By Abdulbaqee Ango, Gidan Fulani Kwankwaso
Not the fairy tales by the moonlight and the fallacy that an Igbo man founded a community called Kwankwaso in Kano.
We are yet in another round of politicking period where political predators cum propagandists are vehemently using the little energy available for them, thereby trying their hard times to re-write, but a disjointed and fallacious history of their gladiator opponents to curry favors for themselves.
I observed with dismay, a story sold some 4-5years ago, but resurfacing now, in which the balderdash goes like this, ‘How an Igbo trader Mr. Felix Okwanko & Sons founded a Community near a Kano railway Station called Kwankwaso in 1927’.
To start with, this history is least to say, it’s hogwash, baseless, misleading, blatant lie, and a misrepresentation of facts, that only mischievously and sleeplessly existed in the unhallowed and shallow minds of the proponents and believers of it.
This same or particular narration started somewhere around 2003, in the build-up of that year’s gubernatorial election between His Excellency, the then incumbent governor of Kano State, Dr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso who was flying for PDP’s ticket, and his erstwhile Friday man and former Accountant General Alh. Umar Yakubu Danhassan (Dan Agro) was also vying for the same gubernatorial seat under the auspices of PSP.
In one of their campaigns in Kano, the PSP National Leader, Alh. Wada Nas of blessed memory, jokingly (as he was throwing banters) mentioned that an Igbo man Okwonko & sons, founded the village Kwankwaso.
He did so to spite the then-governor and his supporters, and the same story is still going around the country by political propagandists, who do not mind doing their fact-checks. This is in spite of several attempts made by many people in dispelling the lies, thereby stating the actual history of the town.
It’s instructive to note that, one of the political gladiators currently vying for the stool of the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is from this same town, and the person is no other than his Excellency as well as a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, an 8-year former governor of Kano State, former Minister of Defence, former Deputy Speaker Federal House of Representatives and a season civil servant, Engineer, Dr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso FNSE, hence it’s not surprising when such baseless lies and propaganda spring ups again.
Let’s check the population census of Kano province of 1929, where it was categorically noted that, no single Igbo man was captured in Kano, talk less of being in villages, not to even founding the whole village.
Kwankwaso before the arrival of Fulani
Kwankwaso as a community existed for over 1000 years, right from the days of Bagauda, who was said to have been the founder of Kano. The then dispersed community known as Marmara (for its sedimentary-based rocks, beneath the soils) was a host to the houses of Tukunkunji, Makau, Abarai, and Tandu who were the original Hausa (Haɓe) settlers in the area came to the 5th house of Bagauda where he settled down, during his exploration of the area, as well carving out of his would be the city of Kano and environs.
The famous book, Tarikh Arbab Fi hazal Al Balad Al Musamman Bi Kano (the Kano Chronicles) first written in 1672 mentioned Kwankwaso town as one of the earliest settlements in Kano. A popular song of Bagauda with over 1000 poems sung over 200 years ago mentioned Kwankwaso town.
I am very sure no Kano historian is not acquainted with the song. The song goes like this, “Bagauda ne ya sari Kano da fari, tun tana dawa kirmizi babu kowa……… Tun da ga Lambu sara ne ya kama, ta Kanwa ta Kwankwaso har Tamburawa…….”. Meaning, Bagauda founded Kano, then it remained just a vast forest / virgin land.
He started carving, right from Lambu, through Kanwa and Kwankwaso up to Tamburawa….” it continues like that.
Kwankwaso under (Mamman Danhawa) Fulani;
In the wake of Islamic revival (jihad) in the bilad al – sudaniya, as headed by Sheik Usman bin Fodio several Islamic scholars mostly of Fulani origins despatched themselves all over the neighboring areas of Nupe, Katsina, Kano, etc propagations and teachings of Islam.
The Yolawa or Ba’awa and Joɓawa settled in the westward of Kano, Dambazawa settled Northward, Munduɓawa Eastward, Danejawa, Jallagawa and Gyanawa settled in the Northeastern ward of Kano, while the Sulliɓawa settled in Southwest ward comprising of areas of Cishema, Yalwan Danziyal down to across the river to the areas of Kanwa and Kwankwaso.
Among those who settled in Cishema was Mahmud ibn Abdulmalik ibn Modibbo Ibrahim Ƙwairanga the biological father of Mal. Muhammadu Jamo and the famous Ibrahim Dabo later succeeded Suleiman as the 2nd Emir of Kano under Fulani’s dynasty.
