Audu Jangba, Jr.(NGA)
The Reggae legend Bob Mali,once said,”if you know your history,you will know where you are coming from”.
Most people in Kaduna are aware that the Motto of Kaduna State used to be LIBERAL State before it was later changed to CENTRE OF LEARNING,but most people do not know the true history about the name,”KADUNA”.
There is a saying,”when lie is constantly spoken or repeated,it maybe regarded as the truth”. This is the situation Kaduna State have found itself today.
The Hausa claimed that the name,”Kaduna”,is derived from Crocodiles,after River Kaduna.They said that Kada(Crocodile) being the singular of Crocodile while Kadduna means the plural of Crocodiles in Hausa.Although the plural of Crocodiles which can be refered to as KADOJI or KAD-DU-NA(KADDUNA).Saying or writing that Kaduna is a Crocodile City is a perfect manipulation of coincident.
However,it is normal to find reptiles such as Snakes,Crocodiles,Alligators in riverine area,but that does not justify Kaduna as Crocodiles City because before the coming of the Hausas to Kaduna Area the aboriginal have already given it a name called KADUDNA.
The origin of the name KADUDNA of which is called KADUNA today is from a Gbagyi word,named after the present River KADUDNA,”AKA”,in which literally means Snails in Gbagyi language while,”DNA”,means River.
“KA”,is the singular of Snail in Gbagyi language while,”AKA”,is the plural of Snails.If the prefix and suffix are joined together which is “KA-DNA”,meaning River of Snail.In which the word,”KADNA”,was simultaneously used by the Gbagyis along side with,”KA-DU-DNA”,(KADUNDA) which imply to the movement of getting across to the Northern Gbagyis who had their market at Kasuwan Doka, the present Sheik Abubakar Gumi Market thus,referred to as,”KADUDNA”,i.e CROSSING THE RIVER OF SNAIL,but not Crocodile.
Furthermore,in the autobiography of sir Ahmadu Bello titled,”MY LIFE”,in chapter 16,he said,”in 1913 the great plains which now embraced our capital were virtually empty.There were a few Gwari(Gbagyi) villages,but until the railway went through them on it way to Kano from the coast,there was no common link between them”.
Also,according to professor John N.Paden in 1986 in his book titled,”VALUES AND LEADERSHIP IN NORTHERN NIGERIA”.He said,”from a traditional African perspective,Kaduna had never been uninhabited but had been a major Gbagyi(Gwari) area,reflecting their segmental village structure.The name KADUNA comes not from the HAUSA KADA,but from the Gbagyi word KADUDNA,which means CROSSING THE RIVER OF SNAILS.Kaduna is a Gwari(Gbagyi)town,but these original people were pushed to the outskirts and the land taken from them”.
In addition,Abubakar (1984-466) wrote in his account,”the region to the South of the metropolis had never been organized on a district basis,and the people were strictly speaking not under the Emir of Zaria.In past some paid tribute depending on Zaria ability to make them do so;Others paid it to escape periodic raids.But in 1905 the area was placed under the Magaji of Kachia as a District Head.That was the genesis of manipulation in Kaduna initiated by Colonial Administrators and transfered to the Hausa from Zaria”.
Abubakar above,Professor Filaba(2000:5) argues,”morally,legally and historically,Zaria Emirate could not justify her claimed to Kaduna because none of her princes ruled the town since its inception.
Ubah (2008) also shrouded in anonymity of dating of origin of Kaduna posit,we do not know how long man lived in Kaduna in Pre-British period and very little has survived of history and culture of indigenes.The Gbagyi are said to be the original inhabitant of Kaduna area.Very little is known about them.But they were certainly overshadowed by the enormous movement of people into their area precipitated by the stationing of troops in 1913 subsequent foundation of the City for roughly 100 years.
Whether or not we know how long Gbagyi people lived in Kaduna area prior to its founding by British Government as Capital City for the Northern Protectorate one fact stand indisputable;that Gbagyi are the most indigenous and incontestable earliest inhabitants of Lands,Rivers,Valleys and Plains of what maybe considered geography to present.
