How Fulani Took Over The Political Power Of Hausa In The 19th Century

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The Fulani took over the political leadership of the Habe (Hausa) states in the early 19th century. The Jihad that preceded this occupation was seen as a religious one as well as political. Othman Dan Fodio led the Fulani Jihad and took over the Hausa and established the popular Sokoto caliphate with a political system that is centralized. He created a new system of government by selecting leaders with the title of “Emir” to rule the caliphate. Each of the Emirs served Dan Fodio and his representatives at Sokoto and Gwandu.

Photo credit: Africa-online-museum

The Caliphate was divided into Emirates and each was headed by an Emir. The Emir had the responsibility of making laws, enforcing them and maintaining peace and order in his emirate. Each emir was assisted in the administration of the emirate of advisers. They were: the Waziri ( he was the head of all the officials), the Galadima (he was in charge of the capital), the Madawaki ( he was the commander of the army), Dogari (he was the head of the police), Maaji (he was in charge of treasury), Sarkin Ruwa (head of fishermen), Sarkin Fada (the head of the palace workers and Sarkin-pawa (the head of all butchers).

Sokoto and Gwandu were the seats of the Emirs. The Emir of Gwandu headed the Western empire while the Emir of Sokoto headed the Eastern empire. They appointed Emirs in each of the Emirates under their jurisdiction. Each emirate was divided into districts for administration convenience. An official known as Hakimi was usually appointed by the Emir to administer the district. Village heads were appointed by Hakimi to help in the collection of taxes and maintenance of law and order in the villages.

Photo credit: Come-to-Nigeria

In conclusion, the emirate system was a highly centralized one, with the emirs possessing almost all the powers. He was an authoritarian ruler.….See More

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