Title: Wuyo interviews translated by Mohammed Magaji for Mwajim M. Maidugu (typescript, 1974)
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099273/00001
 Material Information
Title: Wuyo interviews translated by Mohammed Magaji for Mwajim M. Maidugu (typescript, 1974)
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Maidugu, Mwajim
Cohen, Ronald ( Compiler )
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Bibliographic ID: UF00099273
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Special and Area Studies Collections
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


Headmaster, WUYO, Primary School

WU Y 0


Mwajim M. Maidugu
Research Assistant

TIME--l:00 p.m. 1/6/74

Wuyo is a land or village which is occupied by the people of Tera.

Tough it is a village under Biu Division and few of the people speak Bura,

they are different from the Bura.

How I collected my informations:

Since the elderly people of the village cannot speak Bura or Hausa

thoroughly I first of all had to see the lawan; of the village to

invite the people he thinks are most suitable for the job. The lawan

then collected his advisers and told them of my mission. He also invited

the headmaster, Malam Mohamed Magaji, who is also a Tera by tribe. They

met and discussed how they would channel their answers to me. To me I

sensed out that everything that they told me must be true because any

point which they made, all of them had to agree on that very point before

it is issued out. The real informants are two. They are Mshelkala Ali

and Chiroma Kyari, but the lawan ashed two others to come and listen to

what is being said. If they go astray or off the point the other two would

direct them. These two witnesses are Terima Dabara and the headmaster. The

headmaster even acted as the translator. These informants cannot speak my

language nor could they explain it for me to understand in Hausa. So the

headmaster was there at the beginning of the interview to the very end of

the work. Chiroma is about 90, Mshelkala Ali is about eighty years, Yerima

Dabara is about eighty five. The headmaster is a middle aged man of about

thirty five. The other witness, Yeriua Dabara is about seventy. When the

interview was being conducted there was a listener, a teacher from Wuyo

Primary School. His name is Mwajim and is Bura by trive. Yerima, Galadima

or Madaki Batari and Mshelkala are titles within the village and these

title holders are responsible for advising the lawan or making decisions.

They are all selected from different clans, two from the clan of the

present lawan and one each from the other two remaining (?) clans.

(DUR) = (many Nyarmbwra)


Meli and Kopyong were the two clans that founded the present Wuyo.

According to the legend or story of origin, these two clans, Meli and

Kopyong, originated from Yemen in Saudi Arabia. The informants say these

two clans just decided to move out of Yemen with the intention of going

to no particular place in mind. They travelled until they reached Egypt.

In Egypt they rested for sometime, then resumed on their journey until they

reached Ngazargamu. In Ngazargamu they settled for some period of time.

But after that a war broke out, the major tribes molesting the minor ones.

So this resulted in war between the small and the major tribes. Being

that they are small tribes they were driven south (the Meli, the Kopyong

and the other "Nyarmbwas' that followed them). Those clans that followed

Meli were Mengwari and Pikdir. The clans that followed Kopyong were

"Ndukdjiang," Mewobi and Gwajang. From Ngazargamu the tribes and clans

that I listed above travelled to Mandara Hills. They rested for some time

in the Mandara Hills then resumed their journey again. They travelled with-

out resting in any particular place until when they reached a village (Kabin)

south of Garkida at the bank of river Hawal in Adamawa province, North

Eastern State.

* Comments by Mwajim.

Here in Gabin there was a little break between the moving group.

But the informants were not interested in letting know for a reason

only known to them. I concluded that they do not want me to know because

each tribe that followed the different route wants the rest of the people

to agree that that was the route all of them followed. On the other hand

the other tribe or group rather wants the other people to agree that the

other group followed them. According to the story the other group from

Gabin followed south to Buma, a village south of Marama. The other group

from Gabin moved straight west to Tila (Kwaya Bura). The other group

that moved to Buma later on travelled north west to Walama, a village in

Biu Division, Kwaya Tera District. Buma is in Shani District.

From Walama then they moved to Wuyo Gampal. The other group that

travelled to Tila later on decided that they should vacate Tila and join

the people of their tribe at Wuyo Gampal. They left Tila and joined

their people whom they were formerly travelling together. The people

who were already in Wuyo. Gampal accepted them and they settled together.

The true story, I mean the story that all of them agreed upon was

that from Kabin they crossed the River Hawal and travelled South West to

Buma in Shani District. In Buma they left some group with whom they

were travelling together. The rest left Buma and travelled to Walama.

The group that settled behind at Buma are the present people we call

Kanakir. These KanakurUi later on multiply and move a little south

occupying the whole present Shani District. The group that travelled to

Walama later on decided to move North-West leaving a group behind. They

travelled North West until they reached Wuyo Gampala near the present

Wuyo. The people that they left behind at Walama settled and are now

called Hina Walama. See page VI for an illustration of the journey.

On reaching Wuyo Gampala they did not meet the village empty, but

they were some settlers who were already there called Basawa. The

people of Basawa welcomed them and allowed them to settle among them.

The Tera people then talked to the people of Basawa that we have come

with our leader and you already have your leader, how then can we do?

The people of Basawa said since you are more in number we would allow

your leader to rule us and our leader would be his assistant. So the

leader of Tera at that time became the chief of Wuyo Gampal.

During the reign of King Achambri he, the king, had no co-operation

with his people, and later on he decided to abdicate the throne. When

he abdicated the throne he run to Gxmbe where Buba Yaro is. Buba

Yaro is a Fulani man, a flag bearer of Usman Dan-fodio during the Jihad.

When he reached he complain to the chief, Buba Yaro, that he had to

abdicate his throne because his people were not co-operative to him. He

also asked Buba Yaro to allow him settle in his place. Buba Yaro agreed

and gave him a piece of land to build his own house and his servants.

Buba Yaro also promised him that he would rise a war against the people

of Wuyo Gambal for being unco-operative to their chief.

After Achambri left the chief makers had a difficult time in choosing

who was to rule them. The sons of Achambri said that none of them should

climb the throne again since the people were not co-operative to their

own father. They (the people) may not co-operate for them (the sons) as

well. Galadima and Mshelkala urged them that one of them should be the

King but they refused bluntly. So the king-makers were left in

dilema. There was a man called Abdulahi from the clan of Meli who wanted

to be the King but Galadima and Mshelkala, the king makers, refused.

With this situation at home not knowing what was happening Buba Yaro

came with his people and fought the people of Wuyo Gampal. The people
of Wuyo Gampal were defeated and after sometimes/knew that it was

necessary to bring back Achambri, so that such attack should not

occur any more. The king makers of Wuyo Gampal, Galadima and Mshelkala

went to Gombe and talked to Achambri that if he wishes let him go back

and claim his throne, because they need him on the throne badly. They

also said the people have promised to be co-operative and support him

in his work. Achambri went back and settled once more among his people

as the chief. He ruled Wuyo Gampal for three years again before Sarki

Birni succeeded him.

During the reign of Sarkin Birni the Fulani came again and

invaded Wuyo Gampal. Buba Yaro and his people planned that they should

not go with arms.

Another story of how Achambri was invited back to rule Wuyo Gampal

says that when Achambri reached Gombe and explained to the flag bearer

of Gombe that he abdicated his throne because his people were not

co-operative to him the flag bearer, Buba Yaro, promised him that he

would be put back to his throne. Buba Yaro called all his advisers and

the elders of the village that he wants them to fight a war against

Wuyo Gampal so that he could put back Achambri to his throne. He ex-

plained to them that he did not want them to carry any arms because he

wants to take them by surprise and burn them. Buba Yaro, his advisers

and the elders of his village set out to Wuyo. When they reached Wuyo

people saw that they were not armed so they welcomed them as friends.

Buba yaro said that the elders of Wuyo Gampal and the King-makers should

meet, because he wants to help them in choosing the new king. The elders

of Wuyo Gampala agreed and called a meeting in a very big room. Those

that attended the meeting were the king makers, Galadima and Mshelkala,

the elders of the village and those that wanted to be the King--for

example Abdulahi. During the meeting Buba Yaro ordered that a fire

should be set on the room which they were holding the meeting inside.

The story says some escaped but most of them got burned inside the house.

The people who wanted to be the king also got burned. So after this

incident the people of Wuyo Gambal called a meeting and discussed that

this war was fought against them because they refused Achambri as their

King and Achambri appealed to the Fulani for help. They went on to say

that since Achambri is still there in Gombe among the Fulani the same

thing may happen again in (the) near future. They concluded that they

should go and plead for Achambri to come back again to claim his throne

in Wuyo Gampala. The king makers and the elders of the village went

and ask Achambri to come back and claim his throne. They said the

people of the whole village promised cooperate and support in carrying

out his duties as ruler. Achambri heed their plea and went back to Wuyo

Gampal and claimed his throne. He ruled for three more years and he

then died. When he died Sarki Birni succeeded him as the ruler of

Wuyo Gampala.

At Telli a village which is about seven miles from the present

site of Wuyo Buba Yaro of Gombe appointed his Waziri to rule there.

By then Telli was a Fulani village. The ruler of Telli wanted to

extend his territory as far as to Wuyo Gampal. The ruler of Telli

gathered all his soldiers and inform them that they should get prepared

for on a certain date they would go to fight Wuyo. The soldiers got

prepared with their arms and horses and set out to fight against Wuyo.

The present site of Wuyo Gampal is on a high hill which made it difficult

for soldiers on horses back to climb on. When the enemies reached the

foot of the hill they started to shoot their arrows up the mountain.

The people of Wuyo answered them with arrows as well. They continued

shooting for some period of time then the people of Wuyo Gampal run

short of arrows. They had to devise another means otherwise they would

be defeated. They discovered that since their enemies were at the foot

of the mountain and cannot climb up they could roll down some big stones

to kill them. Immediately they started to roll down some big stones

down the hill. The stone would descend with great force and when it hits

a horse the horse falls and died with the person at the back. They

continued with this system until when few of the people of Telli were

left alive. When they saw that most of their members were dead they

started to run home. They ran until they reached a certain stream called

"Mepa" where they decided to drink some water and have a little rest.

They took water and rested. After resting they gained their strength

and they decided to go back and fight the people of Wuyo Gampal again.

They climbed their horses again and started to travel, but before

they reached the foot of the hill, at the present site of Wuyo some

bees spread over them and started to sting them. The bees stung the

soldiers as well as the horses. According to the story if a bee stings

the horse you will just see a horse falling and dying and the soldier

at his back will fall off. Likewise if the bee stings the soldier at

the back of the horse, the soldier would fall off dying and the horse

would not know what was happening and he will continue running thinking

that his master is still riding him. The bees continued without

ceasing until all the people were dead as well as their horses.

The chief of Telli heard what happened to his soldiers and he then

started to get prepared in order to take vengeance.

At this time also the chief of Wuyo Gampal, Sarki Birni, was

planning how he could get rid of all the Fulani who were living in Telli

at that time. He decided to invite the'people of Kanakuru and Hina of

Walama, the people with whom they travelled from Yemen near Saudi Arabia

to Biu Division in N. Eastern State. He sent out his invitation to say

that let them come and rescue their former brothers from the bondage of

the Fulanis. On hearing this the two tribes, "Kanakuru" and Hina Walama

came to join to the people of Wuyo to fight the war against the Fulanis.

The chief of Wuyo, Sarki Birni gathered the three different armies from

the three different villages and addressed them before they go. The

three (3) armies are one from Kanakuru, one from Hina Walama and one

from Wuyo. During his address the ruler Sarki Birni said, by the will

of God if I am still alive my people would not be finished while my

eyes wait to see. Then one woman from the crowd appeared and said

0 King, the most high, the most powerful, the most lovable, by his

people do not fear, for God the creator is with you and your people,

so fear not, nothing would happen to you and your people. Go to war

with the hope of winning and surely you would win. When the woman finished

her address a servant of the king stood among the crowd and said

"Oh, King, do not fear, for you alone God has given you victory from

the very day you were born, and until you sleep no enemy would ever

defeat you in any sort of war.


After the first battle the Fula of Telli did not stop there, but

continued to ambush and steal the teras at a stream where they used to

fetch their drinking water. This was exactly what provoked the Teras to

ask their friends to fight a war against the Fula of Telli.

After the address which the King gave the combined soldiers got

prepared to set out for Telli. In his address the King, Sarki Birni

also advised them on how they should fight the war. He brought out a

thin shared stick and arrows as well. He instructed them that on

reaching Telli they should go straight to the compound where the chief

lives and make excuse. He said after the excuse the chief would not send

his soldiers nor his servants but he would send a woman. "When the

woman comes out," he went on, "do not please shoot her with the arrow,

it is not proper to shoot a woman with an arrow." So when she appears use

this sharp stick to pinch her so that she could shout. When she shouted

the chief would send out some soldiers to find out what was happening

and when these people came you would shoot them with the arrows you

were carrying and you would capture some of them by hand and cut their

hands, mouth, and their private parts as well before you release them

and let them go.

The soldiers set out with the instructions which their chief gave

in mind. On reaching Telli they travelled straight to the Emirs palace

and made an excuse. The Emir then asked one of his wife to go and see

which people were at the gate. When the woman reached she saw strangers

armed, but before she could ask whether there was peace or not the

Kachella took the sharp stick given to him by the king, Sarki Birni

and thrust it into the woman's stomach. The woman shouted for help and

the king called his servants that they should go and rescue the woman from

what ever was happening. When the servants reached they found out that

they were among thousands of soldiers armed with bow, arrows, knives and

spears. One of them rushed back to the King and told him that soldiers

armed were waiting ready to destroy the whole of Telli. The King send

out messengers to collect soldiers in the village to come and fight their

enemies but since they were not ready they could not stand and face the

enemies, the soldiers from Wuyo. The chief did not wait to see what was

to happen but took to his hills, on seeing this his followers also did

the same thing. The combined soldiers of Hina Walama, Kanakuru from

Buma and of Wuyo Gampal started to chase the people of Telli. They

captured many, cut their hands, their lips and their private parts

and let them go with such wounds on their bodies. These Fula from Telli

run to Gedaba another village which was occupied by Fulanis during that

time. When they reached Gedaba their people who were living in Gedaba

saw that all their hands were cut, lips and private parts as well.

They saw that they had ropes tied round their necks with some heavy stones.

This put them into a situation that they could not bear the scene, so

instead of them to arm themselves and wait for the enemies to come they

too took to their hills. They continued to run until the enemies could

not pursue them any longer. The enemies did not stop running after them

until when they nearly reached Gombe.

Under the leader-ship of "Yitanaki" the soldiers came home with the

joy of victory. Yitanaki means Kachella in Tera language. The King of

Wuyo, Sarki Birni thanked the soldiers from Buma and Hina Walama and

assured them of his cooperation in turn if such matter arises in future.

