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Brief History

Gombe State is a Nigerian state, located in the northeast region of the country with 11 local government areas. Gombe state was carved out from the former Bauchi State in October 1st, 1996. The capital and largest city of Gombe State is Gombe; the city is mainly dominated by Fulani and other small ethnic groups. It is the traditional city of Gombe Emirate, Gombe emirate was founded in 1804 by Buba Yero (Abubakar), a follower of the Muslim Fulani leader Usman dan Fodio. The emirate headquarters of Gambe was established about 1824 and renamed Gombe Abba (“Old Gombe”) in 1841. The emirate prospered until the 1880s, when religious warfare and the encroachment of British colonial rule brought severe disruption to the area. The emirate capital was moved in 1913 to Nafada and in 1919 to Doma, which was then renamed Gombe. In the 1910s, British expeditions occupied the Emirate and the surrounding areas, incorporating them into the Northern Nigeria Protectorate which later merged into British Nigeria before becoming independent as Nigeria in 1960. Originally, modern-day Gombe State was a part of the post-independence Northern Region until 1967 when the region was split and
the area became part of the North-Eastern State. After the North-Eastern State was split, Bauchi State was formed in 1976 alongside ten other states. Twenty years afterward, a group of LGAs in the Bauchi’s west was broken off to form the new Gombe State. Of the 36 states, Gombe is the 21st largest in area and 32nd most populous with an estimated population of about 3.25 million as of 2006 census. Gombe state is named for the city of Gombe; the state’s capital and largest city, and nicknamed as “Jewel of the Savannah”

Festivals and Traditions

There are different festivals in Gombe state, aimed at celebrating their culture and heritage. These include;

• Sallah Durbar: The Eid-elfitr is celebrated on the 1st Shawwal, which is the nineth month in the Islamic lunar calendar to mark the end of Ramadan fast and the Eid-kabir is celebrated on the 10th Dhull Hajj, the 12th month in the Islamic lunar calendar. The Sallah Durbar in Gombe is the grand and colourful durbar demonstrating the rich cultural heritage of Gombe Emirate and showcasing the prevailing peace and peaceful coexistence among the diverse residents of the
state. In the entourage of about 2,000 horses, the Emir of Gombe rode on a white horse and his entourage; council members, princes, district heads, traditional title holders, warriors and archers rode on the others, with courtiers, praise-singers and acrobats accompanying them. Clad in a white attire and a white alkyabba, the emir left his palace at about 9:30am to take part in the two raka’at Eid prayer in the morning of Eid day at the Eid ground near the Gombe Main Market and residents of the metropolis lined up to catch a glimpse of him. After the prayer, the emir on horseback, led district heads and traditional title holders amid cheers and gun salute
through Herwagana and Biu roads and back to the palace, venue of the grand durbar. At the palace, the emir will received the state’s Governor and other dignitaries before treating them with the colourful durbar. As tradition demands, as soon as the emir arrived his palace, the durbar commenced where the district heads and other traditional title holders on horsebacks paid their allegiance to him while demonstrating their horse riding skills. 

• Kaltungo Carnival and Cultural Festival: This is an annual festival organized to display and promote the rich cultural heritage of the people of Kaltungo Chiefdom in Gombe State. The high point of the event was when the entourage of the Mai Kaltungo, dressed in colourful traditional regalia, entered the venue to a standing ovation from spectators. Different ethnic groups from across the chiefdom, each dressed in their respective traditional regalia which showcased their customs and culture, welcomed the revered monarch with cheers signifying the commencement of the event. During the ceremony, the ethnic groups comprising men and
women, young and old displayed their cultural heritage in measured dance steps to the amazement and resounding applause from the audience. The festival involves the durbar aimed at bringing the people of the chiefdom together with a view to ensuring a peaceful co-existence and share the joy of Christmas with the Christian faithful. The annual cultural festival was initiated to preserve the cultural heritage of the people of Kaltungo and to promote unity and intercultural cooperation

Tourists Attractions and Locations

•The Tomb of Muhammad Attahiru I

• Bubayero’s Tomb

• Bima Hills

Dadin Kowa Dam

• Lake Dadin Kowa

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