Wabi a Fulani of Dilara origin was killed by the 4th ruler of potiskum, Dangari. This important feat contributed in saving the western frontiers of Borno from the activities of the jihadist. It also added to the power and influence of Pataskum. However Dangari died before his movement into the new walled town. 5. KACHALLA DAWI (1830-1832): Dangari was succeeded by his brother Dawi. He inherited a new walled town which provided for him a new secured base to further consolidated his authority. Transfer from the old settlements keisala, zigawa and yarimaran to the new walled town which became modern pataskum took place during his reign. 6. KACHALLA DARAMA (1832-1833): also known as kunancibai 7. KACHALLA MELE (1833-1834): He paid farmers compensation on Pataskum alagamo route. 8. KACHALLA MALAM BUNDI (1834-1835): he succeeded Mele. 9. KACHALLA MIZGAI (1835-1856): He is credited with the introduction of the borunuan title of kachalla. In the 19th century the holders of this title in Borno become powerful leader of armed regiments their own followers. Mizgai is said to have received the title of kachalla and a staff of office from shehu Umar of Borno. It is also probable that a payment known as Tubu made by Pataskum to Borno started during his reign. This payment was made annually to placate Borno not to go to war with Pataskum. 10. KACHALLA JAJI (1856-1858): He is associated with the dropped of the title of Mai and become kachalla. During his reign, borunuan troops under Abba Tayib came to Pataskum but found the place


deserted. They pursued the runaway to Gwoya where a fierce battle was fought. It resulted in the death of Jaji, the defeat of Abba Tayib, and the capture of much boron troops. 11. MAI NEJO (1858-1866): He succeeded Jaji I. he is to have reverted to the use of the title Mai. 12. MAI NAMIYANDA (1866-1893): It is probably that Abba Bukar‟s expedition to Pataskum took place during his reign. Abba Bukar who emerged as boron‟s new military leader in the 1860s was given pataskum and the western border as fief. It was during the reign of Namiyanda that Abba Bukar stayed in pataskum for three months and extended the walls of modern pataskum; Namiyanda who had gone blind visited Rabih at Algino and presented gifts. This timely and decisive action by him ensured that pataskum and other places in western Borno was left practically unaffected by Rabih‟s invasion, which cause havoc in some states to the east of Pataskum. 13. MAI GABAU (1893-1902): He ascended the throne as Mai. During his reign, the British patrol arrived Pataskum late in 1902 A.D in view of the fact he was aged and had stopped attending state function due to poor health, he delegated Bundi to go and meet the British patrol team outside the eastern gate of Pataskum. By the time when the British patrol team arrived Pataskum late in 1902 A.D a total of thirteen rulers who were direct descendent of Bauya had ruled Pataskum chiefdom. Their activities raised Pataskum to a position of providence and it becomes the acknowledgement leader in war. They cultivated good relations with the surrounding settlements through a system of trust and through inter-marriage, and the establishment of personal friendship with these ruling families of the surrounding settlements and polities.


The Mai was not alone in the execution of his duties. He was assisted by other titled officials collectively referred to as kachalla within Pataskum. Their duty was the defense of Pataskum from external attacks and the organisation of raids. Furthermore, the rotation of the Maiship between the house of Kuduskunai and the house of Bundiri worked satisfactory and prevented disputes and wrangling among the members of the Royal family of Pataskum at least to the end of pre-colonial period. BRITISH COLONIALIST AND PATASKUM CHIEFDOM Late in 1902 A.D a British patrol team from Gujba visited Pataskum. They met with Bundi who represented Mai Gabau outside, the eastern gate of Pataskum. In view of the fact that Mai Gabau was old and sick they confirmed Bundi as the overlord of Ngizim and karai-karai district, the boundaries extended and covered the territory of the western karai-karai and all the Ngizim to the east of Pataskum. They also collected from Bundi the staff of office which the kachalla/Mais had earlier receive from Borno and recommended him for appointment as 2nd class chief. 14. MAI BUNDI II (1902-1909): He succeeded Gabau as the ruler of independence pataskum district, with jurisdiction over pataskum, its eastern part which contain mostly Ngizim as well the karaikarai settlement to the west of Pataskum. He was presented with a 2nd class staff of office in 1907. However owing to the frequent changes of policy as from September, 1909 aimed at establishing some sort of administration and control over diverse people through loyal chiefs, the residence of Borno requested for division of Pataskum into two part; western half of Pataskum which contain the karai-karai was placed within the jurisdiction of Fika, and the eastern half which Ngizim with Pataskum town itself to be handed over to Agudun, a relative of Bundi. Consequently, the proposals were approved and Bundi was deposed. The western half of Pataskum which contain karai-karai,