Henceforth the Tera of Wuyo Gampal lived without any invasion from the


On seeing what has happened the ruler of Hina, a village at the base

of Bima mountain, who was a Tera by tribe, thought of inviting the

people of Wuyo to come and help them fight the same type of war against

the Fulani in Gombe Division. The Emir of Hina sent some messengers

to the King of Wuyo, Sarki Birni, requesting him to come and fight some

war against the Fulani. He said since you have succeeded in fighting

against them at Telli I hope you and me together would chase them away

from my territory. The ruler of Wuyo Gampal send the messengers back and

demand for a reward if he is to fight the war. The ruler of Hina send

the messengers back that if only he, the ruler of Wuyo would help in the

war and if they win he could give the King anything he demanded. The

King of Wuyo Sarki Birni agreed that if they won the war the ruler of

Hina should give him seven of his sons to serve him as his servants,

seven daughters to marry as wives, seven cows, seven horses seven

sheep, seven goats, seven bundles of corn, etc. Everything should be

given to him in groups of seven. This time the ruler of Wuyo did not

invite his friends, the Kanakuru of Buma and the Hina of Walama. He

called the Yitanaki and instructed him that they should fight the war

in the same way as they fought the battle of Telli. See how the battle

of Telli was fought on page 22. The Yitanaki set out with his soldiers

and travelled to Hina and joined the waiting soldiers. When the two

groups of soldiers were combined they appointed the Yitanaki of Wuyo

Gampal to lead the war, so he led the war against the Fulani who lived

close to Hina. We cannot remember the names of the towns they fought the

wars against. They succeeded in chasing away all the Fulanis that were

living close to his territory.


Danjal (Sugwa) is a village about twelve miles east of Wuyo Gampal

still in Kwaya Tera District. Since after the war which the ruler of Hinna

invited the ruler of Wuyo Gampal to help him, there has been a cordial

relationship between the people of Wuyo and Hinna. Again the ruler of

Hinna invited the ruler of Wuyo Gambal to decide on how next they would

fight against the Fulani in Gombe Emirate. They discussed that they should

do something otherwise Buba Yaro, the flag bearer in Gombe, would mobilise

his soldiers and fight war against both the people of Hinna and Wuyo Gampal

because of what they did to his people in Telli and Gedaba. The ruler

of Wuyo Gampal, Sarki Birni, said that the best thing to do is to vacate

the present towns we live in and find another place, far away which would

not not be within the reach of Buba Yaro and his people. The ruler of

Hinna then said when can we leave and how can I convince my people that

we should leave Hinna and look for another place to settle? Sarki Birni

said I know how you would convince them. Any time that I am ready to

move with my people I would signal you, what you just have to do is to

watch always in the East. Whenever you see a fire burning in the evening,

that would be the time we are leaving. By then there would be no bush

fire because it would be around November when there is no dry grass.

The ruler of Hinna agreed with arrangement, and they dispersed. From then

on it was the duty of the Emir of Hinna to keep on watching in the East

where Wuyo Gampal was situated.

The ruler of Wuyo Gampal went home and called his Galadima, Shelkala,

Churoma and other elders from each clan and informed them what he has

planned with the ruler of Hinna. The elders agreed with the ruler's plan

and they carried the message on to every house hold in the village. They

said they should be prepared to leave otherwise Buba Yaro himself would

come to fight a war against them. All the villagers got prepared with

their goods ready to run away. The ruler said when the day and time comes

he would signal them setting fire on a heap of grass and once they see

the red light let them come out to move.

Everyone was ready and one day the King, Sarki Birni ordered his

servants to collect thatch grass from the roofs of the people of his

village. He ordered that no one should prevent them from taking some

thatch grass from his/her roof. The servants did as they were ordered

by the ruler. After collecting heaps of grass the ruler ordered them to

set fire on the grass. When the fire started to consume the grass the

people came out with their children and everything else they wanted to

carry and they started to move in the direction of Wuyo Gampal with the

ruler and the village officials among them. This was around eight o'clock

in the evening and it was dark so they used the grass to help in showing

the way. They rolled the grass and tied it with some ropes to a reasonable

length and when they put fire to one end it would take time before it is


grass tied with ropes ,

4 "I,

With the help of this light they trekked all the way from Wuyo Gampal

to Danjal (Sugwa) where they decided to settle. On reaching Danjal

they saw a big rock on a high hill, as high as the hill they left so

they said that hill would be as good for defence purposes. So they

climbed the Danjal Mountain and settled down. There was a stream which

runs at the foot of the hill and they turn it into their drinking water.

Going back, when the people of Hinna saw the bush fire in November

they reported the matter to their ruler. Then the ruler called for an

assembly and all the people gathered in front of his house, men, women

and children as well. Then he stood and addressed them saying "you see

now we are in the period of rainy season," and the crowd answered yes,

"Well the red light you are all now seeing in the East is from Wuyo Gampal."

"All the people of Wuyo Gampal are leaving. They are leaving because

Buba Yaro would come to take vengeance, so they are going out of his

reach. We too have to do the same thing, so now I order you to go and

collect everything you want to carry along with you and come back here

as soon as possible. Everyone went back home and started to collect

his/her own property and within a very short time they reported back in

front of the ruler's compound. Again, with the use of the light they

obtained by rolling grass, they vacated the village and travelled South

West and reached as far as to Deba.


As I have mentioned on page twenty six that the ruler of Hinna

promised that if the ruler of Wuyo Gampal helped him and defeated the Fulani

and chase them out of his territory he would give him seven sons, seven

daughters, seven horses, seven cows, seven goats, seven sheep, seven

boundles of corn, etc. everything in a set of seven. After the war though

they defeated the Fulanis and chased them out of his territory the ruler

of Hinna did not carry out his promise. So the ruler of Wuyo Gampal,

Sarki Birni, decided to get a land instead of the gift of everything in

set seven. Formerly the boundary between the Wuyo Gampal and Hinna

was on river Bayo, a river just very close to Briyel. The ruler of Wuyo

then decided to extend his boundary beyond river Bayo so as to compensate

for the war which he fought for the ruler of Hina.

The ruler of Wuyo, Sarki Birni sent a message to the ruler of Hinna

that he is going to extend his boundary beyond River Bayo, so he should

send delegates to witness the new boundary. On the appointed date Sarki

Birni called his Yitanaki and he gave him an arrow and told him that he

should go beyond river Bayo with the people of Hinna up to the hills

near the present site of Maina Baba. On reaching River Bayo the Yitananaki

from Wuyo met some people sent by the ruler of Wuyo waiting. The Yitanaki

of Wuyo Gampala told the people of Hinna that his master (the ruler)

has sent him to remake or redraw the boundary which is between his land

and the people of Hinna. The Yitanaki then told the people of Hinna

to follow him so that he could mark and show them where the present (new)

boundary was to be. He led the way until he reached the hills of Maina

Baba. He then said "from today the boundary should be from this hills

running straight down to the confluence of river Bayo and Gongola. They

followed straight from the Hills to the confluence of the two rivers.

ENDED: 4:00 p.m.

7th June 1974

TIME: 10:00 am.m
INFORMANTS--See page 3

The people of Hinna agreed and gives another large area in addition

to the area of Wuyo Gampala. Before the boundary was redrawn there was

a pond just near the confluence of the River Bayo and Gongola, where

the people of Hinna made it as a sacred water where they fish but only

once a year. When the boundary was redrawn the pond got into the area

of Wuyo Gampala. Since the water was a sacred one the ruler of Hinna

pleaded with the ruler of Wuyo Gampala saying that if it is possible

though the water is on his land let him allow him to own it. The ruler

of Wuyo said well it is fine, since it is not a common water I would

allow you to continue sacrifice to this water and you would continue to

own it. He said no one within my jurisdiction would ever tamper with the
water. Henceforth the pond of Lenge has been ow-i by the people of Hinna

but the land where the water lies on is owned by the people of Wuyo Gampala.

After the division of the boundary when the people of Hinna are

ready to fish the water they would send message to the people of Wuy-o

Gampala that we are going to fish from the pond of Lenge on such a date

and you who are fisher men from the village both men and women are invited

to attend. On receiving this invitation when the day comes the people

of Wuyo Gampala would answer the invitation. On the appointed day people

would leave their houses very early in the morning so before nine o'clock
(The) (who)
everyone would be there. /water priest/sacrifices to spirits of the water

should see that all invited people have turned up before he gives out any

order. After seeing that every one is at the bank of the water he

would then go under one big tree at the bank of the pond and would

start to speak some words which are only known to him and the person he

is speaking to (the god of the water). He has to do this so that the

god of the water would guide the people during the fishing, and let

the god order some creatures like snakes and other harmful ones to sink

deep to the bottom of the river so that they should not harm any human

being. The owner of the water would also ask the god of the water to

guide all those that have come for the fishing so that next year they

would have the same opportunity to witness the same occasion. After

consulting his god the owner of the water would come back to where the

people have been waiting for him. When he comes he would inform them

that any fish which is caught out of the water must be shown to him,

before the owner takes it away. He would then appoint few people to

wait at the bank to check people who might run away with the fish they

caught. After his instruction he would then say alright now you are all

free to fish. People would then jump into the water with their nets

to fish. The people use no other instruments apart from nets.

After the fishing every one would bring what he/she has caught.

The owner of the water with the people he has delegated would go round

to take out some share from each person. When taking out the shares

they picked out the biggest ones. When they are sure that they have

picked out enough shares they would allow people to go. The owner of

the water would collect the shares he has taken out and divide it into

four parts. One part would go to the ruler of Wuyo Gampala, the owner

of the land where the water lies and one part to the ruler of Hinna,

the ruler of the owner of the water, one part to the owner of the

water, and the other part to the people he has delegated to help him.

This used to happen during the pre-colonial days, but during the

colonial days, when Wuyo Gampala was put under Biu the people of Wuyo

Gampala for some unknown reason lost interest in going to fish in the

water of "Lenge." The owner of the water would send out the normal

invitation but they would not go. The informants said that people think

that it is too far. From Wuyo Gampala to the pond of Lenge is roughly

about twelve miles.


In about 1877, under the rule of Mahamnaki the people of Tamaltu,

which later became Nyimathli left Sugwa (Danjal) and found the present

site where they now live.

When the Tamaltu people were at Sugwa (Danjal) they had some neigh-

bours with whom they were on good terms. The neighbours were Chinga.

Northwest of the present Wuyo, Wade still Northwest of the present Wuyo

and Wakirwa, which is about three miles Northeast of the present Wuyo.

These three towns, Wakirwa, Chinga and Wade, had good relationship (with)

the Yamaltu of Sugwa (Danjal). These three towns were towns founded by

the people they travelled with from Yemen, Egypt, Ngazargamu, up to Gabin

near the present Garkida. It was from there that they were divided in

seek of places to build towns. Being that they were from different towns

they still remember that they were one from the beginning.

One day the ruler of Wade went to the ruler of Tera (Yamaltu) and

told him that since we are the same I want to advise you to leave your

present town and push a bit closer to us, and I have a place in mind

for you where you can build your town. The ruler of Yalmaltu agreed

and the ruler of Wade was happy about the issue because if they are

closer together whenever there is war each of the towns would quickly

rush to the aid of the town concerned.

After a few days the ruler of Wakirwa came to visit the ruler of

Tera (Yimaltu) and he told him that please if he should not mind let

him leave his present town and move closer for defensive purposes. King

Mahamnaki said oh! yes the ruler of Wade has advised me about this issue

and he has even told me where I can best build my town. The ruler of

Wakirwa asked where the ruler of Wade asked him to build his new town.

King Mahamnaki described the place to the ruler of Wakirwa, but the

ruler of Wakirwa did not agree with the place. He disagreed because he

said the place where the ruler of Wade asked him to build his town was

an open space where powerful tribes pass in times of war. He went on

to say that if King Mahamnaki should build his town there when the

powerful tribes are passing they would destroy the town because it was

on their way and it serves as an obstacle to them. He then gave another

suggestion that he should build his town north East of the place where

he was first advised, and even the powerful nations would pass they would

not come across his town. The ruler of Yimaltu (Tera), King Mahamnaki,

agreed with the suggestion. After the ruler of Wakirwa had gone back the

ruler of Changa came to visit the ruler of Timaltu, King Mahamnaki.

He, the ruler of Changa made a suggestion that if Mahamnaki would not

mind, let him leave his town and come closer to him. He said look the

three of us are together but you are the only one who is far away.

Here do not have people with whom you are on good terms that are closer

to you. So for defense purpose, I suggest to you that you should push

closer to us. King Mahamnaki said Oh! yes the King of Wade and Wakirwa

had already been here and they have advised me to leave. After the ruler

of Changa had left Mahamnaki called his elders and the title holders.

The title holders each representing a ward are Mshelkala, Yerima, Chiroma

and Galadima his assistant. He told them that he wants to leave the

present town and move closer to the people of Wade, Wakuriwa and Changa

because where he is living at the moment is not safe in time of war.

He said when he is closer to his people anything that happens to one town

the remaining three towns would rush to the aid of the town involved.

The elders and his title holders agreed and supported the King's sugges-

tion. King Mahamnaki went on to say that the three rulers had already

given me three places, but among the three I do not know which one to

choose. He mentioned and described the three places to his assistant

and the title holders. All of them were puzzled not knowing which of the

three to choose. One of the title holders said alright let us all

accept the three places but we are going to make some experiments to see
which of the three places/best fit for town building. He said we are

going to buy three chickens and in the night we are going to let out a

chicken in each of the three places suggested.

The King, Mahamnaki agreed with this suggestion and he ordered that

three chickens should be brought, so three chickens were brought, and

when the night comes the King asked the three title holders, Mshelkala,

Chiromai and Yerima, plus his assistant the Galadima to go and let free

one chicken in each of the three suggested places. The four people went

and did exactly as the King, Mahamnaki ordered. The following morning

the King himself, his assistant, the Galadima, the three title holders

and the elders of the village went to the three places where they let

free the chickens last night to see what has happened to them. When they

reached the first suggested place, where they first let the chicken they

found that a wild cat had caught the chicken and they could only trace

its feathers. They left that place and went to the second suggested place,

where the chicken was left last night. On reaching they found that the

chicken was still alive. They left that place and went to the third

suggested place. On reaching they found that the chicken was still alive

and it even went to the extent of laying eggs. With this experiment the

ruler, King Mahamnamu; his assistant, the Galadima, the title holders and

elders of the town suggested that they should leave Sugwa (Danjal) and

build their town at the spot where they found the chicken still alive

with some eggs. The spot where they found the chicken still alive with

eggs is the present site of Wuyo.