While Modibbo Mamman DanHawa who happened to be a cousin brother to the said Mahmud (Mallam Ibrahim Dabo’s father) and his other brothers, that included Yusuf Turaki Gandi, Usman, Suleiman, Wurno, and Abubakar decided to settle in the areas, presently known as Kanwa and Kwankwaso.
Modibbo Mamman DanHawa and his aforementioned brothers were said to be sons of Shehu Umar ibn Modibbo Ibrahim Kwairanga the great-grandfather of Mallam Ibrahim Dabo, who all traced their history back to Dange-Shuni in present Sokoto State.
How the name Kwankwaso was arrived at
From their ancestral home of Dange-Shuni and in their sojourn to Kano Mamman DanHawa and his brothers were said to have lived in many places including a settlement in Katsina. On their arrival to Kano, they first stay in an area called Rinji, presently under Gora village in the same Madobi Local Government, where they later moved to Kafin-Agur.
While in Kafin Agur they met a man called Agur who happened to be a Tuareg (Buzu) by tribe and a pastoralist. Just like Agur, Mamman Danhawa and his brothers were also pastoralists, hence finding it difficult to co-habit with the man Agur, thus deciding to move a little forward to a more viable and favorable place.
They will sleep in Kafin Agur and at daybreak, they will go for bush clearing in their, would be a new settlement, which was eventually called Kwankwaso.
The name Kwankwaso was arrived at, in two versions. The first version stated that, when Mamman Danhawa and his brothers were clearing the bush for their new settlement, they met a stip resistance from the Haɓe settlers as we mentioned their names before, and at that juncture, Mamman Dahawa’s response to them was ‘Kun kuso, Kun kuƙi anan za mu zauna’, meaning whether you like it or not we are settling here, a Hausa phrase with Sokoto’s intonation (dialect).
Subsequently, the area was called ‘Kun kuso’, over time metamorphosed into Kwankwaso, you know, as usual, Hausa speakers like shortcuts in everything they say.
The second version stated that, no, Mamman DanHawa was not responding to the earlier settlers, but was talking to some of his brothers who were opposed to settling there.
Among the Mamman DanHawa’s brothers who opposed to settled in their newfound settlement were Abubakar, Wurno, and Mallam Muhammadu Jamo, therefore they decided to move forward to a new settlement presently called Kanwa.
Similarly, the name Kanwa was arrived at, during a period when Abubakar visited his brother Mamman Ɗanhawa at Kwankwaso, that Danhawa and his remaining brothers were deriding Abubakar & others, on why they refused to live with them, hence Abubakar responded to them as, “nan Kanwa muke” meaning “are we living on any person’s head there”.
While Mamman DanHawa was chosen by his remaining brothers to be the first Fulani leader in the area, ie Sarkin Fulani between 1808-1818, Abubakar equally served as the first Sarkin Fulani of Kanwa.
Mallam Jamo who founded Kanwa alongside Abubakar and Wurno was later chosen to serve in the SHURA Committee for the Jihad alongside, leaders from other Fulani clans including Mallam Yunusa Dabon Dambazau from Dambazawa, Mallam Jibir (later Mallam Maigoshi) from Yolawa, Mallam Ɗanzabuwa from Mundiɓawa, Mallam Bakatsine from Danejawa and Mallam Usman Bahaushe an ally from the Hausa community.
Hence, Kanwa as a community is popularly known or referred to as ‘Kanwa kafin Jamo’, meaning Kanwa as founded by Jamo.
After the demise of his cousin Mahmuda in Cishema, Modibbo Danhawa later brought Mallam Ibrahim Dabo to live with him in Kwankwaso, and from there the later traveled wide and far, in search of Islamic knowledge to places like Borno, Nupe, and Kwasallo in Zaria. Mamman Hawa married out his own daughter Naiwa to Mallam Ibrahim Dabo.
From Kwankwaso, Mallam Ibrahim Dabo moved to his other uncle (Abubakar) in Kanwa, and from there later moved to join his brother Mallam Jamo in the city, when after the jihad Mallam Jamo was appointed as Sarkin Dawaki Mai-tuta. Hence, Mallam Ibrahim Dabo was called Dabon Kanwa.
…..to be continued.