jalam inclusive was placed within the jurisdiction of Fika. Lawan Sulaiman, the son of Mai Idirissa of Fika was appointed the sub-district head, with his headquarter at Dazigau. 15. MAI AGUDUN (1909-1913): He succeeded Mai Bundi II but he was also not spared in May 1913 the resident Borno W.P Newby sent a telegram to zungeru requesting to carry out further progressive administrative measure. He requested for sanction to depose chief of Pataskum (Agudun) and to place the remaining half of his chiefdom also under Fika. The request was approved and mai Agudun was removed from office on 13th may, 1913 on the flimsy ground that the “he had proved himself impossible as a ruler” Agudun went to zungeru and complained to the lieutenant governor but to no avail. On 8th February 1915, he launched a two pronged attack on Pataskum, while he led some of his followers from the east, Alhaji of Degubi jajiwa of chana and chadi attacked from the west. They drove away Lawan Sulaiman who has moved into potiskum from Dazigau. On 27th February, 1915, the district officer in charge of Gujba division Mr. Carlyle leading a team of police escort arrived pataskum from Nafada. A fierce battle was fought and Agudun fell to the superior power of the British, Agudun was later arrested by the Darazau native authority and sent to Maiduguri where he was „tried‟ in a provisional court and convinced of murder on 11th June, 1915. 16. MAI JAJI 11 (1913-1919): he succeeded Mai Agudum. 17. MAI VUNGM (1919-1924): he succeeded Mai Jaji II. 18. MAI GANKIYAU (1924-1927): he succeeded Mai Vungum. 19. MAI BUNDI III (1927-1933): he succeeded Mai gankiyau. 20. MAI JAJI II (1933): he was re-instated but ruled for only three months.


21. MAI BAUYA II (1933-1957): He succeeded Mai Jaji II, and voluntarily resigned to be the president of the newly established customary court. 22. MAI HASSAN (1957-1984): He succeeded Mai Bauya II. Due to intrigue by Fika rulers, the position change from a situation where the Mai of pataskum sat side by side in council with the emir of Fika to one where Mai pataskum was reduced to mere village head, around 1957 as Nigeria moved towards independence, Mai Hassan travelled to Jos where he raise the issue of the future of pataskum chiefdom since the colonialist who were responsible for its merger with Fika were leaving. 23. MAI SHUAIBU (1984-1993): he succeeded Mai Hassan. 24. MAI MUHAMMAD ATIYAYE (1993): In 1993, the government of Yobe state under the administration of Alhaji Bukar Abba Ibrahim restored the Emirate to its full status. Alhaji Muhammadu Atiyaye was appointed the mai. However, he ruled for only fifty three (53) days before died. 25. MAI UMARU BUBARAM (1993-1995): A grandson of Mai Bundi the ruler of Pataskum, he was appointed Mai pataskum after the death of Muhammad Atiyaye. However, his emirate was dissolved by the then military administrator of Yobe state Dabo Aliyu. 26. MAI UMARU BUBARAM IBN WURIWA BAUYA I (2000-Date He was re-instated on the second coming of Bukar Abba Ibrahim on 6th January 2000, and this was sequel to the restoration of pataskum emirate.


