Hausa/Fulani Pre-Colonial Political System in Nigeria

hausas

Hausa/Fulani pre-colonial political system can be credited to the Holy Jihad fought by Uthman Danfodio in 1804. They can be found in the Northern part of Nigeria covering areas like Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano, Zaria, etc. The system of government adopted is monarchical in nature popularly regarded as a highly centralized method of administration. Not only that, Hausa/Fulani has also been described as an Emirate system with Emirs as the head of each emirates. There were two headquarters, in Sokoto and Gwandu headed by Emirs of Sokoto and Gwandu respectively. Islamic law was adopted as the guiding principle of the administration. More importantly, Emir is an absolute ruler because there is no principle of checks and balance as epitomized by pre-colonial Yoruba administration.
However, the main political institutions in pre-colonial Hausa/Fulani include the paramount ruler (Emir), Emir’s ministers, District Head (Hakimi), the village heads and the Alkali court.
Emir is the head of an emirate, vested wuth legislative, executive and judicial power. He is an absolute ruler. That is, the Emir is supreme in decision making and whatsoever he ordered must be carried out, though with the tenet of Islamic laws called Sharia. Therefore, the Emir is both the political and religious head because he ensures that the provisions of Sharia are adequately followed without any reservation. Emir’s court was the highest and final. Emir has the right to levy tax and decision made can’t be changed by anybody.
More imoortantly, the Emir had an advisory council who helped in day to day administration of the Emirate. These groups of people were popularly regarded as the Emir’s ministers assigned to various offices for the purpose of administrative activities.
The Waziri can be regarded as the senior official and head of administration. Not only that, he is in charge of all ministries and carry out the day to day administrative responsibility on behalf of the Emir.
The Galadima is best known as the administrator of the capital of the emirate. That is, he is in charge of Emir’s capital territory.
Madawaki can be regarded as the commander of the Calvary (i.e. Commander of the Army). Specifically, he is known as the Modern Day Chief of Army Staff.
The Dogari is known as the chief of police. In the contemporary world, Dogari is regarded as Inspector-General of Police (IG) whose responsibility is that of security.
Maaji stands as treasurer in charge of treasury. That is, Maaji is in charge of inancial activities just like the Governor of Central Bank.
Sarkin Ruwa is the minister in charge of fishery. He organizes fishing festival under the jurisdiction of the Emir.
Sarkin Pawa is the head of butchers.
Sarkin Fada on the other hand is head of Emir’s workers.
The emirate system was divided into a number of districts headed by ‘Hakimi’. However, Hakimi is regarded as district head whose responsibility is that of tax collector. Tax like Jangali (cattle tax collected by the Hakimi on behalf of the Emir). Hence, he is responsible to the Emir. Other taxes collected are Kharaj on land, Zakat on properties etc.
In the same vein, each district is divided into villages headed by village heads. The village heads helps to maintain peace and order in the village administration. He is the one helping the Hakimi to collect tax both of who are responsible to the Emir.
The Alkali court takes charge of judicial administration of the emirate under Islamic tenet called ‘Sharia’. However, this Sharia law is administered by the appointed Islamic judges known as Alkahli headed by Chief Alkali or Grand Khadi.
Finally, Hausa/Fulani pre-colonial administration is highly centralized and hierachical in nature. Also, there is no principle of checks and balance as compared to pre-colonial Yoruba system.

13 thoughts on “Hausa/Fulani Pre-Colonial Political System in Nigeria

    1. oyedijioluwaseunbabatunde Post author

      Thank you for the commendation and appreciation. Its my pleasure and penchants doing this as a way of diseminating information about out past since the past will help us towards a better future ahead. Thank you once again.

      Reply
  1. awotunde tolase

    I really appreciate u 4 dis great work u’ve done…….ur a darllin a damsel cos u’ve also participated in our aims of becomin wot we wish 2 bcome bin a mass communication student.God bless u

    Reply
  2. abujaafar

    the political system of Hausa Fulani is ever best system that’s why colonial masters try their best to send it away.

    Reply
  3. Umar Yusuf

    The writter never know about hausa fulani political system. If knows what is there source of finance and role of madawaki, dogari is the prison order.

