BRIEF HISTORY OF KADUNA STATE

Kaduna State is the 18th state of Federal Republic of Nigeria located in the northwest zone of the country. It takes its name for the capital of Kaduna; hence it is usually referred to as Kaduna State to distinguish the two. It is ranked 4th by land area and 3rd by population in Nigeria. The state capital was the former capital city of the British protectorate of Northern Nigeria region (1923-1966) after Zungeru (1903–1923) and Lokoja (1897–1903). Other major urban areas include Zaria, Kagoro, Kafanchan, Kachia, Nok, Makarfi, Birnin Gwari and Zonkwa.

Just as other Nigerian states have beautiful places that sell them, Kaduna is not left out. There are a large number of exquisite places you can visit in Kaduna. Some of these destinations in Kaduna tell history, some for luxury while others are just jaw-dropping.

Kaduna state has numerous tourist attractions and comfortable five star hotels such as Durbar and Hamdala Hotels, among others, Tourist attractions include the Nok Cultural Safe at Kuwi in Jema’s Local Government Area, the Maitsirga Water falls in Kafanchan, the Legendary Lord Lugard bridge in Kaduna town, the Kerfena Hills in Zaria and the Palace of the Emir of Zaria. There are also modern parks and gardens.

EMIR’S PALACE, ZARIA

In 1804 the Muslim Hausa ruler of Zaria pledged allegiance to Usman dan Fodio, the Fulani Muslim leader who was conducting the great jihad (“holy war”) in northern Nigeria. This resulted in a Fulani becoming ruler of Zaria in 1808.

The Hausa ruler had escaped to Abuja, where he established a state now known as the Suleja Emirate, retaining his independence and the title of “Sarkin Zazzau”. The ruler of the modern Zazzau Emirate also uses the title “Sarkin Zazzau” or “Sarkin Zaria “.

After the jihad, the culturally similar but pastoral or nomadic Fulani intermarried with the more settled Habe farmers, and the people of the Emirate today are generally known as Hausa-Fulani. The government of the Zaria Emirate differed from other emirates created at this time in that offices were rarely hereditary but were appointed based on merit or obligation.

Zaria’s fortunes declined in the late 19th century.

This Palace is situated inside the ancient city of Zazzau. It was built of mud also with traditional expertise typical of Hausa architectural design. The Palace is surrounded with high walls with beautifully constructed gates.

One of the gates is the main entrance gate while the other gate separates the residential area of the Emir and his family from his emirate offices. The Palace, with such beautiful Habe Traditional Architectural Design, projects a sheer grandeur of beauty and elegance of the traditional Hausa culture of the Zazzagawa.

The palace is simply fascinating and irresistible to witness.

THE NOK

The little settlement called Nok village is located in Jaba Local government down in the southern part of Kaduna State, up in northern Nigeria, which frequently attracts visitors. There is no doubt as to Nok’s universal fame, across the academia and all over the world. Antiquities from Nok adorn great museums and galleries across the globe in different parts of the world.

But despite the coveted place of Nok history in world culture of first African civilization, the little village in whose honor the famed artifacts are named remain a rustic hamlet to this day.

Tourists from around the world have taken the pains to take a trip into the rural enclave to see, firsthand, the globally acclaimed site of Africa’s first civilization and perhaps the spot where life sized terracotta carvings were first discovered.

Textbooks have been written about Nok culture that serve as a source of cultural instruction and inspiration for thousands of Nigerian students and their counterparts from around the African continent.

Entire websites have been dedicated to protecting the image of Nok which has been seen in many quarters as the root of the black man’s romance with the first impressions of modern technology.

The view perhaps has received a national stamp of authority with the sitting of a modern structure to accommodate some of the relics of this unique culture which has escaped the pilfering fingers of art thieves and corrupt collectors.

FIFTH CHUKKER RESORTS

Founded in 2001, the Fifth Chukker Polo & Country Club is a private public partnership that represents the new in the old world of the equestrian sport of Polo in Nigeria. With over four hundred thoroughbred polo ponies stabled in a three-thousand-hectare resort Fifth Chukker Polo & Country Club sets a benchmark in excellence while maintaining its relaxed family orientated atmosphere.