AUTO-BIOGRAPHY OF REINSTATED AND REAFFIRMED MAIS OF PATASKUM (1993DATE Alhaji Muhammad Atiyaye (53 Days): The 24th Mai Pataskum was born in 1934 at jigawa of Potiskum local government area of Yobe state, Mai Muhammad Atiyaye had his early education from 1943 to 1950 at central primary school sabon gari, after that he proceeded to teachers‟ training school Bauchi, where he obtained grade 111 and grade 11 teachers certificate in 1955 and 1957 respectively. He served as a teacher in various primary schools in Fika, Nangere and Potiskum, where he rose to the position of headmaster under Fika native authority from 1st January 1962 to 5th may 1974. He was appointed as a portfolio councilor in the Fika native authority in charge of works department on 5 th may, 1974 to 30th September, 1976. However, he was appointed as a member, Fika emirate council in 1976 where he serve for some months, in 1977 he was appointed the district head of Potiskum, the position he held for good consecutive 7 years. During the reign the then Borno state governor Muhammadu Goni, he was appointed as an active member Borno state scholarships board representing Potiskum, and in 1983 after the change of government; Governor Ashelk Jarma wrongfully terminated his appointment as district head of Potiskum, because of his devotion to his people. And fortunately for him, his people knew the reason for his dismissal and they relied around him. The courageous Mai Atiyaye challenged his dismissal in the court of justice in Potiskum up to the court of appeal Jos where he emerges victorious, because the court found him not guilty and the then incumbent government did not reinstate him, but change it from dismissal to compulsory retirement and they paid him all his entitlement, which he used


the money for prayers in seeking for the restoration of Pataskum emirate council and he eventually succeeded. After the creation of Yobe state in 1991 he engage in active politics, he contested and won the position of party chairman (SDP) Nangere local government. He was also appointed member Yobe state political advisory council and chairman board governing council college of education Gashua, from 1992-1993. He was appointed as the MAI OF PATASKUM on 26th August, 1993 and died on 17 October, 1993 and left behind 3 wives and 25 children. May his soul rest perfect peace, AMIN Alhaji Umar Bubaram Ibn Wuriwa Bauya I: His royal highness, Alhaji Umaru Bubaram Ibn Wuriwa Bauya I OON, CCA, FICEN, CP (RTD) was born in 1942 in Bubaram Mai Jaji Alias Jumma‟a son of Maina Wuriwa (Suleiman) son to mai Bundi I the crown prince who was installed mai of pataskum alias kare-kare district in 1902 and the 14th mai in the chronological line of rulers of potiskum. The reigning king is the 25th and 26th ruler of Potiskum. Like most traditional rulers in northern Nigeria, Mai- Pataskum is also the foremost Islamic leader among his people He started his early education in Dambua primary school potiskum from 1951-1952. But he then had a break of 2 years, and in 1955 he returned to same school for the continuation of his primary education up to 1956. From Dambua primary school, due to his performance, he was transferred to central primary school potiskum as a boarding pupil, where he met other pupils who were similarly transferred from other primary schools in potiskum district of Fika division. From 1958 at certain stage of future development, Mai had changed his second name from (Umaru) Maina Wuriwa to (Umaru) Bubaram for fear of victimization.


As ardent as he continued, with all hope and determination again, from his boarding primary school; in 1958 His Royal Highness Alhaji Umaru Bubaram gained admission into the then government craft school Maiduguri from 1959-1961 where he completed his semi-post primary education, there he obtained his semi-primary school living certificate. In building being not the end of the road with full ambition to learn, Mai Umaru Bubaram proceeded to the then Borno teachers college Maiduguri, 19621966. To be trained as teacher there he successfully completed his teacher training course in December, 1966 and obtained his teacher‟s grade II certificate. After obtaining his teacher‟s grade II certificate Alhaji Umaru Bubaram taught for one and half years as class teacher and ass/acting headmaster in kukuri primary school. While serving as class teacher and asst/headmaster Alhaji Umaru Bubaram was promoted and transferred to Bula primary school to head the school as headmaster, due to his impressive performance at both Kukuri and Bula primary schools. After serving for only 9th month at Bula primary school he was transferred to Kara primary school Potiskum to head the school. During his career as class teacher, acting headmaster and headmaster he created and left impressive and indelible records as an exemplary teacher of his time. As the journey went on during the course of his career as the civil servant, the dynamic Mai Bubaram in 1970 was appointed Fika native authority councilor in-charge of works, land and survey, information and community development a post which he held up to 1971. In 1972, Mai Umaru Bubaram in furthering and broadening the base of his career transferred his services to the federal ministry of internal affairs, prison department, with his assumption of duties, he went in for a six (6) month orientation course at kiri-kiri prison training school, Apapa Lagos as well

as weeks citizenship & leadership course at sea school Lagos on completion he was appointed assistant