King Mahamnami ordered that the place should be cleared. With the

Galadimas guide the youth and men with some elderly people who were still

strong enough cleared the area where the town was to be built.

After clearing the field, the first work to be done is the building

of the ruler's house. All those that are able are expected to take part

in the work. Men were dealing with mud and building while women brought

water for mixing the clay. Before the actual building starts the rulers

house was first of all planned. Gate A is the main gate and it is the

Table 1 inserted about here

only gate for entrance into the house. When you passed through gate A

you would see another big wall that divides the house into two. To

your right you see houses or rooms where horses are kept and the rest

just a wide area. When you pass through gate B you would find yourself

into a very big room (Zaire) in this room you would find two other gates,

one to the East and one to the South. When you pass gate C you would

find where the rest of the wives are kept. If you pass through gate D

you would find the ruler's sleeping room and the houses of the two wives

that serve him. If you go through gate E you would lead to where strangers

are kept. Only important strangers are kept inside this area. Mostly

other rulers from other towns. The Yamaltus call Zaure in their language



Generally there is a big wall that surrounds the whole of the

compound, and there is another wall that divides the compound into two

leaving the one side for horses and the other side for his wives and

himself. But between his wives and strangers' rooms there is another wall

A Plan of the Ruler's House of Wuyo in the Pre-Colonial Days Up to the Present


Gate A




Where Horses G
+ are kept
+ B -
+ +



Gate E

7 |Wives'
.. I Houses

F 7]

ate C


Stranger s




1 -



that surrounds the ruler's sleeping room and the two wives that serve


The ruler used to have many wives and for his own safety he would

not eat their food all or all of them cannot serve him. So he used to

choose two wives at a time to serve him and these two chosen wives are

not allowed to mix or stay among the rest of the wives so they have

their own rooms in the same wall where the ruler sleeps. These two women

would serve the ruler for a period of one year, then after this the

ruler would ask them to go back to their former rooms where the rest

of the wives live. Anything that happened to the king at any particular

moment that is suspected to be poison the two wives that serve him at

that particular time would be responsible for it. After a duration of

a year the ruler would choose other two wives to come and serve him.

This system rotates among the wives until the ruler is sure that each

of his wives had the chance of serving him. After each had a turn, then

he would start choosing them for the second round.

This did not mean that the ruler would forget about the rest of

the wives that do not serve him. He still cloth them, he still do visit

them, but they are not allowed to come to him. None of them is allowed

even to come inside the wall where his sleeping is.

After building the ruler's house, then the people embark on the

building of the largest wall that surrounds the whole town. How the wall

was built would be described later. After the big wall that surrounds

the village has been finished then the elders and the title holders divided

the town into three, with a line indicating where each ward would settle.

There were formerly three wards, one Bwanga, one Theyeng, and one Tala,

so the town was divided into three so that each ward would occupy his



Mahamnaki ordered that his people should get ready and he appointed

a date when they should leave. The villagers got prepared and collected

everything they wanted to carry to their new destination. The informants

said that they cannot remember the exact day when they left Sugwa, but

they said in those days people do not migrate on any day they like within

the week. They said they are some specific days that are good to migrate

on. The particular day had to be named by consulting a shrine or they

believed that god would tell the ruler in a dream.

On the appointed day the ruler selected some men that he thinks are

strong enough to defend against enemies and ask them to lead the way.

Women, children, and old people were asked to walk in the middle. Another

team of strong men were asked to stay behind. When they reached the ruler's

house they allowed him to enter his house, then each man leads his family

to his respective wards. It was then that each head of a household starts

to build his house. Before they come I forgot to mention that they built

four wells, one in the North, one in the South, one in West and one in East.

When digging the wells they dug one at a time, but they did not dig it

according each ward, it was dug to serve the whole village.

Apart from the big street that runs through the village and passes

in front of the ruler's there was no other street. The rest were just

narrow lines that run through the town leading to various compounds,

because the land was not big enough to allow a lot of fields. The

people made use of every available space and after every one was settled

there were about five hundred houses or compounds in the village. The

informants went on to say that during that time when one was riding a

horse between compounds you would hear him passing because his shirt

would be touching the two walls he is passing between. Any time a man

is riding you would hear his shirt making sound like this whohula,

whohula, because of the nearness of the fences he passes between.

Since the people of Wuyo lived they had never planted any tiksha

between compounds. The ruler prevented anyone to plant any crop within

the wall. All farms were outside the walls.

When the town was at its peak of population, in one compound you

would find that there were three to four households in one compound.

When the owner of a compound has, let us say, about two wives, and bears

three sons, these three sons have to get married and stay still in their

father's house with their wives.

As time went on the three sons would bear some children and when

they grew up they would get married and if they have no space to build

their houses they have to stay with their fathers and grandfather in the

same compound. So in one compound you would see an old man with his

children and grandchildren living in the same compound. See the illustration

on the next page.



Sons' sons

The original fence
The second fence where the sons of A live
The third fence where the sons of B live

KEY: i I

From the illustration let us say A is the founder of the compound.

He got married and settled just at the centre of the compound. Let us

say that Mr. A had three sons. The three sons grew up and got married,

but they had no places to build their houses within the city wall

outside their father's compound, so their father or Mr. A would divide

the compound into four, he, Mr. A, taking the central portion, and the

three parts, one for each of the sons. Let us call the sons Mr. Bs.

Each Mr. B has his own house. Let us say one Mr. B had two wives and

he had four sons. The four sons grew up and again they had no spaces

to build walls outside their father's houses, so Mr. B would divide his

compound into five, he, Mr. B would take the central part and each of

the four sons would have a portion to build their own houses plus their

wives. The sons are Mr. Cs. This system continued when under King

Mahamnani there were plenty of people in the city. If it happened that

Mr. A died, all the Bs would meet together and see which one of their

sons that need a compound and has not got one so that he could occupy Mr.

As house.

The maintenance of the external fense is the responsibility of the

sons, both Mr. Bs and Mr Cs, but the maintenance of each fence is the duty

of the person concerned.


As I have said earlier that when the Yimaltu people first came to

their new site at Wuyo they settled according to their wards. The

three wards were Bwanga, Theyeng, and Tala. The responsibility for the

maintenance of the walls and houses of the ruler's compound was divided

among the three wards. See below.




Above is the diagram of the ruler's compound, and it is divided into

three according to the number of wards. Thlyeng controls and maintains

the Western part, Bwanga maintains the Southern part and Tala maintains

the Eastern part with some portion from the North which is divided

between the ward of Thlyeng and Tela. The Cham at the gate is the

responsibility of the three wards. The rooms inside the wall are also

divided among the wards so if any room collapses, it is the duty of the

ward concerned. Under normal conditions, the wall that surrounds the

ruler's compound is supposed to be maintained once in every one year.

The city wall, under normal conditions, is supposed to be maintained

once in every three years.


Far back before the rule of Chief Mahamnami there was a very great

king called Mele. He was so great that he had about fifty wives,

ninety nine sons, and the story says he had uncountable daughters, and

grand children. One day one of the rulers which they were on friendly

terms with paid a visit to him. One day King Mele and his visitor were

seating outside, at the gate of the main entrance to his house.

His visitor asked him if he had ever had his own son. Mele the

great answered his visitor that he has many sons. After a short time,

one child came to pass and the visitor asked, "whose child is that?"

Mele the great answered that "That is my son." Later another child came

and passed and the visitor asked again, "Whose son is that?" Mele the

great answered that "that too is my son." Very soon another child passed

and the visitor asked again, "Whose son is that?" The King answered his

visitor that "That is Mele." Instead of the King to say, "That is my

son," he said, "That is Mele." Again another child came to pass and the

visitor asked him and he said, "That is Mele." It is a quicker way of

saying my son. Later on when all his sons had passed, his followers also

came to pass and the visitor still kept on asking him, and he kept on

saying, "That is Mele."

After this incident, all those that followed Mele the great and all

the members of his households were called Mele after him. Later on Mele

was turned to be the clan of the people and it was one of the two clans

that founded the present Wuyo Gampala. During Mele's reign his followers

named him as Mele Gwandi--meaning Mele the great. During his reign the

people of Wuyo multiplied in population. As I have described earlier that

the Fulani under Buba Yaro came to Wuyo Gampala, to help in choosing to

them a new King after Achambi, abdicated his throne. But when a big

meeting was called Buba Yaro ordered his people to set fire on the room

they were holding the meeting inside. This incident reduced the popula-

tion of Wuyo drastically, but during Mele Gwandi's reign the population

grew so fast that people forgot about what had happened.


How the first ruler of Wuyo Gampala came into power.

Going back to Gabin near the present Garecida, the Yamaltu that

started from Yemen, Egypt, Ngazarganm got divided there. On reaching

Gabin some people travelled South West across the River Hawal to Buma.

From Buma then to Hinna Walama, from Hinna Walama then to the present

Wuyo. The other group started from Gabin, cross the river Hawal to Tila

where they became Wakirwa people. From Tila then they decided to join

their people again at Wuyo Gampala. See the next page for an illustration.

And the detail about the journey read back from pages five to fifty five.

Figure one Inserted about here



C l Yemen

_River Hawal

Gampala Walama

As I have said earlier that the Yimaltu people did not find Wuyo Gampala

empty, but they found some people who were called Basawa. They believed

that this Basawa people were still part of them with whom they journey

together, but due to the fact that some people are faster than the other,

they reached the destination before the majority of the people. To support

the argument they spoke the same language.

Also in a neighboring village there lived the Jukun which they

called them in Yimaltu Gwajang. When the people from Tila came they

settled about three miles away from the people of Wuyo Gampala on certain


Among the Timaltu that has recently came they had a leader called

Pernaper. When travelling the routes I mentioned he had a horse, a

royal drum and a royal spear. The royal drum is a drum only beaten to the

kings or rulers on special occasions. It is beaten on occasions going to

the war or when a new ruler is installed. This man who was called Permaper

rode his horse and went to the people of Wakirwa and told them that if

they would not mind it would be good if they would unite to form a big

village, in case there may be war. The people of Wakirwa agreed and moved

to Wuyo Gampala to form a larger settlement. From Wakirwa Permaper went

to the people of Tukun and asked them that they should unite to form a

larger settlement for defense purpose. The Jukun people agreed with

Permaper's suggestions. From the Jukun people he went to the people of

Nduksu-Kwalami and told them the same thing as he had told the rest of

the people. The people of Nduksu-Kwalami agreed and they left their

settlement and joined the people of Wuyo Gampal. Now there are five

different villages that came together. They are Basawa, Wuyo Gampala,

Wakirwa, Jukun and Nduksu-Kwalami.

Permaper then said alright I am now very happy that you have heed

my call and come together, now what is left for us is to choose a ruler

that would rule all of us.

The people from the various villages asked Permaper who founded

the village first and Permaper said the Basawa. They then said alright

we all agree to make him the ruler. They asked where the Basawa was

and Permaper sent his people to go and call him. The servant went

and saw the Basawa under a boabab tree. This Basawa man waits under the

tree so when the fruit falls to the ground he would take it and eat it

quench his hunger, because that year there had been a famine. The

servant called him and he answered that he would come. The servant went

back and reported to the congress that I have seen him and he said he

is coming. The congress waited for quite a long time but he did not

come, so another servant was sent and again he replied that he would be

coming, but they waited for a long time with him not coming. Again for

the third time Permaper sent another servant and when the servant went

he said, "The people have been waiting for you so that you can choose

a ruler and would you please come." The Basawa told the messenger that

he cannot leave the tree because if he leaves, some monkeys would come

and carry away the fruits of his tree. The told the servant to tell the

Congress that they could make any one among themselves to be the ruler.

What fits the congress also fits him. The servant sent back and told the

Congress that they should choose any one among themselves and what the

congress has chosen he would not dispute it.

Then the people said alright since the Basawa man cannot come

we have chosen Permaper to be our ruler since he was the one that brought

the suggestion of togetherness. The congress all agreed that Permaper

was to be the ruler.

Then Permaper said alright I have agreed to be the ruler but I

promise to be changing the throne between the people of my clan and

the Basawa people. Later on the clan of Permaper got the general name

Mele and the Basawa, Kopyong.

My informants are title holders and they were forced somehow to learn

the names of all the previous chiefs. They feel that as a title holder

it is part of their responsibility to recite all the previous chiefs,

but they said they have ruled so long ago that they cannot remember the

exact relationship. It was part of their constitution that if somebody

from Mele ruled and died the next ruler must come from Kopyong. Even

with these changes the ruler must come from a royal family.


i. Any ruler that comes to the throne must rule until his death. Normally

in those days they do not choose a young man to rule--it must be somebody

who is advanced in years. When such a person comes to the throne he

would not rule long then he would kick the bucket. Then somebody from

a different clan would come to the throne. Suppose the person who died is

from the clan of Mele, then, the next ruler would be chosen from the

royal family of Kopyong.

2, Any ruler that makes a serious fault, such ruler would be

asked to abdicate his throne by the Galadima, Mshelkala, Yerima and Chiroma.

The four people that formed the supreme council. These faults may be

mishandling his subjects, acting with higher authority without the

approval of the supreme council.

3. If any ruler who dies and have ruled less than five years, next

the throne would not go to the next clan, but his brother would be

appointed to compensate for the previous ruler.

I was given the list of the rulers from the very beginning to the

present one, but they remember some events about only few of them.

Below is the list according to the clan.












Mele Gwandi




Kwapyong Gumarond

Kwotupon Gamabiki


J {

Ardo 4-



Kadai Zainabu

Ali Zainabu

Ali Galya


Kwopyong (cont.)



Ali Ladi

Kadai Dlima I

Mele Amina


Kadai Dlima II


1900 = coming of the white man to Gujbe

1923-1967 Leka

1967 to present Nyabram Yakubu --deposed
1923, given 2 year jail term



He was the first ruler of Wuyo Gampala. For his story and achieve-

ments see pages sixty six to seventy two. He was the first ruler of

Wuyo Gampala as well as the first ruler from the clan of Kopyong


Not much is known about him except that he was the first ruler

in the clan of Mele.

Kwapyong Gurumarondi

Not much is known about this ruler except that the clan of Kopyong

got their name from him, but the informants cannot remember how the

clan got their name from this ruler. He ruled for fifty years. He

was one of the rulers of Wuyo Gampala that has ruled for quite a long


Mele (cont.)


This man Ardo ruled twice according to the informants. Ardo was

Gawo's son and he succeeded Walsam from the clan of Mele. When he

was still ruling he decided to go and greet his mother in a village

near the present Kubo. It was a distance of about forty miles. He

gathered his followers that escorted him to his mother's people.

