Zamfara State

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Zamfara جهار زمفر 
IMG FK1.jpg
Flag of Zamfara State
Seal of Zamfara State
Location of Zamfara State in Nigeria
Location of Zamfara State in Nigeria
Coordinates: 12°10′N 6°15′E / 12.167°N 6.250°E / 12.167; 6.250Coordinates: 12°10′N 6°15′E / 12.167°N 6.250°E / 12.167; 6.250
Country Nigeria
Date created1 October 1996
 • BodyGovernment of Zamfara State
 • Governor
Bello Mohammed Matawalle (APC)
 • Deputy GovernorMahdi Aliyu Gusau (PDP)
 • LegislatureZamfara State House of Assembly
 • SenatorsC: Hassan Muhammed Gusau (APC)
N: Sahabi Alhaji Yaú (APC)
W: Lawal Hassan Anka (APC)
 • RepresentativesList
 • Total39,762 km2 (15,352 sq mi)
Area rank7th of 36
 (2021 Census)
 • Total9,278,873[1]
 • Estimate 
 • Rank11th of 36
 • Year2007
 • Total$4.12 billion[2]
 • Per capita$1,237[2]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
ISO 3166 codeNG-ZA
HDI (2018)0.415[3]
low · 32nd of 37
A boy in Maru Local Government Area

Zamfara is a state in northwestern Nigeria. Its capital is Gusau and its current Governor is Bello Matawalle. Until 1996, the area was part of Sokoto State.

Zamfara is mostly populated with the Hausa and Fulani people. The Zamfarawa mainly in Anka, Gummi, Bukkuyum and Talata Mafara Local Governments areas. Gobirawa populated Shinkafi Local Government. Gobirawa actually migrated from the Gobir Kingdom. Burmawa are found in Bakura and Fulani peopled Bungudu, Maradun, Gusau and are scattered all over the State. In Chafe, Bungudu and Maru, most are mainly Katsinawa, Garewatawa and Hadejawa. While Alibawa peopled Kaura Namoda and Zurmi, while Alawan Shehu Usmanu Fulani Are Found in Birninmagaji.

It is bordered to the north by the Republic of the Niger, to the south by Kaduna State, to the east by Katsina State, and to the west by the states of Sokoto and Niger. It has a population of 9,278,873 according to the 2006 census and contains fourteen local government areas.


The people of Zamfara have over the years struggled for autonomy, but it was not until 1996 that the then military administration of the late General Sani Abacha detached the Zamfara State from Sokoto State with an area of 38,418 square kilometres. The first Governor was Jibril Yakubu.

The area today called Zamfara state was one of the old states like Kano, Katsina, Gobir, Kabi and Zazzau. The earliest inhabitants of Zamfara were said to have been hunters and giants.[4] They established their first settlement at Dutsi, which was the first capital of Zamfara. It extends up to the bend of River Rima to the north west and River Ka in the south west. Zamfara Kingdom was established in the 11th century and flourished up to 16th century as a city-state. Its capital has shifted with the fortunes of the kingdom from place to place like Dutsi and Birnin Zamfara.

In the first half of the 18th century, its then capital Birnin Zamfara, was destroyed by the Gobir Kingdom and a new capital was established in Anka by the second half of the 19th century. Zamfara had many centers of commerce and scholarship that attracted many scholars like the Yandoto city. It became part of the Sokoto Caliphate after the 1804 jihad by Usman dan Fodio. In fact, Usman Danfodiyo settled in Sabon Gari where Sarkin Zamfara Abarshi had already established a garrison headquarters during the early days of his Jihad as a base from where fought Gobir and Kabi.[5]

At the wake of British colonialism, the emerging town of Gusau became an important commercial and administrative center with road and rail networks passing through it. With the creation of states during the Gowon Administration, Zamfara Kingdom became part of the then North West state and later the Sokoto State.[5]


The climate condition of Zamfara is tropical with temperatures rising up to 38 °C (100.4 °F) and above between March and May. Rainy season starts in late May to September while the mild season known as Harmattan lasts from December to April.

Local Government Areas[edit]

Zamfara State consists of fourteen (14) Local Government Areas. They are:


A household

Zamfara State is mainly populated by Hausa and Fulani people, with some members of Gwari, Kamuku, Kambari, Dukawa, Bussawa and Zabarma ethnic communities.[6] Others include the Igbo, Yoruba, Kanuri, Nupe and Tiv.