superintended of prisons, and posted to Warri prison in the former Bendel state for practical field attachment. During his department prison career he served as assistant/deputy superintendent of prison incharge of Lafia prison, 1973-1979 superintendent of prison in-charge of Shendam/Wase prison in 19801981. Superintendent of prisons in-charge administration, prison headquarters Maiduguri Borno state command, 1982-1983. Still in search for more knowledge mai Umaru Bubaram in 1983 went to the University of Maiduguri to study advanced diploma in public administration, and successfully completed the course and awarded the certificate. On completion of his course of study, he was promoted to chief superintended of prisons and posted to Bama/Gwoza prisons as the officer in-charge, 1984-1985. Then in 1986 he was transferred to Kaduna prison training school as commandant, after six months at Kaduna he was posted again to take charge of Maiduguri maximum security prison from 1986-1990. To enhance his professional knowledge he proceeded to prison staff college Kaduna for a 9 month staff course as well as one month seminar at the command and staff college Jaji, where he was decorated with CCA (certificate for correctional administration) and promoted to assistant comptroller prison. He was again posted to sokoto central prison as in-charge from 1991-1992. Then in 1993, he was promoted controller of prisons a post which he held until his appointment as 3 rd class mai pataskum on 18th November, 1993 but later due to intrigues, machination and sabotage from opposing force, the emirate was dissolved on the 11th January, 1995. He was re-installed as second class mai pataskum on second coming of his Excellency Alhaji (DR) Bukar abba Ibrahim FINQS, FNIAE the executive governor of Yobe state; this was sequel to the restoration of pataskum emirate.


The most respected Mai performed other ad-hoc duties among which include: house prefect and secretary of Fika divisional student union in Borno teachers college Maiduguri, chairman northern Nigeria union of teachers potiskum branch, member Fika native authority education committee, vice chairman on review penal committee on dismissed district and village heads Bama local government, chairman war against indiscipline Bama local government chapter, chairman organizing committee on visits of head of state to Bama local government, member security committee in Lafia, Shendam, Wase and Bama local government, member judicial committee for administration of justice Borno and sokoto states, member prerogative of mercy committee Borno and sokoto state, carried out relieve duties at Makurdi prison, Keffi prison, Panshin prison headquarters Maiduguri when the incumbent controller was hospitalized for eye injury sustained during Bama prison riot. Mai Umar like any other person has his hobbies, some of them are; football which he played among the schools and colleges he attended, boxing; where he was highly rated among top boxers in craft school, athletics; he represented both craft school and college on inter-school and colleges athletic competitions, hunting and visiting. He is happily married and blessed with children. The royal highness was awarded a national honour of officer of the order of the Niger (OON) by the former president and commander in-chief of the arm forces federal republic of Nigeria. His Excellency chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR in 2004. The international award in Africa awarded his royal highness its outstanding leadership gold award for year the year 2008. The institute of corporate executive of Nigeria conferred on his royal highness the achiever par excellence in exemplary and accountable leadership, on 11th June 2009. NGIZIM ANNUAL FESTIVITIES


1. Dabaya: This is celebrated in Tera dabaya of Ngizim calendar which is equivalent to Almuharram of Islamic calendar. Hence it starts from 1st -15th Days. Is a female gender festival between the age of 13 – 16 years, where young ladies gather themselves compound by compound erect a temporary shelter for themselves at the out skirt of their compound. There, they learn all domestic activities under the watchful eyes of an elderly woman. It is here they learn how to cook food, and how to share foods between small and big compound, how to plait hair, how to decorate calabashes both outside and inside, pot making, carving and receiving of sex education from elderly woman. Every evening of the seven (7) days is followed by traditional dance with the male youth coming to dance with them. At the end of the fourteenth day, they will depart to their respective homes. 2. Barah: This celebrated in Tera Bara of Ngizim calendar equivalent to Safar of Islamic calendar and last for fifteen (15) days. It is usually done before the rainy season, seeking God to bless the coming rain. In this festival Dugum Au gives trumpet to Gabarak (leader of local hunters) after the local hunting. The first animal caught during the hunting is for Dugum Au, and in turn Dugum Au gives Gadari (warn-out hoe) to Gabarak that will be used for cultivation (Azabai). So also a cock will be presented to Gabarak that has been slaughtered by Dugum Au during the festivity.

