BRIEF HISTORY OF BORNO STATE
Borno, also known as Borno State, is a state in north-eastern Nigeria. Its capital and largest city is Maiduguri. The state was formed in 1976 from the split of the North-Eastern State. Until 1991 it contained what is now Yobe State. The motto or slogan of the state is “Home of Peace”. Borno is the homeland of the Kanuri people in Nigeria and several other ethnic groups.
Borno has been the epicenter of the Islamist group Boko Haram since it began its insurgency in 2009. The conflict in Borno drew media attention in 2009 after clashes between Boko Haram and government security forces in which the founder of Boko Haram Mohammed Yusuf was reportedly captured alongside 300 of its members. Days later Mohammed Yusuf was announced dead after he reportedly attempted to escape from detention.
After a decade of protracted conflict that has destroyed economic activities and normal life, the governor of the state Babagana Umara Zulum in 2019 commenced a multi-pronged strategy of his own recruiting 10,000 hunters with “voodoo powers” to help government forces rout the insurgents.
The Gwoza Hills, with height of about 1300 meters above the sea level is made up of ranges of mountains/hills known as the ‘Mandara Mountains’ and provides beautiful scenery. These Mountains/hills form a natural barrier between Nigeria and Republic of the Cameroun, starting from pulka meandering towards Mubi and beyond.
The mountains, with promenade-like paths along Gwoza dugi vicinity is conducive for mountaineering, trekking and picnicking – it has several streams, ponds, springs and is dotted with settlement by various tribes. Nigerian government uses this hill as training ground for Mobile Police, members of the Man-O-War-Bay and various National Orientation courses. Gwoza is a local government area of Borno State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Gwoza, a border town “about 135 kilometres South-East of Maiduguri. The postal code of the area is 610.
The terrain is rocky and hilly. The Gwoza Hills, with heights of about 1300m above sea level provides scenery and is made up of the Mandara Mountains, which form a natural barrier between Nigeria and Cameroon, starting from Pulka. They overlook the game reserves by meandering towards Mubi and beyond in Adamawa State.
The Gwoza LGA has been called “a notorious hide out for the Boko Haram insurgents,” who arrived in the area in 2009 from Maiduguri. The area has suffered considerable violence as a result of the Islamist insurgency in Nigeria, and in 2014, saw an influx of Boko Haram fighters fleeing Sambisa Forest.
As of 23 June 2014, “reports indicated that the whole of Gwoza was under attack. The report could not be substantiated because most telephone masts in Gwoza and surrounding villages have been vandalized by insurgents. Deutsche Welle reported that “Roads out of the region are extremely dangerous and phone connections are poor to nonexistent.
As of 19 October 2014, an estimated 3,000 Gwoza residents displaced by fighting are “squatting on the fringes of Abuja”, according to a local relief committee spokesman, with “the need for shelter, food, clothing and medicare for the displaced also becoming dire. On 27 March 2015, the day before the Nigerian presidential election, the Nigerian Army announced that it had recaptured the town of Gwoza from Boko Haram. According to AllAfrica.com, “Gwoza, one of the largest towns in Borno, fell under the control of Boko Haram terrorists on August 6, 2014.”
SAMBISA GAME RESERVE, KAWURI.
This was built in 1970to serve as a safari. It is notable as a conservation center for wildlife Located within the catchments of the Yedseram River, South-east of Maiduguri, Sambisa covers an area of 520sqkm. Sambisa is home to a variety of rare and endangered species of animals such as ostriches, giraffes, zebras, camels, roan antelopes, red fronted gazelles, topi, leopards etc.
It is an important sanctuary for a group of migratory elephants (200) that migrates annually from Gujba forest in Yobe State and over 62 species of birds have been recorded at the reserve. These species include secretary birds, guinea fowls, Arabian bustards, bateleur, Savile’s bustards, African collared-dove, chestnut-bellied starling, black scrub-robin, Sudan golden sparrow etc. The reserve is under the Borno State Government.
It is notable as the source of livelihood for the surrounding Borno community. Built by Locals.
Built by Locals..
Lake Alau is the major source of water for irrigation, farming and also a fishing site for the Maiduguri community and nearby communities. Situated off Maiduguri-Bama Road, some fourteen (14) kilometers away from Maiduguri, the Lake is a natural water storage formed by River Ngada – characterized by a charming, undulating landscape, which is further beautified by savannah vegetation with sparking shores around it. Legend has it that the basin is the spot where Idris Aloma, one of the famous warriors, hero and charismatic leader of the ancient Kanem Bornu Empire was buried, hence, the name ‘Alau’. Lake Alau is now a site for intensive farming, especially irrigation during the dry season where spinach, onions and tomatoes are being cultivated by individuals. Fishing is another economic activity that takes place on the Lake’s shores. It also provides water to Maiduguri Metropolis through the water treatment plant.
BORNO STATE MUSEUM
The Museum is situated at the premises of the Open Theatre within the state capital. It is an epitome of Borno’s famous history and cultural heritage which was collectively enriched by its heterogeneous ethnic groups. It is established primarily for the preservation, exhibition, promotion and research of the antiquities as well as the contemporary art works, crafts and other historical artifacts of the people of Borno State.
It is a crater lake, some 7km south-west of Biu in Hawul local government. The Lake varies in size according to season and government is currently developing it as a holiday resort and already chalets and restaurants have been provided for the comfort of guests.
Situated in Kwaya-Kusar local Government area, the fall drops from a plateau with a height of about 50ft into a valley that flows throughout the year, and it has a solitary and pleasant environment ideal for weekend excursion tours.
LAKE CHAD GAME SANCTUARY
This is a sanctuary for endangered wildlife and it stretches from kala Balge, Ngala, Marte, Kukawa to Mobbar and Abadam local government areas of the state. The habitat harbors about 400 elephants moving in herds, mostly roaming near the lake’s water.
RABEH’S FORT, DIKWA
This fort was built in 1894 by Rabeh ibn Fade-Allah as his headquarters after successful invasion of the Borno empire. The fort is now a national monument and it is of great historical importance in the remaking of present Borno. It is located in the town of Dikwa – approximately 80km north-east of Maiduguri.
Lake Chad occupies a strategic location serving not only Borno but also serving the three neighboring countries of Niger, Cameroun and Chad. The lake apart from serving the agricultural and economic needs of the people, attracts a great number of tourists interested in boating and fishing.
SHEHU OF BORNO PALACE
The palace is prominently located in Maiduguri metropolis and it reflects the grandeur, prestigious relics and modified architectural design of Arab civilization. It is built of burnt-bricks and was constructed by the artistry of four famous Kanuri Masons and Architects.
SANDA KYARIMI PARK ZOO
The Zoological Park is situated within the metropolis along Shehu Laminu way Established in 1970 initially as communal forest reserve, it has developed tie into a 42-acre wildlife sanctuary as well as a botanical park.
It houses a lot of the animal species of great beauty and serves as a leisure for people especially during festivities.