He stayed there so long that his brother Jagali thought that he

would not come back again. They were some people who were wicked and

they encouraged Jagali to think more that his brother is no longer

coming back. Jagali's friends and Ardo's enemies encouraged Jagali to

declare that since his brother is no longer coming he has taken over the

throne from him. Jagali then took out the royal drum and beat it. When

people heard it they accepted that Jagali was become their ruler and

probably his brother Ardo had perished with his followers on his way to

his mother's town.

When this was happening, Ardo was on his way coming back from his

people. Not knowing what had happened Ardo saw one woman coming with

running. When she came, she greeted the chiefs and said, Oh! Chief

how many ears have you got? And Ardo answered have got two ears. The

woman then answered, alright be attentive and listen to what I am going

to tell you. She said when you left your brother Jagali had beaten the

royal drum (Tambari) in your absence declaring himself the ruler, so I

advise you not to go back otherwise he would kill you.

Then Ardo calmly turned back and went to his mother's people again.

When he reached all the people of the village came out to inquire why Ardo

had to come back. They asked him whether there was peace or not. Ardo

replied that there was no peace behind him, when he came for the visit.

He said that his brother Jagali had sounded the royal drum (Tambari) in

his absence declaring himself the ruler. The people of his mother then

said alright, please do not mind, we are ready and we must fight to shed

our blood until we see that your brother gives back the throne to you.

If we did not restore you back we would be greatly put to shame. The

people of Ardo's mother armed themselves and asked Ardo to lead the way.

Jagali did not know the plan and he was just enjoying his throne.

Then an old man came and told Jagali that "Jagali you did not know what

is happening, your brother Ardo is coming with his mother's people to

recapture the throne for him. You know quite well that this fight is

directed only against you and you alone because it is not a town war,

not a war that would involve all the clans of the village. You know

very well that the people of Mele would not aid you and the rest of people

of the town. So I am advising you to leave the throne and run away other-

wise you would lost your wives and children for nothing.

On hearing this Jagali collected his wives, children and his

followers and they run away from the town.

When Ardo came with his people they went straight to the royal

house to capture Jagali but, when they went in they found that the

throne and the house were empty. With no blood shed Ardo claimed his

throne again. He ruled until his death and Botor from the clan of Mele

succeeded the throne.

Kadai Zainabu

Kadai Zaina-Bu and Ali Zainabu were both the sons of Achambri.

Kadai Zainabu was a junior brother to Ali Zainabu but due to some

reasons which I am going to discuss in the proceeding pages Ali Zainabu

the junior brother succeeded the throne before the senior brother.

When Achambri was still a ruler both Kadai Zainabu and Ali

Zainabu were grown ups. The Yerima of the town at that time loved the

junior brother, Kadai Zainabu. The love was so much that Kadai

Zainaku asked the Yerima what he can do to him. The Yerima said if I

am still alive I must see that you succeeded your father. But Kadai

Zainabu said to him, "how can it happen since I am the junior one."

Obviously by right my senior brother should succeed our father, but the

Yerima said If I am still alive you would see with your eyes that you

would succeed your father.

The Yerima went to the Galadima, the person who has a final

saying in selecting a ruler, and told him that when Achambri is no more

on the throne and the people from the other clans have ruled I am going

to forward to you Ali Zainabu, to rule instead of his senior brother.

The Galadima agreed with the Yerimas plan.

When Achambri, the father of the two boys died, Kwaya from the

clan of Mele climbed the throne and ruled for few years and then he died.

The Yerima forwarded two people's names one Kadai Zainaku, the man

he loved and one his senior brother. He told the Galadima that he should

choose Kadai Zainabu. He had to give the name of the senior brother

as well because people would know his plan if he did not do this.

The Galadima on receiving these two names and seeing that Ali

Zainabu was the eldest he chose him to be the ruler, so he told his

helpers that when the time for turbaning comes, they should turban Ali

Zainabu the elder one. The Yerima heard that the man he loved was

not chosen and he run to the Galadima and told him that you should not

please fail me. If you recognize me please put Kadai Zainabu to the

throne. The Galadima agreed and he told his helpers that the plan had

been changed so they should turban Kadai Zainabu the junior one.

On the day of the appointment a Congress was called and the two

princes went forward to sit. The two princes do not know which one of

them was to be made the ruler, though the senior one was expected that

if things would follow its normal course he should be appointed.

When all have gathered, theroyal drum was sounded and the atmosphere

grew tense. It was the policy that the people sounding the royal drum

would go round and round the congregation, then at last sound the last

drum in front of the appointed one.

There then would the public know their newly appointed king.

The drum sounded and every one was thinking who was to be the ruler.

At last to the people's surprise the last drum sounded in front of the

junior brother Kadai Zainabu.

Kadai Zainabu did not rule for long then he kicked the bucket. As it

was part of the constitution that when a ruler dies before he rules for

five years, his brother would be appointed to compensate it. When Kadai

Zainabu died the Galadima, Mshelkala, Yerima and the Chiroma came to

Ali Zainabu and asked him to rule. They said would you still like to

rule, being that your junior brother ruled before you. Then Ali Zaima

said one proverb. He said normally when there is honey we leave it for

the small one. After the small one has taken enough, it is then that

the big one or the elder would put his finger to taste it.

Ali Zainabu claimed the throne. He then said as far as I am the

ruler the Yerima of the town has to leave his title and leave the town

as well. The Yerima on hearing this collected his wives and children

and run to Balbaya where he spent the rest of the days of his life.

Ali Zainabu ruled for some years but not much is known about his rule,

and after he died Mele Gwandi or Mele the great succeeded him.

Mele Gwandi (the great)

For detailed history of Mele the great see pages 63 to 66. But

below is a summary of his achievements.

1. The people of Wuyo Multiplied under him.

2. The clan of Mele got their name from him.


For detailed history of Sarki Birni read pages fifteen onwards.

Below is a summary of his achievements.

1. Took the people (the Yamaltu) from Wuyo Gampala to Sugwa (Danjal


2. He fought two wars against the Fulani. One was the driving

away of the Fulani from Teli and Gedaka. Two was when the ruler of

Hinna hired his men to help him fight against the Fulani at Peru.


I have already given the detail history of Mahamnami on page 54, but s

still I would give a summary of what he did during his life time.

1. He founded the present walled town of Wuyo. The present

Wuyo in the year 1877. When he died Ali Ladi succeeded him.

Ali Ladi

Not much is known about Ali Ladi except that he expanded the walls

of the city. Islam reached Wuyo Gampala during his reign. He ruled only

for a few years before he died and his brother Kadai Thlima I was asked

to rule and compensate it for him. His brother Kadai Thlima did not

stay long on the throne and he too died before ruling up to five years,

again Kadai's brother, Mele Amina was appointed to compensate for the

two brothers.

Mele Amina

It was during Mele Amina's time that the white men came to Gujiba. When

the white men came and introduced the system of indirect rule, the D.O. at

Gujiba wanted to make him a third class chief and his elders and the title

holders advised him not to accept the white man's offer. They were two

stories about this issue.

One was that the white man said he would make Mele Amina third

class chief so that he could be touring all the area of the present

Kwaya Tera district plus Gulani. But in those days it was customary

for the ruler of Wuyo to stay indoors once the rain has dropped. The

custom prohibit a ruler to be beaten by rainfall. So the King-makers

told King Mele Amina that if he should accept this offer it means he is

breaking the custom, because once he accept he has to be touring all

the areas given to him in both rainy and dry season. Mele Amina harkened

to the advise of the title holders and rejected the offer and the white

man install the ruler of Gulani to be a third class chief, putting Wuyo

under Gulani.

The other story says that the white man invited all the powerful

rulers to report at Gulani so that he could choose some third class

chiefs among them. When all the invited rulers came to Gulani the

whiteman saw that the ruler of Wuyo was powerful due to the number of

horses and escorts he went with, so it was his intention to install him

as third class chief.

The first day they reached Gulani some food was taken to Mele Amina

but when the servants went to remove the dish in the morning they found

that Mele Amina did not eat the food. For this they thought probably

on that day he was too tired to eat that evening. The following day

again Mele Amina was served, but the same thing--he did not eat.

Again the following day he was served for the third time but he refused

to eat, so the stewards report the case to the white man. The white man

thought type of food they have been preparing might not be nice for Mele

to eat, so he ordered one steward to prepare a delicious food for King

Mele Amina, and he himself witnessed when the food was taken to Mele.

The following morning the white man came to see whether Mele had eaten

the food or not, but they found the food as it was served. The white

man was angry at this act. He then told Mele Amina that I wanted to

make you third class chief, but since you do not eat when you leave

your town, you cannot serve the modern demand. So the white man

installed the ruler of Gulani and Biu as third class chiefs.

In those days it was customer that the ruler of Wuyo once he has

left his city, would not eat any food until he comes back.

Formerly at the beginning of the indirect rule Wuyo was made to pay

tax to the people of Gombe under Bauchi. Every year the ruler of Gombe

sends his representative to collect tax from the ruler of Wuyo.


The resident at Bauchi and the one at Maiduguri made an arrangement

that since Wuyo is under Gulani, and Gulani is under Bornu, the people

of Wuyo should pay their tax to the people of Gulani, and the people of

Gulani would take it to Bornu. When the annual time for collecting tax

came the ruler of Gulani came to Wuyo to collect tax, but the ruler of

Wuyo said I have never paid any tax to you and I was not told to pay any

tax to you. My tax goes to the ruler of Gombe. The ruler of Gulani went

back empty handed. That year passed but they did not pay any.tax.

The following year the ruler of Gulani came again, but still the

ruler of Wuyo resisted to pay in tax to him. The ruler of Gulani sent

to the D.O. at Gujiba that now is the second year that the people of

Wuyo refused to pay in their annual tax. When the D.O. heard this he

ordered for soldiers to come from Maiduguri so that they could come

to burn Wuyo. When the soldiers came, the D.O. at Gujiba take the lead

to Wuyo. Mele Amina learnt of what was going to happen, so before the

soldiers advanced close to Wuyo he rode on his horse and met the soldiers

on the way. When he saw them he descended from his horse and greeted

the white man. The D.O. asked him, "Who are you?" He answered that I

am the ruler of Wuyo. The white man (D.).) told him that we are going

to you and we are glad to meet you on the way.

The D.O. told the king that now it has been for two years his

people did not pay their annual tax. So he should go back immediately

and ask his people to pay on the spot a tax of two years. Mele Anima

went back and sounded the royal drum (tambari) and within less than

no time all the households within the city gathered in front of his

house. Mele addressed them and said, "Indeed it is unusual to sound

the royal drum unless there is an attack or war. War has really come.

The white man is coming just at my back to burn the town with fire

if we did not collect on the spot a tax of two months.

On hearing this every member of a household rushed home, some

brought four goats, two sheep, some brought a cow, some brought one or

two horses, each brought whatever he can afford. 'Mele Amina himself

brought a lot of cows. When each one brought what he has, he would say,

"since we lived and our forefathers lived Wuyo had never been burnt

down, so we would never allow our town to be burnt down if it because

of material."

When the soldiers came they surrounded the whole city wall and about

twenty each was put at each gate. They collected hundreds of cows,

sheep, goats and they collected Gabaka as high as a hill, that if one

man was standing at the other side he would not see his friend who is

on the opposite side. Mele Amina then called in the D.O. to approve

what his people have collected for the two year's tax.

The D.O. was pleased with the collection and he ordered the soldiers

to come together and carry away the tax. The things collected were too

many that the D.O. said that they should not carry the Gabaka but leave

it behind. Gabaka is a piece of cloth locally woven.

There was another town close to Wuyo who failed to pay their tax for

two years for the same reason as Wuyo's. On the ruler of that town on

hearing that the soldiers have come to burn Wuyo because of failure to

pay tax, the ruler believed that the same thing would happen to his

town and so he advised the people of his town to run away before the

soldeirs come.

Before the soldiers came they found that the town was empty. They

found only one man that the King gave him a horse to give the D.O.

instead of the two years tax. When this man saw the soldiers coming he

did not stand to wait but climbed on the horse and run into the bush.

The D.O. ask the ruler of Wuyo, Mele Amina, to collect all that the people

of that town had left behind. These include goats, sheep and guinea corn,

but Mele Amina said no he cannot do that because that ruler and his

people were his friends. So he refused. The D.O. ordered that they

should collect the animals, and crush down the bins and burn down any

grain they could find inside. They did as the D.O. said destroying

anything kike grains and carried away the animals. They set fire on the

whole town and it got burnt while they waited and see. Thos people did

not come back again when they learnt that their town was burn to ashes.

From there on we did not know where they built their new town and we

lost contact with them.

Mele Amina was later imprisoned at Biu for he was found guilty of

selling two children as slaves. The informants cannot tell me to which

people he sold the slaves, but they said the incident happened around 1908.

Despite Mele Amina's achievements he did not stay on the throne for long

so his brother Jonga Pana was appointed to compensate it. After Naham

Yakubu had ruled. Naham Yakubu is from the clan of Kopyong.


Naham Yakubu was the son of Leka. He succeeded Mele Amina. It was

during his reign that Kwa Tera District broke away from Gulani Division

and was added to Biu Local Authority in 1914.

It was the first time that Kwaya Tera District was marked. The whole

of the District was divided among the existing Lauans.


Malam Mamman Fulata was the District head's chief scribe, and the

District had, Birma Yaniba assigned him to come and mark the boundary

between Dali and Wuyo.

When Malam Mamman Fulata came he sent for the ruler of Dali to

come and meet him at Wuyo. When the ruler of Dali came he explained to

both Naham Yakabu, the ruler of Wuyo and the ruler of Dali that he was

sent by the District head to mark the boundary between Wuyo and Dali.

Malam Mamman Fulata then rode on his horse and the two rulers with their

followers also claimed on their horses.

When they reached the boundary, Malam Fulata told the rulers that they

should show the exact boundary so that he can mark it. As they followed

the boundary when the ruler of Dali pointed to where the mark should be,

Malam Fulata would not mark it until when the ruler of Wuyo pointed.

They continued to mark it with dissatisfaction from the ruler of Dali.

Until when they reached two rocks or small hills. One of the rocks is

in the North closer to Wuyo and one of the rocks in the South closer to

Dali. The ruler of Dali said that the mark should be on the rock which

is in the North, giving more land for him. Naham Yakubu the ruler of

Wuyo said that the mark should be on the rock in the south, thus giving

him more area of land. Malam Fulata agreed with Naham Yakubu's suggestion,

the ruler of Wuyo, and marked the boundary on the rock which lies in South

giving more area to the ruler of Wuyo. The ruler of Dali could no longer

take the injustice which was being administered in marking the demarcation,

and so he rode his horse home leaving Naham Yakubu the ruler of Wuyo and

Malam Mamman Fulata behind. Naham Yakubu told Malam Fulata that they

should follow the ruler of Dali to his town.