3. Azabai: This is celebrated in Tera Azabai of Ngizim calendar equivalent to Rabiul Auwal of Islamic calendar. This festival is of paramount importance because it marks the beginning of farming, where Dugun Au will be the first person to clear his farm to let everybody do his farm clearance. This festivity is also called kma-azabai in Ngizim. 4. Zigim: This is celebrated in Tera Zigim of Ngizim calendar which is equivalent to Rajab of Islamic calendar. This festival normally starts after the fall of 1st, 2nd and 3rd rain, more so, it depends on the weight of the rain, if the 1st and 2nd rain is heavy the festivity will start. It is also part of this festivals


the head of each household will quantify the amount of grain seeds for farming of the year, his wife will carry the seeds to the farm. 5. Barakau: One of the popular fiestas is „Barakau‟. Barakau is an annual festival that takes place in Tera Barakau of Ngizim calendar which is equivalent to Ramadan of Islamic calendar and is celebrated between 9th-16th Days, but usually preceding the earliest harvest. Barakau is celebrated for those who lost there father, he whose father is alive cannot participate in this festival. Barakau comes from two Ngizim words, “Barak” and “au”. The former stands for „hunting for‟ while the latter means „grains‟. In other words, “Barakau” connotes “hunting for grains.” However, it does not end there, for “Bara” stands for „hunting‟ and „akau‟ translates as „remembrance of ancestors‟ Interpretation: Barakau is a single observance, which serves a dual purpose. Aside remembrance of ancestors, ngizim also pray fervently for a bumper harvest during „Barakau.‟ Barakau could be considered the most important tradition fiesta in these times. It is the most pronounce festival among the Ngizims, which denotes to period of thanks giving to Allah (Kakasku) for a bumper harvest, and also a period of identifications of wife to be. During this festival, youth demonstrates that there is no more hunger. Tradition wrestling adds colors to festivals whenever it is celebrated. One peculiar thing about this festival is that it is a period of unionism between far and near relatives. It is a period of showing jewelries by newly married women; In fact it is an outstanding festival. 6. Changaya: this is celebrated in Tera Changaya which is equivalent to Shawwal of Islamic calendar and starts from 1st -15th Days. It is mainly a festival of young girls between the age of 9 – 13 years, who uses fresh millet stalks in making a round conical structure outside the house basement as room. They practice the act of cooking to demonstrate the preparedness for womanhood. The activities last from three week to 30 days.

7. Sawak: it is observed in Tera Sawak of Ngizim calendar which is equivalent to Dhulhajj of Islamic calendar and starts from 2nd- 4th Days of the month in every year. It is celebrated by the youths, who ride horses by that time to indicate the citing of the moon. The horsemen would run across people holding sticks made of corn stalk and they will attack by those men with stalks. This is a way of training warriors. The horsemen will try to depend themselves. 8. Uvu: this is observed on the 2nd day of sawak in the evening where women and children start to rumble calabash on water pots and subsequently drugging the calabash covered on the ground around the house up to the main entrance of the house. This practice is observed on the morning of 3rd day. At the end of each performance women and children will come out of their houses running and chanting prayers “Gafaringimo dada shaw” meaning “ailment and calamity shall stay away from the houses. MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TRADITIONAL DANCE OF NGIZIM PEOPLE The ngizim have many traditional dances. For instance “kanjau maimai dance” which is a fits-all dance .it is being drummed mostly for young men to put energy-sapping dance; flaunting their vigor and stamina, and ultimately, announcing their fitness to go to war should the need arise. There are different kinds of kanjau dance, they are: “Bagade” and “jabalya” for men, “jalle bidire” for women. Another traditional dance is “gadgamu” this type of dance is only meant for kings. The instrument used for this dance is known as the “Big Ganga” others are suwari and vayak dances. Shila-shila (local saxophone): is another type of traditional dance for elderly men who are played either during turbans or during funeral ceremony of an elderly person. There is also gurumi music-the dance is known as “laleno”.there is also “barame” which is sung as hero‟s song.