The state capital is an important commercial center with a heterogeneous population of people from all over Nigeria. As in all major towns in Nigeria, all the major towns in Zamfara have a large population of other peoples from different parts of Nigeria.


Hausa is the official language of the state. Other main languages spoken in Zamfara are English, French, Fulfulde, Arabic; minority populations also speak languages like: Yoruba and Igbo.

The Kainji languages C'Lela and Gwamhi-Wuri are spoken in Gummi LGA. Ut-Ma'in is also spoken in the state and in Kebbe, Sokoto State.[7]


Gathering firewood in rural Zamfara
A camel being transported home from a market

Agriculture and gold mining are the state's main occupations and the central source of income. Irrigation is required for cereals and legumes, hence the slogan "farming is our pride".[8]

Over 80 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture. Major products include millet, guinea corn, maize, rice, groundnut, cotton, tobacco and beans.[9]


A list of tertiary institutions in Zamfara state include:


In 2009, gold mining became a greater source of income in Zamfara State as worldwide gold prices rose dramatically.[13] High concentrations of lead in the ore from which gold was being extracted led to a lead poisoning outbreak in the state, requiring national and international intervention to remediate affected areas and provide medical care to children with severe lead poisoning.

Bandit attacks[edit]

Bandit gangs are very active in Zamfara.

On 26 February 2021, 279 girls were abducted from their boarding school located in Jangebe, Zamfara during the Zamfara kidnapping. They have since been released.[14]

From 11-12 June 2021, bandits killed over 50 villagers, mostly farmers.

From 4–6 January 2022, over 200 people were killed by bandits in Zamfara State.[15]


Islam is the principal and major religion of the state. Christianity also has many adherents. The original native religions also remain but they have the fewest followers. These religions are mainly practiced in ancient settlements like Dutsi and Kwatarkwashi. Zamfara was the first state in Nigeria to introduce Sharia law during the tenure of Ahmad Sani Yerima, the former Governor of the state.


Mount Kwatarkwashi

Zamfara State holds some number of tourist attractions which are of historical or religious importance. These include Jata, an ancient settlement of Zamfara located around the hill with a large cave around where traditional practices were performed.[9]

Notable people[edit]

Baobab trees

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2021 PHC Priority Tables – NATIONAL POPULATION COMMISSION". Archived from the original on 2018-01-14. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  2. ^ a b "C-GIDD (Canback Global Income Distribution Database)". Canback Dangel. Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Archived from the original on 2018-09-23. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  4. ^ "Zamfara Gold Mining Factory". Archived from the original on 2021-06-26. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  5. ^ a b "Zamfara State, Nigeria Genealogy". FamilySearch Wiki. 11 April 2020. Archived from the original on 2021-10-15. Retrieved 2021-06-26.
  6. ^ "Nigeria Ethnic Groups|Map". Archived from the original on 2021-01-26. Retrieved 2021-02-14.
  7. ^ "Nigeria". Ethnologue (22 ed.). Archived from the original on 2020-02-19. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  8. ^ "Zamfara gold mining: Niger Delta seeks amendment of petroleum, mining acts". December 12, 2020. Archived from the original on February 17, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Zamfara State of Nigeria :: Nigeria Information & Guide". Archived from the original on 2020-11-07. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  10. ^ "Official List of Courses Offered in Federal Polytechnic, Kaura Namoda (FEDPONAM) - Myschool". Archived from the original on 2021-07-14. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  11. ^ "List of All Courses Offered at ZAMSU, Cut Off Mark & Requirements". Eduloaded. 2019-01-14. Archived from the original on 2022-01-13. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  12. ^ "List Of FUGUS Courses and Programmes Offered". 2020-10-09. Archived from the original on 2021-07-14. Retrieved 2021-07-14.
  13. ^ Maram Mazen (2012-05-10). "Nigeria Gold Rush Exposes Children to Lead Poisoning - Bloomberg Business". Archived from the original on 2014-10-18. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  14. ^ "Nigeria's Zamfara school abduction: More than 300 Nigerian girls missing". BBC News. 2021-02-26. Archived from the original on 2021-02-26. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  15. ^ "At least 200 dead in bandit attacks in northwest Nigeria". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 9 January 2022. Retrieved 9 January 2022.

External links[edit]