It was customer for the ruler of Wuyo that whenever he visits the

ruler of Dali he has to branch at the ruler's house. The same thing

that if the ruler of Dali went to Wuyo he was to branch at the ruler's


When Naham Yakubu and Malam Fulata reached Dali the ruler of Wuyo

went in the royal house where the ruler of Dali lived. Being that Naham

Yakubu was a stranger to the ruler of Dali, and at the same time he

lodged at his house, he did not come out to welcome him. Naham Yakubu

spent three days at the ruler of Dali's compound but he did not come out

to welcome him. Seeing this Naham Yakubu asked the Galadima of Dali

to come. When the Galadima came, Naham Yakubu told him that since he

came into the house, today is the third day, but the ruler did not come

to welcome him, just because we had a little dispute over a boundary


Alright, please if he comes out tell him that I have gone. I would

go home. The Galadima went and told the ruler that the ruler of Wuyo had

been in his house for three days but you did not come out to welcome him

and now he said he is going home, but he is not really going hom. He

is going to the other wards where his people lived, and he would encourage

them to revolt against you. Remember that we were one with the people

of Wuyo. We travelled all the way from Yemen to Gabin, near Garkida,

and it was there that we got divided. And you know that some of the

wards in this town are members of his clan, and if you annoy him he would

either revolt against you with his people or his would ask all the members

of that ward to migrate to Wuyo, then you would be left with less people.

So I, as the Galadima is advising you to go and talk to him before

he left.

The ruler of Dali listened to the advice and went to talk to the

ruler of Wuyo, Naham Yakaku. The ruler of Dali called both the ruler

of Wuyo and Malam Mamma Fulata the scribe. He asked his servant to go in

his own sleeping room and brought something tied in rags. At the ruler's

order the servant brought something rolled in rags. The ruler of Dali

untie the rags and out of a bundle of pieces of corn stalks. He raised the

bundle of corn stalks in his right and say, "look at this bundle of pieces

of corn stalks. Each piece of corn stalk you can see in my hand is

representing a life of a person. All these pieces are numbers of lives

my people lost when they helped you and your people in war against the

Fulani at Telli and Gedaba. I and the people of Wuyo are one since

from the beginning, but you, Malam Fulata is supporting him so that he

can have more land than he is supposed to have." When Naham Yakubu

saw this he was surprised because the war was fought long ago since in

the time of Birni. Naham Yakubu and the Malam Fulata asked him to be

patient so that they could go back and mark the boundary as he likes it.

They went back and the hill that caused the boundary dispute was put

in the area of Dali and the mark was put on the hill which was closer to


The first motor road from Biu to Gombe was marked and constructed,

but not with tar, while Mr. Elder the first Biu D.O. was in Biu.

Hausa settlers also came during Naham Yakubu's reign and they

introduced some method of garden farming. The D.O. and Ginir of Biu

appointed him that whenever the District head of Kwaya is not on seat he

should act as the District head. But lastly he was imprisoned for having

disputed the District head--Birma Yanta in the year 1923. He was succeeded

by Jonga Pana (Musa) in 1923. He ruled for forty-four years and retired

in 1967, when his son the present ruler Kadai Dlama II succeeded him in

1968 and ruled up to the present day. It was during Jonga Pana's reign

that school was opened in Wuyo in the year 1948. In 1967 the road from

Biu to Gombe was tarred.

Village boundaries was remarked between Dali and Wuyo.


One day the ruler of Dali went to Birma Yamta, the District head

of Kwaya and complained to him that he is fearing probably that maybe in

future the Authority would ask all the Lawans with smaller areas to merge

with the Lawans who have greater areas and if this should happen he would

cost his area, and he would find himself not a ruler. Then the District

Head, Birma Yamta said, what can I do? He said since Wuyo has a very

large area, please I hope if the ruler of Wuyo would not mind you would

cut Zange from Wuyo and add it to me. Zange is closer to me and it has

a big population, and once it is added to my territory I would have

strength and fear not. Birma Yamta, the district head, said if the

ruler of Wuyo Jonga Pana agrees, why not. The District head sent for

the ruler of Wuyo to come and when he came he told him the ruler of Dali's

complain. Jonga Panna said, why not, the people of Dali and my people

are the same since from the beginning up to now and I would not refuse

the ruler of Dali whatever he requested from me. Hence forth Zange was

part of Dali. Jonga Panna was the first ruler of Wuyo to receive a

salary. When he retired in 1967 his son Kadui Dlama II succeeded him.

Insert Figure about here


During the reign ofNyaham Yakubu the youth of the town did not like

the way they were being handled. So for some reasons, they asked for

his removal from office. By then Mai Ali was the ruler of Gulani. Nyaham

Yakubu, the ruler, was from the clan of Kopyong and it was the youth from

Mele clan that asked for his removal. They wanted a ruler from the clan

of Mele.

It was not possible for the Mai of Gulani to remove Nyaham from

office without any particular fault because the resident and the D.O.

at Gujiba would ask for the reason. From then on Mali Ali was looking for

a reason to kick Nyaham out of office.

Not long afterwards Mai Ali went out on tour. He toured some

parts of his area and then lastly visited Ngubirnda in Wuyo Territory.

Mai Ali thought in this position as a third class chief could visit any

place under his jurisdiction without informing the lawan concerned. By

then Ngubirnde was under Wuyo, and in normal situation he had to inform

Chief Nyaham before touring Ngubirnde.


Balbaya Area


High Lands

Big Villages

Small Villages


Kwaya Area

Gombe Area


Gombe Area

Shani Area

Dali Area





Nyaham Yakubu did not know that his senior is visiting some

villages within his territory. One day, still in his visit, Mai Ali

was sitting with his followers at the gate of the ruler of Ngubirnde

(Bulama), then he saw one very beautiful woman passing. The woman had

long hair and very good pointed nose and she was so beautiful that Mai

Ali could not resist the temptation of talking to her. He ordered his

servants to capture the lady to him. When the lady was brought he asked

her name. Her name was Ndukmini--meaning a human is good. Mai Ali

asked her whether she was married and she said yes, but he said whether

married or not he, the Divisional ruler has captured her for a wife.

The lady, Ndukmini was not from Ngubirnde. Her home town was Walamdiya

near Walama, but she came to Ngubirnde to greet her mother's relative.

The report of what happened immediately reached Walamdiya to the lady's

parents. The mother on hearing the news that the Emir of Gulani had

captured her daughter for a wife, burst into cry from Walamdiya to Wuyo.

All the way she was shouting. When she reached Wuyo, she straight away

walked to the ruler's house, Nyaham Yakubu, and told him that Mai Ali

of Gulani had captured her daughter for a wife despite the fact that she

was already married. Nyaham Yakubu was surprised to hear this statement

and ask which Mai Ali of Gulani. The mother said the present ruler. Nyaham

Yaluku asked where Mai Ali of Gulani saw her daughter. And the woman told

him that my daughter not knowing that Mai Ali was at Nguburnde went to

great her grandmother and when she was passing Mai Ali saw her and ordered

his servants to catch her for him. Nyaham Yakubu said how can Mai Ali

come to my territory without informing me? Alright mother, please be

patient you would get your daughter back. Stay in Wuyo and wait.

Nyaham Yakubu first of all thought that he would collect his people

and go and recapture Ndukmini from Mai Ali by force, but he later on

thought that even though the Mai was at fault if he acted in this manner,

the D.O. at Gujiba would condemn him for being rude (rebellious) to his

senior. So he thought of a peaceful way of takling (coping with) the matter.

He called some of his officials and some youth of the town and instructed

them to go to Ngubirnde and tell the Mai that the ruler of Wuyo was not

notified that Maigirma is visiting a town in his territory. Had he known

he would have come out with his people to welcome you on the way. Despite

all these he said welcome to you. He also sent us to tell you that any

lady that you see in his territory and it pleases you, before you, the

Maigirma, said you want her, she is already your wife on the condition that

she is not married. For I have no authority over married women, except

their husbands. So Nyaham Yakubu said we should tell you that the lady

you captured is a married woman, and as such you should give her to us

and we would take her back to Nyaham Yakubu.

The officials and the youths went and did exactly as Nyaham Yakubu

had instructed.

On hearing the message Mai Ali grew annoyed and ordered his servants

to bring out Ndukmini and give her to the people of Wuyo. This incident

made the Mai to hate Nyaham Yakubu more and more, and still he was keeping

an eye on him to see whether he would be found guilty and would be dealt

with summarily.

When Ndukmini was brought back the ruler gave her back to her

mother and the mother took her back to her husband.

Nyaham Yakubu's Ngurkuma, another title holder, was not living

together with the ruler, but was living at Wade. But to perform his

duties well the ruler demanded that he should come to live together

with him at Wuyo. The Ngurkuma collected all his family and brought them to

Wuyo. One of the Ngurkuma's sons had measles. In those days if any child

is caught with such infectious diseases, the infected child would not be

allowed to go to another village, because he would spread it to the

village which had none. This Ngurkumas child which caught measles from

Wade came to Wuyo with the disease and spread it among other children.

The people of the village reported that the Ngurkuma had brought a

child to Wuyo who was infected with measles. Nyaham Yakubu called the

Ngurkuma and asked him whether he was responsible for bringing measles

into his village. The Ngurkuma agreed and Nyaham Yakubu fined the

Ngurkuma a sum of N2. The Ngurkuma paid it, but he did not stop there.

He took the matter to Emir at Gulani. It was still Mai Ali at that time.

Nyaham was called by the ruler of Gulani and Mai Ali reported the

matter to the D.C at Gujiba. The D.O. condemned Nyaham for fining

the Ngurkuma for so much an amount. The Mai of Gulani said he would

fine the ruler of Wuyo, Nyaham Yakubu ten Naira and he would give him

twenty lashes. The D.O. at Gujiba agreed that the ruler of Wuyo should

be fined the sum of ten Naira, but he did not agree with the idea that

he should be caned as well. The D.O. said I have nothing, or no hand

in the cane. If you do so it is your responsibility. Mai Ali got the fine

of N 10 and ordered his servants to give twenty lashes to Nyaham Yakubu.

It was done as he ordered. The Governor of the Federation called

Governor Fama, came to visit Biu and all the Lawans were invited to come,

plus the Mai of Gulani.

When Nyaham saw that the D.O. was together with the Governor he went

and greeted the Governor. He said, I come to say something about my

stay with my head, the ruler of Gulani, but when I was coming in to see

you I saw his horse going away and that means he had gone, so I can no

more say what I wanted to say. The Governor said, please say it, do not

mind whether he is still around or not.

He then explained the whole situation to the Governor--of how he

was fined and beaten and how Mai Ali seized somebody's wife when he was

on tour at Gubirnde.

Having reported this he asked the Governor if it would be possible

let him remove him and his territory out of Gulani and place him in any

place or under any Emir. The Governor agreed and he told the D.O. that

from then on Wuyo was to move under Gulani but under Biu.


Birma Yanita had not been on good terms with Nyaham the lawan of

Wuyo. The reason for this was that Nyaham was never submissive and

suggestable to him, and as a district head he found Nyaham to be an

obstacle to his office.

Whenever he asked his lawans to do something he found that Nyaham

had to stay and question him about it. And if he did wrong the other lawans

were not brave enough to point it out to him. For these reasons Birma

Yamta, the then district head of Kwaya grew to dislike him.

One day Birma Yamta went out to tour his area. When he came near

the border between Dali and Wuyo he saw some hunters hunting animals.

In those days hunting was prohibited. When Birma Yamta saw these hunters

he asked for the ruler of Wuyo, Nyaham to come. When he came, he, Birma

Yamta questioned him why he should allow people to hunt in his area.

Nyaham complained that these hunters are not from Wuyo area, and the area

they were hunting in is not an area of Wuyo.

The next incident occurred when thieves came and stole some cows

from Wuyo area. The people whose cows were stolen came and reported to Nyaham

the ruler of Wuoy that thieves had stolen all the cows in their herd.

Nyaham told them to be patient, he would trace out the thieves. He

himself, the ruler and his followers rode on their horses and follow the

mark which the thieves left behind. It was in November and the grass was

young and green, and the foot steps of the people and cows could easily be

traced. They continued to follow the mark until they reached Chelang.

Nyaham Yakubu went to the ruler of Chellang and explained it to him that

they had been a case of theft in his area, and since the grass is still

green they followed the footsteps of the suspected and the footsteps came

directly to his town, Chellang. The ruler of Chellang put some people

to investigate the matter. After much findings, the thieves were dis-

covered and the cows were taken away and were given to Nyaham, the ruler

of Wuyo. The ruler of Chellang imprisoned the thieves and Nyaham went

back with his people and the stolen cows. When they came back he called

the owners of the cows and gave them back their cows.

Birma Yamta heard that there had been a case of theft in his

district, but Nyaham, the ruler of Wuyo went as far as Chellang after

the thieves. To him Birma Yamta had offended him since he did not report

the matter to him.

Birma Yamta reported Nyaham to the D.O. and expalined it to him

that his assistant Niyaham had went to Chellang to hire soldiers to come

and get rid of the from his throne. The D.O. filed the report

and the day for administering the judgment adjourned.

When the day for the judgment came, the D.O. chose the venue to be

Gusi a town in Kwaya Fera District. The ruler of Wuyo was asked to report

to Gusi very early in the morning, not knowing what was happening. When

he reached Gusi, he was surprised to see the D.O. and the District Head

Birma Yamta waiting for him.

The D.O. picked out the report and read it to the ruler of Wuyo.

By then they had no Alkalis as judges, but the D.O.s do the work of a

judge. The ruler of Wuyo denied that he went to Chellang purposely to

hire soldiers in order to fight against Birma Yamto.

Major Egger, the D.O. had not much evident to support the District

head. So he wanted to dismiss the case. When Birma Yamta saw that the

case was going to be dismissed he started to look for another means, because

if Nyaham Yakubu was left free, it means he has won the case and he, the

District head would lose respect among his people. He thought of giving

bribes to the D.O.'s two stewards and the D.O's maisandas (interpreters) that

understand English, and they were interpreters. They explained or

interpret what the D.O. said in English to the native people as well as

the rulers, and they interpet what the rulers and the people say their

language to the D.O. in English. He bribed these people to be making

malicious remarks against Nyaham Yakubu.

