Jigawa State is a Nigerian state, located in the northwestern region of the country with 27 local government areas, Jigawa State was created out of the old Kano State in August 1991. The capital and largest city of Jigawa State is Dutse while the state’s economic center is Hadejia. In the pre-colonial period, the area that is now Jigawa State was comprised of ancient towns, kingdoms and emirates, among them are; Dutsen Habude and Dutsen Mesa cave paintings in the town of Birnin Kudu, which have been dated back to the Neolithic period and the town of Hadejia (formerly Biram) is notable as being one of the traditional “seven true Hausa states” (Hausa Bakwai). In the early 1800s, the Fulani Jihad seized part of the area and incorporated it into the Sokoto Caliphate except Gumel Emirate that survived the Fulani attacks and never became part of the Fulani Empire of Sokoto. In the 1900s and 1910s, the British seized control of the area as a part of the Northern Nigeria Protectorate which later merged into British Nigeria before becoming independent as Nigeria in 1960. Originally, modern-day Jigawa 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-Western State. After the North-Eastern State was split, Kano State was formed in 1967 alongside ten other states. Twenty four years afterward, Jigawa State was carved out from Kano State in 1991. Of the 36 states, Jigawa state is the eighteen largest in area and eighth most populous with an estimate population of over 4,361,002 as of 2006 census. Jigawa state got its name from the Hausa word JIGAWA used to describe a vast loamy but non-marshy soil, and nicknamed as “A New World” or “Jigawa Tarin Allah”. The Jigawa state is mainly populated by Hausa, Fulani, Mangawa, Badawa and Ngizimawa which are dialects of Kanuri language (99% of population) and small population of people who are bilingual. The economy of Jigawa State is largely characterized by informal sector activities with agriculture as the major economic activity. Over 80% of the population is engaged in subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Trade and commerce are undertaken on small and medium scale, especially in agric goods, livestock and other consumer goods.
Festivals and Traditions
There are different festivals in Jigawa state, aimed at celebrating their culture and heritage. These include;
• Eid-el-Fitr Sallah Durbar (Karamar Salla): The people of Jigawa state are well known for their Durbar rich culture and traditions. The Durbar provides illuminating perspective to the display of horses, regalia and spectacular horseman ship to bring about colour, pump and pageantry to the joy of spectators. 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. Jigawa State is divided into five Emirate Councils; Hadejia, Gumel, Kazaure, Ringim and Dutse Emirates each with their own
different Sallah processions. Traditionally, all the processions start with a gun salute by the Yan Bindiga under the command of Maitafari, who is the Sarkin Yan Bindiga (leader) to notify the people and horse riders that the Emir is about to embark on the processions. Eid-el-kabir Sallah Durbar (Babbar Salla): Eid-el-kabir is one of main festivities of the people of Jigawa state and these cuts across ethnic barriers being a period of celebration for all Muslims all over the world. The Eid-kabir is celebrated on the 10th Dhull Hajj, the 12th month in the Islamic lunar calendar. Jigawa State is divided into five Emirate Councils; Hadejia, Gumel, Kazaure, Ringim and Dutse Emirates each with their own different Sallah processions. Traditionally, all the processions start with a gun salute by the Yan Bindiga under the command of Maitafari, who is the Sarkin Yan Bindiga (leader) to notify the people and horse riders that the Emir is about to embark on the processions.
Tourists Attractions and Locations
- Birnin Kudu Rock Paintings Site: Birnin Kudu Rock Paintings was discovered in 1950-1955 in Birnin Kudu by British Colonial masters during its colonization of Nigeria. It is notable as having a collection of ancient rock gongs which were used as musical instruments and warning bells. Birnin Kudu rock paintings are one of the fascinating proofs of ancient human civilization in Sub Saharan Africa. These paintings are reputed to be more than two millennia old, dated back to back to the Neolithic period, situated in the lush landscape of Northern Nigeria. The rock art depicts various images of animals such as cattle and sheep, as well as geometric signs. The depictions are also believed to be associated with shamanic practices. Some rock art sites that were used for ritual and ancestral purposes in the past are still recognized by the community as sacred sites. The rock art depicts different styles of domesticated cattle, now extinct in Nigeria.
- Baturiya Bird Sanctuary: Located in Kiri Kasmma LGA and covers an area of 320 sq km with a buffer zone of a half kilometre surrounding it, Baturiya Bird Sanctuary provides a natural habitat for over 378 species of migratory birds from places as far as Europe and Australia. This site has been visited by Prince Philip and Prince Charles who are members of the Wildlife Conservation Foundation.
- Hadejia /Nguru Wetlands: The Hadejia wetland which extends to Nguru in neighbouring Yobe State is a popular tourist attraction in the Jigawa state. The wetlands provide shelter for various rare and migratory birds. This sanctuary harbours exotic and rare species of birds. A beautiful place for bird watchers.
- Wawan Rafi Lake Kazaure: Wawan Rafi Lake is a lake that never dries up, it is situated in Kazaure and it has a scenic environment. The lake is a holiday resort that offers water sport activities such as fishing, boating etc. Golf course and other recreational activities are also taking place there.