    Reply
    1. oyedijioluwaseunbabatunde Post author

      Madawaki was the commander of the Army under the Hausa/Fulani Pre-Colonial administration. History is always subject to reconstruction and this is just a brief history and not a detailed history just for the better and easy understanding of the readers both young and old. thanks once again for your kind comment.

      Reply
  4. rabiuiliyasu

    Hausa/Fulani pre-colonial political
    system can be credited to the
    Holy Jihad fought by Uthman
    Danfodio in 1804. They can be
    found in the Northern part of
    Nigeria covering areas like
    Kaduna, Sokoto, Kano, Zaria, etc.
    The system of government
    adopted is monarchical in nature
    popularly regarded as a highly
    centralized method of
    administration. Not only that,
    Hausa/Fulani has also been
    described as an Emirate system
    with Emirs as the head of each
    emirates. There were two
    headquarters, in Sokoto and
    Gwandu headed by Emirs of
    Sokoto and Gwandu respectively.
    Islamic law was adopted as the
    guiding principle of the
    administration. More importantly,
    Emir is an absolute ruler because
    there is no principle of checks
    and balance as epitomized by
    pre-colonial Yoruba
    administration.
    However, the main political
    institutions in pre-colonial
    Hausa/Fulani include the
    paramount ruler (Emir), Emir’s
    ministers, District Head (Hakimi),
    the village heads and the Alkali
    court.
    Emir is the head of an emirate,
    vested wuth legislative, executive
    and judicial power. He is an
    absolute ruler. That is, the Emir is
    supreme in decision making and
    whatsoever he ordered must be
    carried out, though with the
    tenet of Islamic laws called
    Sharia. Therefore, the Emir is
    both the political and religious
    head because he ensures that
    the provisions of Sharia are
    adequately followed without any
    reservation. Emir’s court was the
    highest and final. Emir has the
    right to levy tax and decision
    made can’t be changed by
    anybody.
    More imoortantly, the Emir had
    an advisory council who helped
    in day to day administration of
    the Emirate. These groups of
    people were popularly regarded
    as the Emir’s ministers assigned
    to various offices for the purpose
    of administrative activities.
    The Waziri can be regarded as
    the senior official and head of
    administration. Not only that, he
    is in charge of all ministries and
    carry out the day to day
    administrative responsibility on
    behalf of the Emir.
    The Galadima is best known as
    the administrator of the capital
    of the emirate. That is, he is in
    charge of Emir’s capital territory.
    Madawaki can be regarded as
    the commander of the Calvary
    (i.e. Commander of the Army).
    Specifically, he is known as the
    Modern Day Chief of Army Staff.
    The Dogari is known as the chief
    of police. In the contemporary
    world, Dogari is regarded as
    Inspector-General of Police (IG)
    whose responsibility is that of
    security.
    Maaji stands as treasurer in
    charge of treasury. That is, Maaji
    is in charge of inancial activities
    just like the Governor of Central
    Bank.
    Sarkin Ruwa is the minister in
    charge of fishery. He organizes
    fishing festival under the
    jurisdiction of the Emir.
    Sarkin Pawa is the head of
    butchers.
    Sarkin Fada on the other hand is
    head of Emir’s workers.
    The emirate system was divided
    into a number of districts headed
    by ‘Hakimi’. However, Hakimi is
    regarded as district head whose
    responsibility is that of tax
    collector. Tax like Jangali (cattle
    tax collected by the Hakimi on
    behalf of the Emir). Hence, he is
    responsible to the Emir. Other
    taxes collected are Kharaj on
    land, Zakat on properties etc.
    In the same vein, each district is
    divided into villages headed by
    village heads. The village heads
    helps to maintain peace and
    order in the village
    administration. He is the one
    helping the Hakimi to collect tax
    both of who are responsible to
    the Emir.
    The Alkali court takes charge of
    judicial administration of the
    emirate under Islamic tenet
    called ‘Sharia’. However, this
    Sharia law is administered by the
    appointed Islamic judges known
    as Alkahli headed by Chief Alkali
    or Grand Khadi.
    Finally, Hausa/Fulani pre-colonial
    administration is highly
    centralized and hierachical in
    nature. Also, there is no principle
    of checks and balance as
    compared to pre-colonial Yoruba
    system.

    Reply
  5. Yusuf Azeezat ideraoluwa

    ThiS really is a great deal and help,no regret reading this coz I learnt things I ought to know.😃Tanks s for this

    Reply

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