By Shehu Ahmed Buwayi
One of the beauties of life of human being is how man came to been, where he is, how he is, what he is and why?History availed us answers to all these questions.
Accordingly, history remains a fair judge to human societies. Walter Rodney informed us that history teaches us that ‘to know the present, we must look into the past and to know the future, we must look into the past and the present.
Regional and States creations was/is guided by history and common ancestry as well as the urge for human and capital development’. Former Katagum Division is seeking for a state because of common history and development’. Note that, we do not have grudges against our brothers in the former Bauchi Division whom we equally share similar history. The urge is to seek for development.
In fact, one way of solving the societal developmental difficulties has been to search history for repetitions and similarities between times and different places. This remained the guiding principle in tackling the topic with the seriousness it deserves.
The territory under contention, Katagum Division was entirely under the influence of Kanem Borno Empire, but struggles and military adventures curved out the Three Independent Emirates (Katagum, Misau and Jama’are) from Borno Empire, in a different ways to be highlighted later.
Katagum Emirate, was founded around 1807 by Malam Ibrahim Zaki after obtaining flag from Usman bn Fodio, Leader of the Sokoto Caliphate. Zaki’s famous conquest of Ngazargamu, twice earned him the title of ‘Mai Borno’ meaning the King of Borno, the name still valid through succeeding Emirate leadership. Hence, anybody bearing Mai Borno in Katagum Emirate is identified with the glory of the past and present Emir(s) of Katagum. Sokoto caliphate historical portrayal maintains that the leader of Katagum is Sarkin Borno while that of Borno is Shehun Borno. The Emirate is inhabited by the Hausa-Fulani, Beriberi, Karai-Karai, Lerawa and Badawa.
Jama’are Emirate was founded around 1811 by Muhammadu Wabi, leader of Fulani clan that migrated from Senegal around the12th Century to Dilara and finally Jama’are. The Caliphate recognized Jama’are as an Emirate in 1835, sequel to the wonderful performance of Sambolei, a Fulani Chief from Jama’are who assisted the Caliphate in containing the excesses of Hausa people of Katsina. Jama’are is inhabited by the Fulanis, Shirawa and Kanuri.
Misau Emirate, on the other hand was founded by Goni Muktar, the father of Hamman Manga, of the Fulata Borno clan in 1850. Hamman Manga was assigned to Misau as a result of the political crisis between the Fulanis and Kanuri in Borno region as well as the feud for the ownership of Misau between Emir of Bauchi Malam Yakubu, and Dan Kauwa, the Emir of Katagum.
The Fulani – Kanuri disputes led to the extermination of Gwani Mukhtar father of Hamman Manga. Like Ibrahim Zaki, Gwani Mukhtar was given the title of the King of Borno by Sokoto Caliphate leadership. Consequently, Misau region was prepared for Hamman Manga by Sultan Muhammad Bello as a remedy to the disputes between Bauchi and Katagum Emirates for the control of Misau environment. To ensure Misau independence and revenue boost, Sultan Bello authorized them to collect tax from Fulata – Borno clan in the surrounding Emirates, especially Katagum Emirate.
Misau was populated by the Hausa, Fulata Borno and Kare-Kare.
The British conquest led to the creation of Katagum Division in 1905 composing of the Three (3) sister Emirates under Kano Province. Katagum voluntary submitted to the British rule, Jama’are followed in 1903. The Emir of Misau Ahmadu resisted and fled for not being comfortable with the invasion of the British force. The British placed the Emirate under the care of Malam Abdulkadir, Emir of Katagum.
The history of the three Emirates and their Leaderships indicate an excellent and responsible kinship, and positive virtues laid by the Caliphate. Experts informed the world that the Sokoto Caliphate was an intellectual movement. Murray Last went further, “Nigerians….should care to know about Sokoto Caliphate because:
It portrays a model of unified, law-based government where warefare was minimized as never before, and where trade prospered….;
It underlines a tradition of fine indigenous, scholarly writing that is unparalleled in African history; and at its core was concern for justice, in its case based on shari’a law properly and correctly applied by trained judges….”
Peaceful living and brotherly dealings between the independent Emirates is worthy of emulation. Disputes on possession of Misau between Bauchi and Katagum were resolved with a mere directive by the Caliph. Even the collection of taxes from other Emirates, equally directive of Sultan was valid till the British conquest.
Another pointer to kinship was the care of Misau Emirate to Katagum Emirate by the Emir Ahmadu before he left.
The composition of the population of the three Emirates was made up of same tribes: Hausa (Shirawa), Fulani (Fulata Borno), Kare-Kare, Lerawa and Badawa, etc, cumulatively referred to as ‘Guddiri’.
Shehu Ahmed Buwayi writes in from Bakin Kasuwa, Azare, Bauchi State