The first steward came and sat in a position where the D.O could

hear all what he was saying. He then started to condemn Nyaham saying

that he was stubborn to his seniors, that was how he reported his senior

Mai Ali of Gulani and he had won or succeeded in cutting himself out

of Gulani territory. If the D.O. should support Nyaham, that means he,

the D.O. is encouraging Nyaham in wanting to break away from Biu to join

Gombe. After the first steward had finished these malicious remarks, the

second steward came and do the same thing. Still the D.O. was listening

but he did not say even a word. After the second steward the Maisandas

started to come one at a time and make the remarks about Nyaham. Before

they finished the D.O., Mr. Egga grew tired of the report and remarks so

he went straight and called Nyaham and told him that he has to serve in

prison for two years for having disputed or offending his senior the

district head. That happened in October 1923. By then Mai Ali Dogo

was the ruler in Biu.

Time ended: 4:00 p.m.

Time: 10:00 a.m. Date: 15th June 1974

Informants: Chiroma--Approximate age ninety

Mshelkala eighty

Yerima eighty five

Chama sixty

Shettima sixty

The Headmaster


I have already mentioned that there- were and there are still three

wards in Wuyo. They are Bonga, Thlyeng and Tala. The ruler or any Kudi

that comes to the throne is automatically a member of the ward of Bonga.

He is just a niminal member because his house is at the centre of the

town and the three wards surrounded him. But he is attached to Bonga

in times of paying tax. The Kudi's tax has to follow one ward, and that

ward is Bonga.

The next two wards are equally important--the Thlyeng and the Tala.

At the moment the Galadima is the head of the Bonga Ward and Mshelkala

is the head of the Thlyeng ward and the Yerima is the head of the Tala


As I have mentioned on page 54 that since at the beginning there

had been three wards. At the very beginning when they were settling at

Wuyo Gampala, they found out that they divided themselves into three

wards and the division was based on nothing. From there onwards, any

stranger that comes could be received into any ward.

The Leadership in the Wards

In the Wuyo town there are seven first class title holders. The

seven are Galadima, Mshelkala, Yerima, Batan, Zarma, Shettima and Yokduma.

I name them in order of their importance. Among the three wards, the

highest title holder is automatically the head of the ward he lives in.

The heads of these wards hold no other titles since they have the titles

of the village. From how the heads of the wards were obtained we can see

that the heads of the wards could be from any clan provided that person

has a village title.

The first class title holders are not appointed according to family,

but according to merit. The Kudi (chief) appoints any one who he thinks

would do an earnest job to the town.


The first class title holders--must be consulted first by Kudi

1. Galadima 2. Mshelkala 3. Yerima 4. Batari

5. Zarma 6. Shettima 7. Yokduma

All the above list are the first class holders with the Kudi as the

figure head. Kudi means chief.

Second class title holders--do not attend

but are consulted by first class titleholders.

Birma Birgina Kala Maikada

Borkuma Molima Kadkuma Tal Ba

Pukma Gana Kanawa Kadavir

meetings with Kudi,





Pukma Kura


Both the first and second class title holders are appointed with a spear

and a tambari. What I mean by first and second class title holders is

that, the first seven were the most important ones and they carry out

important decisions with the Kudi. The Kudi cannot take any decision

without them. After the first class title holders have approved any

point then they would take it to the second class title holders. I would

talk about how they hold important decisions in the later pages of this


The third class title holders. Third class title-holders consulted

in turn by 2nd class.

These people are only appointed with sticks (Sanda)

1. Achamkimi 2. Kalambirabti 3. Lamji

4. Kacham 5. Mezawa 6. Dukuma

7. Dalkokna 8. Lamji Cham 9. Gomsom

10. Achamkala 11. Acham-Kadavir 12. Achamdurkuma

13. Ngurkuma 14. Kadabidi 15. Birndeka

16. Birgusai 17. Mezawa 18. Ngoma (see page 32)

The fourth class title holders. C -, ( R< '

These people are only appointed by the word of mouth. There would

be no tambari, spear nor stick given to them when they are appointed into

office. The Kudi would just send his representatives to tell the person

concerned by a word of mouth that they have been appointed into office.

They are:

Achambri 2.

Acham Malwa 5.

Dalbidi 9.


Kadabiya 16.

Pukuma Chinji 20.


Malwa 3.

Achamdla 6.

Zarangana 10.


Birpathla 17.

Pukuma Gunda



Acham Sirdik






Pukuma Bidli


Continuation of the third class title holders from previous page.

Tinja Kalge Ngwanza Gwambene

Dalmshel Dukuma Ngoma Kacham

Their Various Works

The Galadima is the Kudi's assistance. If the Kudi is not around

he takes over all the responsibilities and heads all the rest of the title



He is being assisted by the Shettima. The Mshelkala being assisted

by the Shettima is responsible for all the people of Kopyong. The Mshelkala

being the head figure sometimes puts matters right or if he cannot, then

he pushes it to the Kudi, if that matter occurs among the clan of Kopyong.


The Yerima with his assistant Yokduma is the head of all the members

of the clan of Mele. He has the right to settle any matter or disagreement

that arises among the clan of Mele. If there arises a matter that he cannot

solve then he would push it to the town level, to the Kudi.


Both the Galadima and the Batari represented the interest of all

the people of the town, but the Batari acted in the pre-colonial days as

the Chief Justice. In the pre-colonial days if there was a case of

theft, fighting or any criminal cases, he, the Batari would be responsible

for passing the judgment.

The Galadima, Mshelkala, Yerima and Batari, under the chairmanship of

Kudi, the ruler, forms the cabinet. All of them are political office


How they make Decisions

Let us say that a ruler from the clan of Mele is on the throne, and

has something in mind, and he wants to call the cabinet for support or

suggestion. The Kudi would then call his information officer, the Kala

and tell him that he wants all the members of his cabinet. The Kala

would invite the members of the cabinet in order of their importance. He

would first of all go to the Galadima, then the Mshelkala, then the Yerima,

and lastly to the Batari.

When all of them have come, they would go in to see the Kudi. The

Galadima leads the way, and when they have reached the presence of the

Kudi the Galadima would be the first to greet the chief. After they have

greeted, then the Kudi would rise the motion or topic of discussion. He

would say that I call you to seek your opinion on such a matter. He

would then say I want each of you to say your opinion about it. The

Galadima would then comment on the matter and after him he would ask

the Mshelkala. The Mshelkala would normally say he has nothing to say.

From the Mshelkala then the Yerima would say his opinion. Still if there

is no satisfactory solution, the Batari would lastly talk. Why the

Mshelkala would always say he has nothing to say? As I have discussed

earlier, that the Kudi comes from the clan of Mele. Being that the

Mshelkala comes from the clan of Kopyong, if he makes comment or makes

suggestions the Kudi would think that being that he is from a different

clan he is undermining his power, so to avoid this friction he always

keeps quiet. If the ruler is from the clan of Kopyong the Yerima at a

Cabinet meeting would always say he has nothing to do.

At every meeting these three people have to be present, but it is

customary that they do not open their mouth to speak even a single word.

They are:

1. Birma 2. Birgina 3. Kala

The Birgima does the work of chief information officer. When ever the Kudi

wants to speak to his cabinet he would first of all tell the Birma and

the Birma in turn would tell the Kala to invite members of the cabinet.

After the Kudi and the Title holders have discussed a point and have

come to one agreement (unanimously) then the five title holders would leave

the Kudi and carry the matter forward to the second class title holders.

See pages and for the list of the second class title holders.

This second class title holders never go to the Kudi for any sort of

discussion. Anything being discussed with the Kudi must be carried on to

them by the Galadama and the rest of the members of the first class title


After the discussion with Kudi already the members of the second class

title holders are waiting at the street in front of the Kudi's palace.

When the first class title holders came they would sit among the second

class title holders and the Galadima would say the ruler of the land has

called us for so and so discussions and all of us have come to an agree-

ment that it should be tackled in such a way, and he asked us to come to

you and let you know about it and let you make your own suggestions if

you think that what we have decided is not good for the public. The

second class title holders would then think and make public suggestions,

and it is left to them to condemn what has been suggested by the Cabinet.

If they are successful in giving enough reasons why the first suggestion

made by the members of the cabinet'is unsuitable, then the Galadima and

the rest of the first class title holders would contact the Kudi again.

They would say that we have taken the matter to the larger group of people

and another suggestion was made. The Kudi would then say that alright

if all of you have agreed, then we would make use of the second suggestion.

If the members of the second class title holders could not think of any

other suggestion then they would say that the first suggestion stands firm.

Then the Galadima and the rest of the first class title holders would go

back to the Kudi and tell him that the members of the public have agreed

on the first suggestion made by the cabinet. Then that decision would be

carried out. The Kala would then inform the members of the public that so

and so has been decided by the members of the cabinet and the Kudi has

asked me to pass it on to you. The members of the public has to accept

anything that has been decided by the Kudi and his cabinet ministers.

The Talaka as the commoners are called has no right to dispute anything

which has been decided by the cabinet.

The Birma. He is the administrator. He and the Galadima work between

the rest of the people and the Kudi. He also works between the title

holders and the Kudi and the members of the public.

Kala. He also does the work of information. As I have said

earlier that if the rest of the people want to see the Kudi, they first

of all have to inform the Birgima and the Birgima would inform the Kala,

then the Kala would inform the Kudi. Likewise if the Kudi wants to see

some people he would first of all tell the Kala, then the Kala would

inform the Birgima and the Birgima would let the members of the public


Pukuma Kura. This man was an adviser on Islamic law. He was to see

that all the teachings and practices of Islam was being carried out by the

people of the town. He leads Muslim prayer on Fridays. The two prayers

performed by the Muslims twice a year, Sallah Laya and Sallah Aszumi--

he the pukuma performs the "Hawan Idi." He would ride on a horse

on the day of the prayer and all the rest of the people would ride on

behind while he rides in front with the Kudi immediately behind him.

All the way to the prayer ground he would be in front and if one who does

not know the Kudi would think that the Pukuma Kura is the Kudi as he walks

in front.

Apart from being the religious head, the Pukuma was the only person

that settles disputes between clans. Supposing some one from the clan of

Mele came into disagreement with somebody from the clan of the Kopyong,

the case would not be taken to Kudi but to the Pukuma Kura. The Pukuma

Kura has the right to pass any judgment between these people and his

judgment is always final.

When there was a criminal case and if the Batari and the Kadi both

have agreed that the person who committed the crime must be beheaded, and

the Pukuma Kura did not agree, the criminal would not be beheaded.

How the Pukuma intervene the criminal and the Kudi. When the Kudi has

gathered a gathering he would be given a sword by his assistant, the Galadima.

The pukuma Kura on seeing that the spear is given to the Kudi for the

execution, he would then fall in front of the Kudi and said if you are to

kill this man or behead him, you better behead me instead of him. As he

says this he falls in front of the Kudi. The Kudi would then live the

criminal on hearing the plead from the Pukuma Kura.

His third duty is the chief treasury. When Birgima has collected the money

he takes it to the Kudi to know how much it is. From the Kudi it has to be

taken to the Pukuma Kara to check and know how much money. After he has checked

it that then the Birgima would carry it back and keep it until when it is


In the past they used to obtain money to run their government from the

sale of slaves. When they fought a war against any town and if they capture

any people they turn them into slaves. The slaves would be kept and sold at

any time and the money would be used for running the town of the government.

Pukuma Gana assists the Pukuma Kura in carrying his duties, and in his

absence he takes over the whole responsibilities of the Pukuma Kura.

The following second class title holders has to be chosen from

the clan of the ruling house. They are:

Chircma Karyo Borkuma Mokima Kadkuma

All the above five people must either be from the clan of Mele or Kapyong--

the two ruling clans. The informants give no reason for this, but just

said it was a tradition that made it to be so.

Kanawa. This title holder is in charge of strangers that came to

the town. It is his responsibility to see that every stranger is treated

well and given enough food. The expenses of doing that does not come

from him, but from the town money which is obtained from war.

Kadavir. He was the chief of police and he has the following that

assists him to carry out his duty. They are:

Kacham Lawar Ngoma Dukuma Nezawa Sompo Dalkokna

Lamji Cham Gromjom Acham Kalle Achamdurkuma

When there was a criminal the case would first of all be reported to the

Kudi and the Kudi would call the Kadavir that someone has commit a crime and

he wants see that person immediately. The Kadavir would then appoint some of

his helpers to go and bring the criminal. When his helpers heard the order

they would rush and bring the person wanted, and the Kadavir will escort

his helpers in taking the criminal to the Kudi. He has to be present

also when the Batari, the chief justice is carrying out his duty. If the

criminal is to be taken to prison he would be the one who would take him.

At public meetings or cabinet meetings the Kadavir has to be present.

He always sits at the coor or gate and every minute of the meeting he makes

sure that those in the meeting are safe from enemies or uninvited

fellows. When there was an attack from enemies he would be the first

to see it and he would report it to the congregation in general so that

they could escape from the place of meeting to go to the defense of the


Birndeka (Turaki). He is always with the Kudi. Only when the time

for going to bed comes then they would separate. He is always the key keeper.

He keeps the key of stores where weapons and tambaris are kept. I will

talk more of his role as I duscuss how they are elected into office.

Ngurkuma. He is in charge of all the animals. In times of war when

Wuyo defeated another town they (Wuyo) would carry away all their animals like

goats, sheep, horses and cows. When these are brought to Wuyo the

Ngurkuma is responsible for taking care of them.

He also see that all the cow owners of Wuyo town looks after their

cows properly in case they may spoil plants in the bush. He also instruct

the cattle owners where they should keep their herds. All the money

collected from animal tax is first of all taken to him then, it is taken to

the treasury.

Kacham. When the Kudi wants his sword he asks the Kacham to

bring it.

Every year the Kudi beats a Tambari to count the number of years

he reign. If he beats tambari five times before his death, then he

rules for five years before his death. Let us take for example that a

ruler comes to the office in August. Next August on the data he climbed

the throne he would ask his kacham to go and bring the tambari. The kacham

would then tell the Birndeka, the key keeper, to go and bring the tambari.

When it is brought to the kacham he would take it to the Kudi. The Kudi would

then take a rope or string made of Hippopotamus's skin. He would then beat

gon-gon-gon, one, gon-gon-gon, two, gon-gon-gon, three. He would then

give the tambari back to kacham and kacham would give it Berndeka to keep it

in the store. Until next year by August would he, the Kudi, beat the

tambari again.

Kacham have three helpers. They are:

1. Achamniki 2. Kalambirapbi 3. Laniji

Kadabidi. He is in charge of all the horses in Wuyo town. He pays

much more attention in seeing the well being of the ruler's horses. He

trained them to be of good behaviour even among public, and knows much of

horses' character, so this gives him the privilege of choosing for the

Kudi the most humble horse and gentle among public.

