There are states in Nigeria where Fulani people live and these areas are located in the Northern part of the country. Some call these places “Hausa Fulani states”, but we should not confuse these two ethnic groups for one another.
Although, it is common knowledge that Nigeria as a federation and sovereign African country is made up of 36 states and various capital cities, you might want to know where exactly do Fulani people reside in Northern Nigeria and how many states are occupied by the Fulani speaking tribe.
It would interest you to know that you might not find the names of Fulani states on the map of Nigeria, but these people really exist and have territories and special qualities that differentiates them from the rest.
While Northern Nigeria is predominantly occupied by the Hausa tribe, they are home for minor ethnic groups called “Fulbe” and “Fula”.
Even if they are not large as the Igbo tribe and Yoruba states in the Southern geopolitical zone of Nigeria, they are united by their culture and a common language “Fulfulde”, which is understood by all.
The history of Fulani in Nigeria could be traced to the Islamic theocracy of the 19th century in Western Sudan.
The Fulani people expanded further east in the 14th century from Futa Toro in Senegal to Macina in the Niger. Later in the 19th century, they moved into Hausa land at Adamawa which was then situated in northern Cameroon.
As time passed, many of the Fulanis converted to Islam, giving up their nomadic lifestyle and stayed in urban communities of the Hausaland.
It was in 1790s that a Fulani divine, Usman dan Fodio, who at that time lived in Gobir, a northern Hausa state, rebelled against the Hausa kings which led to a jihad (Holy war).
This battle led to the division of the eastern empire of Kanem-Bornu.
Soon afterwards, Usman led another invasion of the Fulanis to the northern provinces of the emirate of Ilorin, Oyo. This was how Islam came to Yoruba land.
Usman would later split his kingdom as he gave his son, Muhammad Bello, the eastern part of the empire in Sokoto and to his brother Abdullahi, he ceded the western part, Gwandu.
This stayed towards the early 20th century when the British came and joined these empires as Northern Nigeria.
Common Qualities Of The Fulani People
Majority of Fulani groups live a nomadic lifestyle. They move from one place to the other and are mostly cattlemen moving around looking for pastures to feed their cows, sheep, goats and rams.
In fact, they deal mostly in trade and that is how they make their money.
Aside the nomadic lifestyle they are known for, there are other qualities of the Fulani people and states they live in, their language and even culture.
These are called “Pulaaku” and it entails that these group are well disciplined, courageous, modest, hardworking, friendly and very religious.
List of Fulani States in Nigeria
The states in Nigeria inhabited by Fulani includes some areas in the North namely:
- Gombe state
- Sokoto state
- Katsina state
- Bauchi state
- Kebbi state
- Yobe state and
- Benue state
Aside these major states where Fulani people can be found in Nigeria, there are other places where you can find them in the country.
Due to their nomadic way of life, you might come across them in small communities in the south-eastern states in Nigeria or even in the south-south.
Today, citizens of the country live in fear of this group and has even termed the Fulani tribe as the most dangerous tribe in Nigeria today due to the killings linked with Fulani herdsmen in the country.