Fifth Chukker Polo and Country club threw its massive weight behind the campaign for breast cancer awareness in Nigeria with a sensational pink polo day during the recent Africa Patrons Cup polo championship.

Pink polo day is a breast cancer awareness trademark event wrapped up in a sporty ambience that makes up for an all family day out where kids can play around, women can dress up and know more about breast cancer and everyone else can enjoy one of the world’s most action-packed sports – all for the better cause of a healthier life for women and the community.

This resort blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings set over 130 hectares of land. It also offers world class sports entertainment in a casual & elegant environment.

Fifth Chukker is undoubtedly one of the finest facilities in the country to play in and observe the dramatic and artistic sport of polo.

MATSIRGA WATERFALLS

The enchanting Matsirga waterfall can be spotted even from the road on the right-hand side when you are going to Kaduna from Kafanchan. The crystal clear water cascading down the rock from a height of about 30 meters makes a splashing noise that can be heard from the road as well.

The path leading to the waterfall is bushy and as our reporter crashed through the dew-soaked grasses to have a closer look at the scenic beauty of the waterfall, his blue jeans trousers got wet and his black loafers shoes became muddy. In spite of the discomfort, the tranquil environment was breathtaking, almost magical.

The bright morning sun glowed on the sparkling bubbles of water that flowed from atop what looked like a hard gypsum rock, and splattered at the base of the rock, forming a pool that looped and then flowed gracefully westwards.

The gaping mouth of the cave crested the pool and casted dark shadows on the surface of the water. As the stream meanders down, it changed colour from crystal clear to murky. The gentle lapping of the water as it streamed down, snaking through rocks produced sonorous music that was earful but at the same time delightful.

The green foliage of savannah grasses and shrubs on both banks of the stream and the chattering parrots and humming finches created a wonderful moment. No wonder, the locals call the stream that has produced the waterfall ‘river wonderful’.

If you ask locals around for Matsirga waterfall many will not know about it and might even think you are talking about a place that is nowhere near southern Kaduna, but once you mention river wonderful, you are sure of seeing a glint appear in their eyes and a flashing smile crossing their faces.

They also revel in telling mysterious stories about the stream and its magnificent waterfall.

The waterfall which is reputed for producing rainbows on some Sundays and smoke from its pool straddles between Aduan 5, a suburb of Kafanchan, on the southern bank and Matsirga, a village that now lies in ruins following the 2011 post-election violence, on the northern bank, which is actually in Zangon Katap local government. A dilapidated railroad bridge crosses the stream at the ridge of the rock that causes fall from the eastern horizon while the highway crosses the stream from down west.

KAJURU CASTLE

Kajuru Castle is a luxury villa, built between the years 1981 and 1989, at Kajuru (Ajure) village in southern Kaduna State, Nigeria. It was built by a German expatriate in Nigeria, living in Kaduna at the time.

The castle is located at about 45 km from Kaduna on a mountaintop in Kajuru (Ajure) village, Kaduna State. Built with 1-meter thick granite stone in a fanciful medieval-inspired Romanesque style, it is adorned with turrets, an armory and a dungeon. The castle is privately owned and has the capacity to contain 150 guests.

The Castle is often described as an African version of the Bavarian Castle in a very grand 19th-century Romanesque revival style. It has a baronial styled hall, coupled with dungeons and towers lined with crenellated walls.

The castle also has a big “knight’s hall” and a landlords (masters) residence and several other rooms over its three floors. On 19 April 2019, unidentified terrorists armed with heavy weapons broke into the castle, killing two people, a British communication specialist and a Nigerian assistant for NGO company Mercy Corps. The unidentified terrorists also kidnapped three others.

RIVER KADUNA

The Kaduna River is a tributary of the Niger River which flows for 550 kilometres (340 mi) through Nigeria. It got its name from the crocodiles that lived in the river and surrounding area.

