Home Opinion Heroes of the Caliphate: The Brave Madakin Kano Kwairanga 1894 – 1903

Heroes of the Caliphate: The Brave Madakin Kano Kwairanga 1894 – 1903

by Isiyaku Ahmed
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By Adnan Bawa Bello

Madakin Kano Mahamman kwairanga was the son of Madakin Kano Umaru Nayaya and grandson of Mallam Jibir. He belonged to the Yolawa Fulani clan who participated in the Kano jihad between 1804 – 1807.

Their leader was Mallam Goshi as stated by Alkalin Kano Zangi (1804 – 1867) in his book Takyid Al-Akhbar.

Mallam Jibir became the clan leader after the demise of his senior full brother, Mallam Goshi in 1808 during an encounter in Burumburum with the escaped Hausa Sarkin Kano Alwali (1782 – 1807).

Kwairanga joined the Kano rebels who killed the Sakin Kano Tukur in 1894 and this led to the emergence of Alu as Sarkin Kano in 1894.

Alu appointed Kwairanga as Madakin Kano on the dismissal of his senior full brother Madakin Kano Mallam (1867 – 1894). With his new appointment, Kwairanga became the leader of the Yolawa clan, kingmaker, senior council member, and in charge of the western axis of the Kingdom as his fief. He fought many battles with the Damagaram (Niger Republic), Ningi, and others to defend Kano against aggressors.

Sarkin Kano Alu received a letter in his court from Adamu Jakada, a Kano indigene residing in Lokoja (the present Kogi State) informing him about the inevitable attack on Kano by the British forces (Dr. Uba Adamu: 2006).

Another letter informed Alu that the British soldiers left Zaria 150km away from Kano to attack his kingdom (Abdulmalik Mani: 1956). Despite the enormity of the threat to Kano from multiple sources including intelligence reports,  Alu ordered all the title holders with the exception of very few to accompany him to Sokoto to visit the graves of his maternal grandparents and to see the Sarkin Musulmi.

A few kilometers away from Kano after crossing the river Challawa, Madaki Kwairanga confronted Alu and questioned the rationale behind abandoning the people at the mercy of the impending British attack (Jamil Abba: 2007).

Kwairanga strongly objected to the journey to Sokoto and suggested that they should return to Birnin Kano to await the incoming British forces in order to defend their subjects and fatherland with the last drop of their blood.

Kwairanga was dismissed, and Alu ordered his arrest and detention at Kanwa, near Kwankwaso town (Prof. Smith: 1959). Alu appointed Faruku in place of his dismissed father and continued his journey to Sokoto.

On 3 February 1903, the British army captured Kano with minimal resistance in the absence of Sarkin Kano Alu and other notables who were supposed to be on the ground to defend it but were away to Sokoto on Alu’s order.

Kwairanga escaped from detention after the conquest of Kano and searched for the whereabouts of the Sarkin Musulmi. A few weeks after the installation of Sarkin Kano Abbas by the British, on 3 April 1903, the defeated Sarkin Musulmi Attahiru with a large company of followers passed through southern Kano, heading east.

Many Fulani aristocrats including Kwairanga and Kano ulama (intellectuals) despite Abbas’s efforts to stop them, abandoned their homes to join the Sarkin Musulmi as he passed through southern Kano en-route Burmi (Gombe Chiefdom), where he was killed with 700 of his followers by British forces on 27 July 1903.

The courageous Madakin Kano Kwairanga paid the highest sacrifice defending the Caliphate, its people, Islam, and their leader, the Sarkin Musulmi.

May Allah reward him for his death while defending the lives of his people and their dignity.

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