Moreover,Baba Liko Maidoro of blessed memory was a Gbagyi Elder,Missionary,Former Member of Kaduna Agricultural Promotion Board,Former Member Caretaker Committee of Kaduna North Local Government in Second Republic,Merit Award and Recipient of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum,Elders Forum Formed by Governor Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi,Chairman Gbagyi Elders Forum and Representative(Wakili) to the District Head,Kawo.
He was 78-year-Old as at 2003, when he was interviewed and Baba Liko Maidoro said the followings:
In the first place the Air Force Base in Kaduna (Old Airport) used to be known as,”Karidna”,meaning a River of Bamboo trees.Similarly,Abakpa was formally called,”Vowum dna”,a name derived from a particular kind of tree dominant in the stream between Abakpa and Nigeria Defence Academy Kaduna.The tree in view refers to a particular specie which was used by Gbagyi farmers(peasant) as soft string for tying bundles of Guinea Corn during harvest.
The name Kaduna as far as i know,has nothing to do with Crocodile City.
The district known as Kakuri today was formally called “Kakugi”,a Rat with stunted growth in Gbagyi language.
Kukai,a metropolis across River Kaduna founded what is known as,”Ungwan Rimi”.All the Rimi trees you find in Ungwan Rimi today were planted by our forefathers and fathers.
Anywhere Gbagyi people dwelt you will see such specie of the trees called,”Rimi”.We use it to make fire.Even Kaduna State Government House popularly known as Sir Kashim Ibrahim House used to be farm land of an old man called Chedai,he planted all the Rimi trees there.He was relocated to give way for construction of what is today known as Government House.At Kaduna Polytechnic the Rimi trees you see belong to Gbagyi people.The former Kings way in the heart of Kaduna,which today houses a branch of Chartered Bank and other offices used to be barns for where Gbagyi people stored their grains in post harvest.The grains stored in these barns those days were used to prepare food for labourers(mostly Gbagyi people and other minority ethnic nationalities),who were then building the Kaduna Government House and King way.At that time i was pretty young,but my seniors were render slave labor,after a month,they were replaced with a new set of energetic unwilling young labourers.Then we used to contribute assorted food stuff such as Guinea-Corn,Rice and Yam which were cooked for labourers.That was when the Hausa man coined our Rice,Gwari Rice(Shinkafan Gwari),Gwari Corn because it was in the hands of Gbagyi people that such food-stuff were found.We laboured a lot to make Kaduna what it was and is today when we served the White men under strict supervision of Hausa/Fulani,who played lords over us.During the period,any male Child who was of age was forced to produce five measures of grains monthly.If you have happen to have 10 such boys who were of age,each of them have to contribute five measure of grains for the labourers who served under slave labour to build the Lord Lugard House.
According to Baba Liko Maidoro,”there was a time one Dr.Nadabo Yusuf published a book on the history of Kaduna (so called)”, which he stirred my anger greatly.I did not hesitate to invite some prominent Gbagyi Elders to Press Conference to counter the evil seed which was planted there in.It was an open challenge where he said that if Kaduna belongs to Gbagyis,they should come out with proofs;I organized a Press Conference immediately with 9 journalist in attendance,after which a joint communiques was issued condemning the publication”.
Today,it is pathetic that Kaduna State Media Corporation(KSMC) with Frequency of Modulation (FM)90.9, have been cowed into this cheap distortion of history that Kaduna is a Crocodile City(Kada City).Does that mean that the management of KSMC are not well read such that they are not aware that Kaduna is not a Crocodile City?
Finally,our ancestors and fathers have contributed to the growth and development of Kaduna State through thick and thin.Our lands have been confiscated without compensation as against Chapter ii section 17(2) of 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.Also swaths of Gbagyi lands have been and are being acquired for infrastructural development like dams,military cantonment,institution,private company etc.
For instances in Kaduna include the evacuation of Gbagyi settlement in Kurmin Mashi and Mogadishu emasculation of the ancient Gbagyi settlement of Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical and more.