He mounts, i.e. puts on, the royal saddle when the Kudi wants to

travel to Kwaya, or Biu. He has the following people that help him

especially in feeding the Kudi's horses.

Sirdik Barde Dalbieli Zaryana Acham Sirdik

Birtaku Kadala Taki.

All are soldiers. The above people which a list also walk in front of the Kudi

and some at the back. They hold spears and some keep bows and arrows.

Birndeka, the title holder I talked about on page }L has the following

people to help him do his work successfully. They are:

Kalambirapti Achamkimi Kadauirafa Acham Kalambirapti

Kadamrafa Lamji

All the above people which I listed apart from helping the Berndeka,

they are responsible for preparing food for the Kudi. Not for the Kudi

personally but for his servants and four times a year they prepare food

for the general public to eat. I will talk about the preparation of the

food in the next chapter.

Burgusai. This man is responsible for preparing drinks. He and

his helpers prepare drinks to the Duki. He has only few people to help

him, but in times of festivals he invites Birndekas people to help him.

His helpers are:

Kadabiya Birpathla Kalbong

Occupational Title Holders

1. Pukuma Bidli.

He is the leader of all blacksmiths in the whole town.

2. Pukuma Chinji.

This man is the head of all xylophone players in the town.

3. Pukuma Gunda

He is the leader of the drummers in the town. When there is a

celebration he used to beat a very big drum which is so big that about

four people carry it. Also in the pre-colonial days he used to beat

one drum called kimsim. Nowadays we do not get people who can beat kimsim.

4. Achama

He was the leader of horn blowers. When the Kudi wants to invite

the members of his cabinet, he would tell the kala, and the kala does

not necessary have to go to each of the title holders that formed the

cabinet, but the kala would just inform the Achama. The Achama would take

his horn and start calling the members of the cabinet one by one. When

each of them is being called they would identify who is being called and

who has not been called through the horn. He normally starts by calling

the Galadima.

How These People are Appointed into Office

All the first class and second class title holders are appointed in

the same way. See pages ) and ) for the list of both first

and second class title holders.

Let us take for example that the Borkama has died and someone else

is needed to take up this title. Apart from the Kudi, all the title

holders are not hereditary. The members of both second and first class

title holders are appointed by Tambari and Spear. The Kudi would then tell

his information officer, the Kala that he wants to see the members of the

first and second class title holders.

Kala, the information officer would go first to the Galadima and

inform him that the Kudi wants to see him. After he has invited the

Galadima he then goes to the Mshelkala. From the Mshelkala he then goes

to Yerima. After the Yerima he then goes on to the Batari. The Kala

would then go on to invite Birma, the local administrator and Birgima. In

most cases the Birma and the Birgima and the Kala are always together

with the Kudi.

All those that were asked to come would come one by one and wait

at the gate for the rest to come. When all of them have come the Galadima

leads them inside to where the Kudi is. The Kudi will then tell them

that, since the post of Borkuma is vacant I want us to recruit another

person for this post. He, the Kudi, would ask them to think of someone

who is capable. They will give some suggestions of few names, then the

Kudi would ask them to pick one out of the few they mentioned. In most

cases the Galadima contributes the most in the selection. After they have

discussed and appointed a person, the Kudi would tell the first class holders

that they should go and imform the members of the second class title holders.

When the members of the first class title holders were with the Kudi,

the Birma, Birgima and the Kala were present, but it was customary that

they do not speak or make any suggestions. Their duty was just to listen.

When the members of the Second class title holders agreed with the

person appointed by the cabinet, then the Galadima and the Batari would go

back to the Kudi and inform him that the congress have agreed that this person

is to be the new Borkuma.

The Kudi would then order a general meeting of the whole town. They

sit in order of importance. First the members of the cabinet, secondly the

members of the second class title holders, thirdly the members of the third class

title holders, and fourthly the talaka and the rest of the congress.

When all are seated the Kacham and his helpers Achamniki, Kalambirakbi

and the Lamji would go to the Kudi to collect a Kasrum spear and the tambari

for the installation. The Kudi would inform the Birndeka to go with the key

and bring out both the tambari and kasrum spear.

These would be brought among the public and apart from those that

appointed the Barkuma everyone was thinking that who would be the new

Borkuma. The kacham would then hold the sword and start to go round the

congregation. He would go round several times and lastly would hand the

sword to the new Boruma. The kacham keeps the sword from the edge and hands

it to the Borkuma. The Galadima holds the handle and leave it, he again

hands it to him the second time and the Borkuma holds the handle. After

doing it three times, the kacham would go back and beat the tambari. Once

the tambari the newly appointed Borkuma has taken his office. He would

beat it three times. Every one leaves and rejoices for the newly

appointed Borkuma.

In the pre-colonial days when a title holder has been appointed

into office he takes some presents to the Kudi, for it is a symbol of

appreciation that he has appreciated his new office and he thanks the Kudi

for appointing him. The presents were goats, sheep or cow if the person

concerned is rich enough.

The Kudi having appointed someone into office has to give him a

gift. But these vary in order of importance. For example, the Galadima,

Pukuma, and Mshelkala, once they are appointed into office the Kudi

gives them hula gown, shoes and a stick.

At present all the above mentioned people when appointed each of

them gives to the Kudi N 20.

How the Kudi is Appointed

Once a Kudi is dead his death has to be kept silent until the members

of the first class title holders have met and chosen a new Kudi before his

death is announced publicly. The reason for that is if the death is

made public without the members of the cabinet meeting to choose a new ruler,

they would have lawlessness in the town. Everyone would do as he/she

likes because there is no ruler.

For example, a Kudi died, then his death would be reported to the

Galadima and the Galadima would say that his death must be kept silent.

The Galadima would tell the Kala to go and invite the following people:

Batari, Mshelkala and Yerima, plus the Galadima making four. These four

people are responsible for the election of the new ruler. Apart from these

four people the Mshelkala would bring his assistant and the Yerima would

also bring his assistant. Already the three people who attended every

sort of meeting are there. They are Birma, Birgima and the Kala. In all

the nine people would meet at the Kudi's house where they used to hold meetings.

Apart from the four people, the Galadima, Batari, Mshelkala and

Yerima, no other people speak. If the Kudi that died is from Mele clan,

then the Galadima would say, alright, since our last kudi was from the

clan of Mele, now our next Kudi has to come from the clan of Kopyong.

The Galadima continues, now Mshelkala you are the head of the Kopyong

clan and I call upon you to give us or present to us those from your

clan who you think are capable for the pst.

The Kopyong would then give or nominate two names. When the two

names are nominated the Galadima would then consider the two people and

suggests one out of the two that he thinks can fit. Normally when he

has chosen one out of the nominated ones the people agree and support


After the meeting they would then disperse and the rulers death

would be made publicly. When it is announced that the ruler has died the

Maina's would be worried about which one of them would be elected to rule.

Some of them would start going to the Galadima, Mshelkala and the Yerima to

favour them when the time for election comes, not knowing that the new

Kudi has already been elected.

After the Kudi has been buried they would be no other time wasting apart

from the installation. The Galadima would inform the Kadavir to carry on

with his job. Kadavir is responsible for the installation. All people would

be asked to come and witness the occasion. First the members of the

cabinet would sit in a row, then behind them the members of the second class

title holders, then the members of the third class title holders. Far behind

are the none-title holders and the talaka. The information officer, the

kala would inform the drummers to play a special sound played only on such

occasions. This special sound is called Gamto in Tera and Para in Bura.

The Kadavir would then carry the Partato (shield) and start to walk among

the rows of the Mainas. Each of the Maina was thinking that he may be

appointed. As the drum beats, the Kadavir goes round them and joking by

trying to give the child to each of them. When the last drum sounds,

then he, the Kadavir gives the shield to the new Kudi. The first class

title holders would then rush to surround the new Kudi. The Barwa people

would rush quick and put on the turban to the new Kudi when the turban

has been put round his head, he would be taken where the Tambari waits.

The tambari waits in a special hidden place otherwise once one of the Mainas

rushed even without being appointed and beats the tambari, he would

automatically be the ruler, so for this reason when the election is being

conducted the tambari is hidden where none of the Mainas has access to it.

When he is taken they give him a string made of hippopotamus and he

would beat the tambari three times, that counts as one, again he beats it

three times, that counts as twice, and he beats it three times again and

that counts it as the third time. After beating the Tambari, people would

rush and lift the new Kudi and put him on the shield the Kadavir has.

The Kadavir and his helpers would lift the Kudi on the shield and go round

his compound three times. The compound where all the kudi live. They go

from west, south, east and then north. After going round the house three

times, with the ruler still on the shield they would take him to the Gala-

dima's compound. Ready for him at the Galadima's house is a Birndeka and

a girl. The Birndeka serves him as a servant and the girl would serve his

wives. The following morning the Birgina the Kala and the Birma would

take off the turban and burn it. The Kudi would also change the gown

which the people put on for him on the installation and put on his personal

gown. He has to stay at the Galadima's house for seven days. For example,

if he was installed on Friday and taken to the Galadima's house, he

would go to his royal house until the next Friday.

His Burial

In the olden days before the coming of Islam the people of Wuyo bury

their ruler in a traditional way. Once the death of the Kudi has been

announced the next person to be consulted was the head of all the black-

smiths of the town. His title is Pukuma Bidli. The Pukuma Bidli would

be informed to make a metal chair on which the Kudi could be buried.

The Pukuma Bidli would call on his assistants to help do the work quickly.

By the time the chair is made, the grave has already been dug. They would

carry the dead body to the grave. Every Kudi that dies would be buried

still inside the royal house. The metal chair made by Pukuma Bidli would

be placed inside the grave and the dead body would be placed on it.

After placing the dead body do not put some earth into the earth, but instead

they bring some charcoal and place it round the dead body until the grave

is full of charcoal. The use of the charcoal was the idea to preserve

the dead body of the Kudi. Apart from the Kudi no one is allowed to be

buried in such a manner.

Some celebrations which the Kudi does for his people

It was/is customary that the Kudi has to prepare some dinners, four

times annually. The purpose of these dinners was different. He, as a

Kudi, also feels that they are necessary because people would remember him

as the figure head.

The first dinner in the year is called Hzispon. It is done during

spring before people go out for planting. When the Hzispon dinner has

been called and if by God's grace there is rain the people would then start

planting. Even let us say there was rain but if this dinner has

not been called, the people would not go out to the farm. How is the

food prepared? Birndeka who serve the Kudi has got many helpers.

They are:

1. Kalambirapbi 2. Achamkimi 3. Kadavirafa

4. Achamkalambirabri 5. Kacham rafa 6. Lamui

The people I listed above would prepare food and Birngusai with

his helpers would prepare drinks. Birngusai's helpers are:

1. Kadakiya 2. Birpashla 3. Kalbong.

When all the food needed and the drinks needed have been prepared,

the Kudi would then send out invitations from the Galadima to the Talaka

of the town. The food would be served according to seniority. The

members of the cabinets have their own section, the members of the

second class title holders have their own section, the members of the

third class title holders have their own separate section, and the Talaka

of the town have their own separate section.

The second dinner is called Hzirmiahai during the time of summer,

when the early millet is ready for harvest. When this dinner has not

been called, no matter how hungry a family may be they cannot harvest

their millet. Once this dinner has been eaten, people would go out and

start harvesting. The same people prepare this dinner and it is eaten

in the same manner as the first one.

The third dinner is called Tamdiputuma in the month of December.

Tamdiputima is done purposely after every harvest and it is done in a


name of thanking God the almighty for his kindness in providing the


The fourth dinner is called Yamdikitipa and it is done in the month

of April. This dinner is done in the name of remembering the Kudi's

ancestors. It is prepared by the same people and eaten in the same

way as the first dinner.

See how the Kudi sits with his followers on pages 0oq and >os .

Time: 11:30 a.m.

Informants: Chiroma



Muhamadu Magaji

Relations to Other Places

Wuyo is related to the following towns:

Kukwal, Dipa, Kwali and Zambuk plus Walama. Kwami District in Fika

Division was formerly related but, later on the people of Kwami turned to

be Bolewa. Up to now Teras play joke with the Bolewas. For example, if a

Bolewa sees a Tera man he would call him his slave, and if a Tera man

sees a Bolewa man he would call him his servant. Being that they play,

no amount of insult from one man would annoy the other. The relationship

between Dipa and Wuyo.

a. They believed that they travelled together since from Yemen to

Gabin a town near the present Garkida after settling at Garkida, there

was a man who had two children. One was a man and one was a lady. The

man was believed to be the founder of Wuyo and the woman got married to

the founder of Dipa. All the people of Wuyo were the sons of the brother

and all the people of Dipa were the sons of the woman. (They now marry

each other).

Relationship between Wuyo and Walama.

There were two aspects that brought about the relationship between

Wuyo and Walama.

a. They believed that they were formerly one group, which due to

a war in Yemen left the country. From Yemen they travelled to Egypt, from

Egypt to Birnin Ngazargamu, and from there to Gabin a town near the present

Garkida. In Gabin the group got divided into two. One group complete

West and the other group took South West. Those that took South West after

leaving Gabin travelled to Buma. From Buma they travelled to Walama. At

Walama they were some people who decided to stay back for some reasons.

The reasons were (a) they were either so tired that they cannot move forward

or (B) they want to settle and establish a town.

The second reason that the people of Walama believe that they are

related to the people of Wuyo is that the founder of Wuyo and Walama have

the same father. Since at Gabin they were born and they grew up to be men.

Their father was the leader of the group that came to Gabin and when their

father died, both the senior and junior brother want to be the head of the

Timaltu at Gabin When the two brothers realized that both of them want

to rule and since no one was ready to give it up for the other, they decided

to divide the spears called Kasrum. These spears were the symbol of an

office. They brought these spears from Yemen to Gabin and any ruler that

heads the group takes the spears and once he has taken the spears he is

automatically the ruler. When the two brothers divided the spears it means

both of them become rulers, so the people of Gabin divide themselves into

two. One group following the senior brother and one group following the

junior brother. Those that followed the senior brother founded Walama

and those that followed the junior brother founded the present Wuyo.

This story was confirmed when there was a disturbance at Deba Parpar

in Tera district. By the time of disturbance Birma Yamta was the district

head at Kwaya. The people of Deba Parpar refused to cooperate with their

district head, Birma Yamta. They refused to pay their annual dues (Tax).

