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Mention Zamfara and the next thing that comes to the mind of many is Sharia…lol! Carved out of Sokoto State in 1996 by General Sani Abacha (the Khalifa), Zamfara State that we know today was once a bustling Hausa Kingdom from the 10th to the 18th centuries. Like Gobirawa, Kebbawa and Adarawa, the Zamfarawa people are one of the ethnic (actually, more of linguistic groups) in the state. Zamfarawa is one of the subdialects of Eastern Hausa linguistic group and that is where the name came from. In the past, the area was known for revolts, rebellions and for conducting extensive military raids into neighboring towns and settlements.
In a place called Fune in this state, there is the Dufuna Canoe which is 8,000 years old. Discovered in 1987 by Fulani herdsmen, it is the oldest canoe in Africa and the third oldest in the world but that is story for another day. The state was named after Komadugu Yobe (Waube or Ouobe) or River Yobe (or River of Yo). In Kanuri, ‘komadugu’ means ‘river’, ‘a mass of water’ or literally ‘water place’. It is also called River Yo or Yeou because it passes through a town of the same name and it enters Chad at the town of Bosso. Please note that at that time, Yo (or Yoo, Yeou) was the most important town in the region, crisscrossed by caravan traders while Wau (or Ouo) was just a small village to the east. Based on this, many historians believe that the proper name for the river is Komadugu Yobe and not Komadugu Waube. I hope you get the drift…lol!
The 3rd largest state in Nigeria and the home of the Chambas, Mumuyes, Jukuns, Ichens, Wurkums, Mambilas and many others, the state was named after the Taraba River which rises from the hills around Gashaka flows into the River Benue as one of its largest tributaries. It flows along the southern flank of the state and is called Teraba in German (Germany actually tried to colonize that area and succeeded to an extent). Taraba itself is a word that has been given various meanings by the locals who bear it as a surname: from the Arabic taraba ‘to drink’, to ‘gardener’ or even ‘favoured by God’.
33. SOKOTO STATE Named after the defunct Sokoto Caliphate, an empire that stretched from Burkina Faso to Cameroon. The Caliphate itself once consisted of more than 30 different emirates. Sokoto (or Sakwatto) is the anglicized version of the Arabic word ‘suk’ which means ‘market’ or ‘place of commerce’. Sakwatto Birnin Shehu da Bello means Sokoto, the Capital of Shehu and Bello, in reference to Shehu Usman Dan Fodio, the founder of the Caliphate and first Sultan of Sokoto. Mohammed Bello was his son and second Sultan. Upon his death, his brother, Abu Bakr Atiku took over.
A state criss-crossed by many water bodies, Rivers State (once again, it is not River State) was named for many of the rivers present in the area. Well, this is not funny at all, looking at the barrage of floods the state has had to face, especially in recent times.
This extremely beautiful but scarred and injured state was named for the Jos Plateau, one of the most breath-taking in Africa. The Shere Hills form the highest point of the plateau at a height of about 6,000 ft. Rivers Kaduna, Yobe, Gongola and Hadejia all take their source from the Jos Plateau. I pray lasting peace comes to Plateau State and all of Nigeria. As Nigerians, we have all it takes to rule the world, only if we can shed our bestial tendencies and see the humanity in all of us. Enjoy this piece from the state, you’ll see the green beauty and the raw talent that abound in the state full of warm and hospitable people (shoutouts to Kyenret and Iyes! :D):