Kaduna in the native dialect, Hausa, was the word for “crocodiles”. It starts in Plateau State on the Jos Plateau 29 kilometers (18 mi) southwest of Jos town, flows through its namesake Kaduna State and through its capital Kaduna, and meets the Niger River in Niger State.

Most of its course passes through open savanna woodland, but its lower section has cut several gorges above its entrance into the extensive Niger floodplains.

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LORD LUGARD FOOT BRIDGE

Nigeria used to be known as Southern and Northern protectorates, which existed differently under the supervision of the British colonialists. As the years went by, the need to merge these protectorates to form one colony was imminent due to factors such as railway construction and harmonised administration for effective governance.

Zungeru was the former Capital of the Northern protectorate as well as the first national political capital of Nigeria between 1902 and 1916. It was at Zungeru that the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates took place in 1914, under the High Commissioner and later first Governor-General of Nigeria, Lord Frederick Lugard.

During his era as Governor of the protectorate, apart from being instrumental to the successful amalgamation of Nigeria, his other achievements remain indelible in the annals of Nigeria history and development. In 1904 Lugard constructed a foot bridge, which was named after him (Lugard Footbridge).

The bridge served as a link between his residence and other quarters of colonial Zungeru over river Kaduna. Shortly after amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates Kaduna was made Northern Headquarters in preference over Jebba or Lokoja in 1920 by Lord Lugard.

The Zungeru Foot bridge was moved to Gamji Gate Kaduna in 1954 and declared Historic Monument On 16th February, 1956 by Federal Department of Antiquities now National Commission for Museums and Monument under Antiquity Ordinance of 1953.

The bridge currently serves as a tourist attraction to teaming populace and a reminder of infrastructure laid by the colonial administrators. The bridge is currently located in General Hassan Usman Katsina Park (formally Government Garden) which was established shortly after amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 by Lord Lugard and lies at N 100 30.311 E 0070 27.206 with an elevation of 586M Above Sea Level.

KAGORO HILLS

Kagoro is a large town in Kaduna State, Nigeria. It is located in the Kaura Local Government Area. Kagoro is a Christian-dominated town. It is home to many missionaries, attracted by the cool weather and relatively high altitude.

The Catholic Society of African Missions (SMA) has its northern Nigeria headquarters in Kagoro, and the Evangelical Churches of West Africa (ECWA) denomination has a strong presence there, with both a theological college and a school of health technology. During the long reign of the late Chief Gwamna Awan, Kagoro was considered strategic during political campaigning, as politicians would visit him to receive his blessing and endorsement.

The Kagoro Hills, known as Afan Ae’gworok among the natives, is the towering elevation above the Kagoro municipality near Kafanchan in the Southern Kaduna sub-region of Northern Nigeria.

The Kagoro Afan National Festival derives its name from the hill (Afan). The Kagoro Hills is situated at an altitude of about 1,246 meters above sea level and its scene is one of the most picturesque natural attractions in Kaduna State.

It forms a range with big trees and rocky places at the base. The hill has significantly influenced the weather of the area making the area to enjoy nice clement climate similar to what is obtainable in the Jos and the Mambila Plateaus. There is also heavy rainfall with mild fresh humid wind during the rainy season.

The Kagoro hill is famed to be the ancestral settlement of the Kagoro people. The inhabitants of Kagoro town had lived atop the hill ranges for hundreds of years before they eventually relocated to the current site at the foot of the hill owing to coming of the Europeans with its attendant changes in social and economic lifestyle.

In spite of this change, some settlements still exist atop the serene hill ranges which boasts of schools, health clinic, churches, etc. Like most conventional societies, the Kagoro hill settlers live in clusters of compounds hedged by cactus shrubs hedging as borders separating the various compounds.

The Kagoro hills ranges cover an unbelievably large expanse of plains stretching as far as the eyes can see. Natives say that these plains stretch as far as Jos in neighboring Plateau State and parts of Bauchi State.

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