Gunda dance for the youths. It is a big drum for local wrestling. There are some songs sang with or without instrument by ladies at their youthful ages. This is done during festivals or when they are grinding on a grinding stone. Tambal: the native of Dadlawa are the only custodians of tambal (also known as tambari). Tamba can only be beaten, when a chief is to be turbaned or to rally warriors as announcement of outbreak of war. Ganga-jmagauru: this served to announce the death of “big man” or a senior citizen, male or female, to the community and surrounding villages. Through his dexterity, the drummer rendered special rhythms that clued listeners in; thus helping the community to identify the deceased without the mention of any name. Ganga-kuriya: this only beaten by the local barber (duru-duru) and served as an emollient. The mellow sounds of this drum was exploited to mollify an infant and to discourage the child from crying during circumcision or when the baby was being given tribal marks and also being beaten during naming ceremony for donations to the baby.

MARRIAGE SYSTEM The tradition has it that ngizim youths don‟t choose their partners. It used to be either of the parents. In the case of a boy, it can be achieved by the way he behaves. In other words attitude of a boy can earn him a wife. When a marriage is initiated either by the family of the boy or the girl, a gift of firewood must be presented to the girl‟s parents by the husband to be. This action signifies courtship. And when it is done no one else can be allowed to talk about marriage to the girl because the custom did not allow competition. The gift of the firewood used to be three (3) pieces to the mother of the girl, to drop at the


door step of the mother. And two (2) pieces to be dropped at the door step of the father of the girl. Then the round folded leaf put on the head by the boy, used as a support to carry the firewood for the mother of the girl will be taken back home and hung on the roof of their house. The thing will be there until the day the girl would finally packed to the husband‟s house. Traditionally, the couple won‟t know themselves until when the marriage contract has been concluded. Custom demands that the suitor should be sewing clothes annually for the wife to be. Also some manual works were expected to be done by the suitor to the family of his would be wife. This can be done by his committee of friends. In case of bride prize, money was not used. Animals like horses, donkey etc were used depending on the personality of the girl or woman. If it is a girl, one horse and (4) donkeys will be taken. But if it is a woman (divorce) the new husband has to bring more animals because the former husband of the woman will like to be compensated adequately. NAMING CEREMONY Naming ceremony is done three (3) days after delivery with a special dish of melon and beans. The dish is cooked and served in the evening of the 3rd day. One or two fowls will be slaughtered for the ritual to be performed which is normally done by the chief priest of the clan. The chosen name will be whispered to the ear of the newborn baby first before announcing it to the people. The name is pronounced while lifting up the baby. The number of lifting depends on the sex of the baby. If it is a boy (1 st born) he will be lifted two times and if it is a girl (1sr daughter) she will be lifted three times (30 times. Any other person depends on the person he/she is following. If a baby following a boy whether the baby is a boy or girl will be lifted two times. If the baby is following a girl it will be lifted three times irrespective of the sex. FUNERAL RITE


I was the custom and tradition of ngizim that only elders performs rite of a deceased person. Children and women were not allowed to be at scene of burial. The burial is done according to the age of the deceased. Kings have their own way of being buried. They were buried on sitting form facing eastward direction while their wives face westward. Burial also used to go according to the person‟s trade. For instance the way a fortune teller was buried was different from that of blacksmith was buried. The women were also buried differently. Abnormal death attracts a special burial, for instance somebody killed by thunder or lightening, the person must be buried at the scene of the incident. It must be accompanied by fourteen days wake-keeping. The elders don‟t take part in any thing that was prepared when youth was being buried, only the age of the deceased and the ones under them. Tradition demands that the moment a family man dies, the wife or wives of the man would dismantle their beds. And they would shave their hairs. Their wrapper will be around their waist. Before the man will be buried each of his wives will be attached to his junior brothers of the man, when it is time for burial the sounding drum for burial will be beaten. Those people who were taking care of the man‟s wife may end up marrying them according to tradition, after the funeral rites (the 2nd burial) also known as “suma Garim”. The 3rd burial ceremony is known “virka jaka” it is done three years and is the final burial. It is note worthy that on the first day of the death of an elderly wealthy man a ram will be slaughtered known as “Afuk”. On the 3rd day a ram known as “Gabadlha”, and on the 7th day a bull. If it is a woman a sheep and female cow will be slaughtered respectively. However, all these burial ceremony have now turned to history with advent if Islam. That is to say the rituals are no more in practice. SOME HISTORICAL MONUMENTS OF POTISKUM

1. Duwa-duka – the historical well which founded the settlement of pataskum (potiskum) town, situated at the old prison gate. 2. Keisala cave – the historical cave for hyenas that was used by the people of keisala near the western bridge along Kano road in potiskum. 3. Yarimaran well – first well kachalla Bauya settled around on arrival from Mugni before moving into new founded pataskum (potiskum) town.