Birma Yamta reported the matter to the D.O. at Biu. The D.O. sent some

soldiers to Birma Yamta and he led them to Deba Parpara, and they fought a

serious war against the people and the ruler of Deba Parpara abdicated his

throne and Birma Yamta found the Spear (Kasrum) which the two brothers

shared at Gabin. The spear was so beautiful that Birma Yamta took it and

kept it for himself. The ruler of Walama heard that his spear that he has

been looking for since is with the District head, Birma Yamta. The ruler

of Walama did not know how to approach him to receive it because he himself

does not know how the spear got into Birma Yamta's hands. So the best

thing for him even though he was worried was to keep quiet.

One day the D.O. paid a visit to the ruler of Walama. In the course

of a conversation, the ruler of Walama told the D.O. that formerly he had one

very good spear which was handed down by his forefathers. But the most

wonderful thing was that he did not know how he lost the spear and now

it is with the district head, Birma Yamta. The ruler of Walama drew the

picture of how the spear looks like and he told the D.O. that the Kudi of

Wuyo has one because they were brothers, and when their father died at

Gabin they divided the spears between themselves since both of them wanted

to rule. The D.O. on hearing this took the picture which the ruler of Walama

drew and pocketed it.

After touring Walama the D.O. came to Wuyo. He still has in mind what

the ruler of Walama told him. The D.O. asked the Kudi of Wuyo whether he

had a special spear handed down to him by his forefathers. The Kudi

said yes he has one and the D.O. says he would like to see it. When the

Kudi brought the spear the D.O. looked at it carefully and then took out

from the pocket the picture of the spear which the ruler of Walama drew.

When he saw the picture and saw the actual sword, he confirmed that the

spear which the ruler of Walama described and drew it to him-was truly his


After the D.O.'s tour of Wuyo he went to Kwaya where he met the

District head. Birma Yamta and he asked him to bring out the spear he

possessed. The District head did not deny it and so he went in and brought

out the special spear he took after defeating Deba Parpara. The D.O. got

the spear and took it to the ruler of Walama. The ruler of Walama got his

spear back and thanked the D.O. for his hospitality.

Relationship between Biu and Wuyo.

During the rule of Kudi Ladi there was a Babole who was a hunter.

This Babole was believed to have come from the present Fika Division in

North Eastern State. Since the Balewa and the people of Wuyo used to

play as I have mentioned it on page I 0 this hunter came and settled

at Wuyo. He was a very good hunter and he used to hunt all the wild

animals around Wuyo. Also he was so good that he settled among the Wuyo

and adopted himself as a Yimaltu. One day he told the Kudi that he wanted

to move East and he hopes to come back, if he did not come back his sons

or grandchildren have to come back to Wuyo. Audi the Hunter left and

travelled east until he reached Biu. When he reached Biu it was Mari Biya

who was the Kuthli of Biu. When he went to Biu he decided to settle there

and carry on with his occupation as a hunter. Sone he became famous in

hunting and Mari Biya recruited him as one of his soldiers. Soon skill

as a hunter made him to win the Emir's favour among the rest of the soldiers.

He was made the Kachella of the Emir's army. Due to his achievements the

Emir gave him his daughter to marry. Audi the hunter married the Emir's

daughter and they named him Batera. Audi also had another wife which they

bear a son. In all Audi had two sons, one from the Emir's daughter (Kwatam)

and the other from another wife.

Audi used to call the two sons and tell them that if he died and if

the Emir turns against them they should not continue to stay in Biu, but

leave and go to Wuyo where he first settled. Audi said that if you go and

tell the Kudi of Wuyo that we are the sons of (Audi) Babole the hunter he

would give you a piece of land to settle.

Not long after Audi Babole the hunter died, Betara and his brother

did not win the Emir's favour as their father had won, so they remembered

what their father used to tell them before his death.

Betara, his brother and their wives and children left Biu for Wuyo.

They reached Wuyo still in the rule of Ali Ladi, the Kudi that gave a place

to their father to settle when he first came as a hunter. When Batere

and his brother, Garga, came and asked who was the ruler of Wuyo and they

were told that it was Ali Ladi, they were pleased and knew that Ali Ladi

would do them the favour and give them land. The two brothers went to

the Kudi and spoke to him that they were the sons of Audi Babole, the

hunter, that once settled here. They told the Kudi that their father,

after leaving Wuyo went to Biu and the Emir recruited him among his soldiers.

After that he became the kachella of the whole army, but afterwards died.

But we did not win favour from the Emir as our father did. So for this

reason we left Biu because our father told us before he died that once we

did not find favour from any of the Emirs we should leave and come to Wuyo

where he first settled.

Ali Ladi sympathized with them for the loss of their father and

he promised to give them a land to settle. By then the city was full and

there was no space to build houses inside the wall. Ali Ladi ordered his

people to expand the city wall and this was done, after the expansion Ali

Ladi gave them a piece of land inside the wall and they settled.

Later on Garga, Betara's half brother left Wuyo and founded Yarda,

a town near Telli.

When Betara died the people of Biu, especially those from the royal

family from where Betera's mother came from, came to Bateras' funeral. But

when Garga the founder of Yarda died, the people of Biu did not come because

there was no relationship wat-so-ever. The sons and grandsons of Betara

used to go to Biu when there was a death in the royal family, especially

the Emir. But later on when the grandsons of Batera turned to be Tera, they

ceased going to Biu for burial of the Emirs.

Apart from Biu and in case of Batera's sons and grandchildren, no other

people of Wuyo used to go to burials and installations of rulers from other



Before the colonial rule, when Asman Danfodio fought the Sihad

Buba Yaro, one of his flag bearers was installed at Gombe. Since then

the rulers of Wuyo have been taking annual gifts to Buba Yaro. But

apart from Buba Yaro the people of Wuyo have never been a subject to

other people and have not taken any annual dues to other people.

The following towns were subjects of Wuyo and Wuyo has been

receiving annual dues from them. Gubirnde, Sakdiya, Patanibiyam, Chibra,

Bwala, Tobule and Danysitam and Daya. These towns take the annual dues

to Wuyo in form of animals. These are goats, sheep and cows. Sometimes

even slaves. Gifts like cows if one town brought one cow or one slave it

would serve, but gifts like sheep and goats must be brought in quantity

but there was no limited number.


Since the people of Wuyo reached their present site they stayed in

town walls built of mud and not stones. Still the trace of the wall could

be found and most of the present compounds are built within the trace of

the city wall.

Apart from the city wall there were two walls, one south west and

one northwest of the town to keep invaders away from reaching the city

walls. These two walls were built of stones and the stones were built to

block a passage that passes between two hills.

See the next page for the picture of the city wall .







E= c::D

The above diagram shows the picture of the city wall in the pre-colonial

days. I show the school and the mosque to help in knowing the position

of their present site. Theve were four main gates, and each gate has

ward or people who are closer to control the gates.


In the pre-colonial days when the Fulamis constantly invade Wuyo

the rules for going in and out were followed seriously. In all they were

seven gates, but only four main ones. The three were small ones and they

were used when there was peace around. To each of the seven gates there

was a gate keeper and the gate keeper is instructed that once the sun is

about to disappear the gate keepers should close them and would not open

them again until tomorrow morning about six o'clock in the morning.

If somebody comes late when the gates are already closed, he would

shout to the gatekeeper and the gate keeper would ask his name, after

hearing his name, if he is not satisfied would ask his father's name.

If the person told the gatekeeper what his father's name was and if still

he is not satisfied would also ask his grandfather's name. If the person

is able to tell his father's name, and the gate keeper is sure then he would

open the gate to the person. The gate was made in such a way that when the

gatekeeper opens it he shuts himself between the wall and the gate. So

any one coming in may not see him. This was made purposely for the

security of the gatekeeper.

If one wants to go out in the night for a special purpose for example

hunting or looking for honey he would make arrangements with gatekeepers

of the smaller gates that he would be coming on such a time and he

should wait for him and open the gate for him to enter. When this

man comes back from the bush he would talk to the gate keeper with whom

he made arrangements and when he comes in he is expected to give some

of what he got from the bush to the gate-keeper before he passes to his


Still if someone comes and sees that the gate is locked he would

call the name of the gate keeper. Every big person is expected to know

the names of the gate keepers. When the gate keeper heard his name being

called he would say, who are you, and the person would mention his name.

But before he opens the gate to the person even he is sure of him, he has

to climb to the top of the gate where he can see the person and identify

him. After seeing the person then he would come down and open the gate.

The gate is made of a stair case at the inside part that leads to the

top of the wall. And there on the top a small room was made with a window

where the gate keeper could look through and see whether there is peace

at the gate or not.


The wall was made of very thick mud and the work was done by all

the members of the village. The women bring water and men do the building.

In building a new wall all the wards work together but after finishing the

building of the wall it was divided among the three wards for the repair.

The wall was built with small holes to see through when there was

an enemy. Also the holes were made reasonable enough, not too small, but

not big so that when enemies come close the people of the town could stand by

the holes and shoot them with bows and arrows through the holes. At

each of the four main gates there was a cham where the door was placed

inside the cham. There was a stair-case that leads to the top of the

cham where the gate-keeper could climb on and see any person who is standing

outside the gate:


City wall


Top Room

Also round the city wall there was a deep hole (a ditch) that runs round.

This deep hole was dug in order to prevent enemies from coming close to

the wall. There was fear that once they were opportuned to approach the

city wall they may break through, but with the use of this hole, they

cannot come close. In each of the four gates there was a very big plank

which is placed at the gate and over the hole to the ground where the

people can cross the hole to the land when going to the bush. After

everyone has come in, the large plank would be pulled inside and there

was no means of crossing the hole again. The next morning the big plank

which acts as a bridge would be placed again.


After the wall was built it was divided among the three wards

for maintenance purposes. The northern section for the Thleng, the west

and part of the south for Bonga and the east plus part of the south for

Tala. Each of these wards choose a kachella who is the head of the work.

The wall is expected to be maintained once in every three years. All

the wards do the work at the same time and everyone is expected to attend

the work. But in case of those whose farms are far away and wild life use

to disturb their crops. At the kindness of the Kachella he would exempt

these people to go and look after their farms. After these people have

harvested their crops, they would prepare drinks and take it to the kachella

and invite all the members of the ward to drink in front of the kachellas

house. He does this for the kachella's kindness for allowing him to be

absent from the work.

When the work has been going on the kachellas are expected to go

round and see whether the thickness is enough or not. Each of them have

something special which if they pierce into the wall they would know

whether the thickness is enough or not. If it is not enough he would ask

them to add more clay to make it thicker.


Apart from the war fought against the Fulani which I described

on pages \0 to __ the people of Wuyo fought other wars like raiding

for booty and recapturing a wife.

Raiding for booty (Hidahla)

Once there lived a very brave man at Bwala. He was called

Janawura, meaning the brave man. Bwala was a town south of Wuyo.

Janawura used to leave Bwala, travel north, passing Wuyo and reaching

as far north as between Dali and Wade. There he used to catch slaves

and when he has caught enough, he comes back and still passes through

Wuyo with the slaves. This has been the practice of Janawura and one

day the Kudi of Wuyo asked his officials whether they know something

about this man. Janawara, who has been coming with slaves through his

town. The Kudi's officials said yes they know who he is. He lives at

Buala a town in Wuyo territory. The Kudi was surprised to hear that Janawara

lived within his boundary, but he never take any of the slaves to him

as gift being that he is the kudi. The Kudi's officials told him that

instead of Janawara to bring you gifts he takes it to the ruler of Gusi.

The Kudi was annoyed at this and he ordered his men that they should get

prepared for war against Bwala, where Janawara lived.

They got prepared with the following weapons:

Bow and arrows, spears, swords (Jagum) or (hankal), Galambi,

shields, mail and other special drums and horns which are used only for

war. The kachella took the lead and all the soldiers marched behind.

On reaching Bwala they found that only Janawara and his followers stood to

face them. The rest of the people of Bwala gave in, willingly to follow

the people of Wuyo. Tanawara though brave and strong he was could not

resist the number of soldiers from Wuyo. Tanawara and his followers were

caught and made slaves.


There was a woman who lived in Wuyo and one day she went to Chinga to

greet her relatives. On her way back from Chinga the people of Wade

waited for her and caught her. They asked her that she was going to be

their slave. The woman resisted and said she better die than to serve as

a slave. They did all they could to carry her home but still she resisted.

So they killed her. She had two bangles round her wrist-hands. They

pulled off the bangles and took them home with them. When they reached

home they went to their ruler and narrated the story to him and they

picked out the bangles and gave them to the ruler. The ruler shared the

bangles with the Yerima.

Not knowing what happened the people of Wuyo lost their wife. They

sent messages to the ruler of Ching whether their wife is still in his

village, but he inquired and found out that the relatives she name to meet

have seen her off and they thought she has returned to Wuyo. The woman

could be found nowhere, so the people of Wuyo forgot about it.

Not long after that the people of Wade rejected their ruler. He did

nothing in particular but they wanted to install another person who they

thought was more capable. The dismissed ruler grew annoyed and he thought

of a way of making a powerful state to come and destroy Wade. Then he

remembered how his people killed one woman from Wuyo who was on her way

back from Chinga.

He then sent his messenger with the bangle to the Kudi of Wuyo.

When the messenger reached Wuyo he went to the Kudi and told him that his

master sent him to show him the bangle whether he would find out the owner.

The Kudi of Wuyo found out that this bangle belonged to woman from Wuyo

who got lost on her way from Chinya. The messenger said that his master

sent him to tell the Kudi that the woman did not get lost, but she was

robbed by the people of Wade on her way back from Chinga. The two

bangles were taken from her and he mentioned the people's names, and one

was given to me as a ruler and one is with the Yerima.

On hearing this the Kudi told his kachella that he should prepare

his soldiers for fighting a war against Wade.

The Kudi of Wuyo with his soldiers reached Wade, but they did not

go inside the town. They stayed outside at the main gate. People saw

them and reported the news to the ruler of Wade that the ruler of Wuyo is at

the gate with his people. He asked whether there was peace or not because

when the Kudi of Wuyo went to his town he used to lodge at his house. The

ruler of Wade went out of the wall and asked the ruler of Wuyo to come in.

They they went in the ruler asked the Kudi whether there was peace

and the Kudi narrated what happened to the ruler of Wade. He took out the

bangle that he has and showed it to the ruler of Wade and told him that up

to now the present Yerima has one of this bangle and the people of Wade

have to compensate for it, otherwise there could be war between them.

The ruler of Wade called his Yerima and asked him whether he has one of

the bangles. The Yerima went home and brought one bangle that looks

exactly as the other one.

The ruler of Wade took seven slaves for himself and one lady as a

wife to the person whose wife was killed. The Kudi of Wuyo received these

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