Gbagyi people are known as peacemakers and are obedient to constituted authority,but it is pathetic that this same government have taken Gbagyi simplicity and obedient nature as a weakness and are exploit us.Gbagyi people in Kaduna State today have been relegated to nothing more than zero behind decimal point.
In Kaduna State the Gbagyi has one representative in the cabinet despite our large numerical size and spread in the seven Local Government Area of the State,namely Birnin-Gwari,Chikun,Kagarku,Kaduna North,Kaduna South,Igabi and Kajuru.Similarly,Chikun the 5th largest based on 2006 population census has only one Member in State House of Assembly,while Kaduna South,has three;and Birnin-Gwari,Igabi,Lere,Sabon- Gari and Soba LGA have two each:In like manner the political representative at Federal level is skewed to the disadvantage of Gbagyis,Chikun and Kajuru LGA for example are merged to produce only one member in House of Representative,but Soba and Lere with smaller population each constitute a Federal Constituency.
The”NO MAN LAND IDEOLOGY”,is depriving Gbagyi people quota system.
To further distort history the present Logo of Kaduna State did not display any item like a Gbagyi women carrying firewood inside a Basket with a Calabash on her shoulder or a Gbagyi man holding a hoe ready to farm.
I will like to suggest the followings:
(1)The Sa-Gbagyi 1 of Kaduna should be made a first Class Chief.
(2)The Sa-Gbagyi 1 of Kaduna State palace should be built for him in Magajin Garkin close to Kaduna North Government Secretariat.
(3)There is no Institution of learning or Hospital that indicate Gbagyi as aboriginals of Kaduna State.Kaduna State Government should give State University a Gbagyi name or any Hospital in Kaduna metropolis.
(4)There is no roundabout in Kaduna State that carry Gbagyi Logo of a women carrying firewood with a Basket inside a Calabash on her shoulder.The state Government should use the Gbagyi symbol in any roundabout in Kaduna metropolis to indicate Gbagyi as the aboriginal of Kaduna State.
(5)Since Chikun is the 5th highest in terms of population among the 23 Local Government Area based on 2006 population Census,has only one Member in the Kaduna State House of Assembly,while Birnin-Gwari,Igabi,Lere,Sabon-Gari and Soba LGA have two each.Chikun in accordance to law and by virtue of population should equally have two Members too in Kaduna State House of Assembly,but not one Member.
(6)Since Soba and Lere LGA with smaller population constitute Federal Constituency,Chikun and Kajuru LGA should also have one Member each in House of Representative and should not be merged to keep on producing one Member.
(7)Based on the fact that Gbagyi are the aboriginal of Kaduna State,there is no time in history of Kaduna State that Gbagyis were given equal opportunity for the position of Governor,Deputy Governor,Speaker State House and Secretary to the State Government.Gbagyi people in Kaduna State have been reduced to the position of Adviser and at most Commissioner.The State Government should look into this issue.
(8)The announcement by the Kaduna State Media Corporation(KSMC) that Kaduna is a Crocodile City should be put on hold.
(9)Kaduna North,Kaduna South and Igabi LGA should be added to Chikun LGA under Gbagyi Chiefdom.
In conclusion,professor Enoch Ayodele the pioneer researcher on Gbagy history in 2015,speaking at Kaduna History Conference tagged,”Historical Development of the Central Nigeria Area and Its Implication for Gbagyi People”,held at Gamji Gate Multi Purpose Hall.
He said,”let it be clearly stated that the owners of Kaduna are Gbagyis who are part of the Southern Kaduna region and by implication,the middle belt”,Ayodele said that it was just fallacy for people like Yusuf Dan-Tsoho to describe Kaduna as the City of Hausa adding that superior historians that did researches on Hausa land never included the Gbagyi territories in their map.He admonished Nigerians to ,”stop chasing shadows and accept the fact that Kaduna former Northern Nigeria belongs to the Gbagyi Ethnic group of middle belt”.
This is the end of the matter,i hereby conclude that its politically untrue,psychologically misleading,socially bias,morally unfair,lawfully illegitimate,culturally fallacious,traditionally gibberish and historically balderdash to say and to claimed that Kaduna is a Crocodile City.