CULTURE DIASPORA DID YOU KNOW? WHO ARE THE FULANIS OF NORTHERN NIGERIA? By Admin Posted on May 9, 2021 4 min read 0 0 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin O. Showunmi Fulanis of Northern Nigeria are a people of obscure origin; however, most historians seem to agree that they are originally from Futa Toro, a place in the lower Senegal and in the 14th century they began to expand. They have a robust Islamic theocratic system of government. By the 16th century, they had established themselves at Macina (upstream from the Niger Bend) and were proceeding eastward into Hausaland. By 19th century, some Fulanis had settled in Adamawa (in the northern Cameroons) Fulani are peaceful people who continued to pursue a pastoral life; some, however, particularly in Hausaland, gave up their nomadic pursuits, settled into existing urban communities, and were converted to Islām. Usman dan Fodio was born to the family of Muhammad Fodiye in Gobir, in Hausaland (Now Nigeria) in 1754. Usman dan Fodio is a Fulani, philosopher, and revolutionary reformer who, in a jihad (holy war) between 1804 and 1808, created a new Muslim state, the Fulani empire, in what is now Northern Nigeria. In the year 1803, Usman dan Fodio and hundreds of his followers migrated to Gudu where he continued to propagate Islam. While at Gudu, Usman dan Fodio declared a holy war (jihad) against King Yunfa of Gobir (Rimfa’s son and successor) and his people as he felt their way of life did not correspond with the teaching of Islam. The declaration of the holy war spread across the Hausaland and many people volunteered to join his army. In 1804, he formally declared a holy war on the whole of Hausaland. In 1808, Usman and his followers conquered Gobir, Kano, and other Hausa city-states. He retired from battle in 1811 and returned to teaching and writing but his armies continued their conquests until 1815. His Islamic religious empire included most of what is now northern Nigeria and parts of Niger as well as northern Cameroon. The holy war inspired a series of holy wars throughout West Africa at the time and Islam became the dominant faith among the people of West Africa. In 1837, the Sokoto Caliphate, with an estimated population of over 20 million people, had become the most populous empire in West Africa.