4. Mai Agudum’s palace – a vacant plot of land near the potiskum old prison. 5. Jigawa – an uphill area used by the first settlers of keisala and Magzabai. 6. The old prison –built in 1912 during the reign of mai Agudun (1909-1913). The prison was called mai Agudun prison, before a change of name. 7. Gumbak - meeting point of Mai Agudun with the British patrol near Nahuta CLANS OF NGIZIM LANGUAGE 1. Abunga: they are associated with “kararawu” and “aka pata”. 2. Audasa: this clan is associated with leopard “ wurak” and mat “gejinjiri” 3. Dabadlai: this clan is associated with dog “ja” and grinded millet “tambazai”, they mostly farmer economically. 4. Dadlawa: this clan of ngizim is associated with lion “jagadlau” and warriors “gazzeger”, most of them earn there living through blacksmithing. So also, it is among this clan of Ngizim that a custodian of a special drum called Tamba (also pronounced as Tambari) emanate, which can only be beaten when a chief is to be turbaned or rally warriors as announcement of outbreak of war. 5. Dagazurwa: this ngizim clan is associated with stork “nguraru” and warriors “gazzeger”. forest tree.


6. Dajja: this clan of ngizim are associated with snake “dagazak” and tamarind “mishunu”, they earn there living through farming. 7. Gadlagum: associated with “dagazak” and “matabar” 8. Gazara: associated with elephant “Jaunak” and fish “vunakau”. Mai Muhammadu Atiyaye is from this clan 9. Keisala vuk: associated with hyena “budlamu” and hyena cave “vuk budlamu”. People of this clan are the custodian old keisala town, before Bauya came and founded his town and called it Pataskum in 1809. They also have there leader as Dugum Au or sarkin hatsi. 10. Magzabai: associated with leopard “budlamu” and “kukku” 11. Makenmu: associated with frog “kerinakau” and warriors “ gazzeger” 12. Matlirai: they nomadic people economically and are associated with “makwatak” and “kukku” 13. Mugnum: associated with white donkey “kwara” and white horse “Duka”. They are

descendent of Bauya (founder of pataskum in 1809). They also don‟t kill or eat white donkey and white horse. NGIZIM CALENDAR Terrain Aman 1. Tera Dabaya 2. Tera Bara 3. Tera Azabai 4. Tera Deka 5. Tera Wuzzenak/Uvuk 6. Tera Nguraru Equivalent To Almuharram Safar Rabiul Auwal Jimada Thani Jumada Auwal Jumada Akhair Ngumuri Na Kawa 1-15th Days 15th Day


7. Tera Am/Zegem 8. Tera Ruwai 9. Tera Barakau 10. Tera Changaya 11. Tera Gamadawa/Vanau 12. Tera Sawak

Rajab Shaaban Ramadan Shawwal Dhulqida Dhulhajj 2nd- 4th Days 9th-16th Days 1th-15th Days

FURTHER READINGS Maurice A. (2009): potiskum; warriors‟ home named after a sacred tree, the sun newspaper. ( Muhammad S.A. (2000): our objection to new emirates in Fika-rejoinder, Shagari lowcost housing estate yarimaran, potiskum.


Russell G. Schuh (2009): the form and metrics of Ngizim songs, UCLA Department of Linguistics. H.R Palmer “History of the first twelve years of the reign of mai Idris Alooma of Bornu (1571 – 15830 by his imam Ahmad Bin Furtua.” page 4. www.mauricearchibongtravel.sight-and-sounds-of-potiskum.html www.mauricearchibongtravel-some-charms-from-potiskum.html Abdalla Alkanawi (2010): sarkin potiskum takawa, Alkanawi entertainment Kano. Zuwaira Ismail and Umar Adam (2010): Tarihi Ya Nuna Cigaban Masarautar Asali, “Yobe‟s Ngizims and their values”, Nigeria tribute, 20th July 2007.



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