Federal Medical Centre Azare

Bauchi State

Efficient Healthcare to Humanity

AZARE

Emir of Katagum
HRH Alh (Dr.) Kabir Umar, OON.

Azare is the second largest town in Bauchi State after the state Capital.It is Located at the center of the northernmost part of the State, and situated at 11.68° North latitude, 10.19° East longitude. Azare is located at an elevation of 436 meters.

Azare is home to the Federal Medical Centre, Azare, the Federal Government College Azare, and the Aminu Sale College of Education Azare. Azare Airstrip lies about 10 km southeast of the town.

Central Mosque Azare
Central Mosque, opposite to the Town Palace and adjacent to the Central Market.

Population and Ethnicity

The population has grown from 69,035 in the 1991 census to the estimated value of 110,452.[2] In the last five years, the population has grown by more than 20%. It is also the largest growing town in the state and region. Growth is prominent in all directions with the creation of Bamako to the South-East, Unguwar Dankawu to the North, Federal Lowcost-GRA to the Northwest and the extended growth in the south that sees the town engulfing places like Chilankori and Chara-Chara Yelwa.

The people of Azare are predominantly Muslim, and are primarily of Hausa, Fulani, and Bariberi (Kanuri) descent. The main economic activity is agriculture.

The first prime minister of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, was born in the emirate. The area is chiefly agricultural, and crops grown consist of marker, guireacarn, beans, rice cotton and peanuts (groundnuts). The town has several teacher-training colleges and is served by a general hospital. Pop. (2008 est.) 59,718.

Emir of Katagum
Palace of the Emir of Katagum, Azare.

History

Katagum Emirate in Bauchi State is the second largest Emirate next to Bauchi Emirate in terms of population and size as it is made up of six (6) local government areas out of the twenty that make up Bauchi State. Katagum is the headquarters of Bauchi North Senatorial District and the center of all social and political activities in the state.Katagum is bordered by Yobe State in the North and East and in the West by Jigawa. The hottest period in Katagum is the March and April while August is the most rainy. The people are predominantly Muslims. However Christianity also has a strong presence here.

The people’s culture in the emirate is influenced by Islam which teaches humility and good manners. Marriages and other activites are conducted in accordance with Islamic injunctions while the major languages for communication are: Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri and for the educated Arabic and English. The main food and cash crops are beans, groundnuts, cotton, maize, millet, cassava, guinea corn. Katagum’s land is very good for farming.
The Emirate is largely inhabited by Hausa\Fulani, Bare-bari, Kare-Kare, Badawa and other minor ethnic groups, while the prominent among them are the Hausa\Fulani and Kanuri who are very friendly and accommodating to visitors. These people are easily identified when they appear in the common apparel worn by old men such as big-flowing gowns with inner jumper and long trousers with long caps with turbans to match. While the young ones go in Kaftans, long sleeved shirts, long trousers with embroidery and ‘Zanna’ caps. The women simply wear long wrappers, blouses and another big wrapper to cover up in an Islamic fashion. In later years, people have adopted more islamic form of dress, like the hijab for women and small humble caps and jallabiyah for males.

According to history, Katagum was founded in 1830 by the family of Mallam Lawal who was the father of the first and second Emirs of Katagum. Mallam Binni who was the senior brother of Mallam Zaki who history said was the first person to settle in Katagum town after his father, Mallam Lawan died at Yayu village near Chinade. Another version of the history said that Mallam Lawan first settled at Nafada in Gombe Emirate and later moved down to Yayu where he gave birth to a son who was later to be known famously as Zaki. After the death of his father, Mallam Lawan went to Sokoto to meet the then famous Islamic cleric, Shehu Usman Dan Fodio to receive a flag of office in 1814 and remained there until 1809AD when he graduated from the Islamic school of Usman Dan Fodio. He later moved to a village called Tashena, which is about nine kilometers from the present Katagum. He reigned as Emir between 1807 and 1814 and when he died was succeeded by his brother, Suleiman Adandaya who reigned from 1814 to 1816. According to history, the third Emir of Katagum was Mallam Dankauwa who was regarded as a very powerful man. He had about 4000 horsemen and 20000 foot soldiers with whom he fought many wars and he reigned between 1816 and 1846. It was during his period that the Fulani herds men migrated into the Emirate from different parts of the Northern region.

Coming after him was Mallam Abdurrahman who was on the throne between 1846 and 1851 and when he joined his ancestors he was equally succeeded by Mallam Abdulkadir who reigned from 1851 to 1868. When Abdulkadir died in 1868, he was succeeded by Mohammad Hajiji who was on the throne between 1868 and 1896. Other emirs that followed were: Abdulkadir (1896-1905), Muhammadu (1947).One unique thing that happened during the reign of Alhaji Muhammad was that it was during his regime that the car was seen in Azare town which was then the headquarters of Katagum Emirate after it was removed from Katagum in 1910 by the 9th Emir, Mallam Abdulkadir for administrative convenience. Between 1947 and 1980, Katagum Emirate was ruled by Umar Faruq and was succeeded by Mallam Abubakar. The present emir, Alhaji Muhammadu Kabir Umar ascended the throne in 1980.

Kofar Kudun Azare
The famous "Kofar Kudu", Southern and oldest gate at Azare, beside the Central Mosque leading to the Central Market and Emir's Palace

The Emirate has historical sites, which had been attracting tourists such as Shira painting made by the early settlers in the area; the tomb of Mallam Lawan the father of Mallam Zaki the founder of Katagum which is situated at Yayu in Chinade district; the defence walls at Katagum village as well the tomb of Mallam Zaki which is situated outside the defence walls of Katagum.

Muhammadu Kabir Umar, the 11th Emir of Katagum was born in 1934 and received his education at the Bauchi Middle School between 1948 and 1949 after which he went to the then Clerical Training College now Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria where he studied Local Government Administration between 1950 and 1951. He later went to the UK for another course in LGA.
He also attended many courses and seminars within and outside Nigeria all in local government administration.Before his selection as the Emir, he had held various offices as:

  1. Native Authority scribe at the Central Office in Azare in 1949
  2. District Head of Sakwa between 1952 and 1957
  3. District head of Katagum in 1955.
  4. in 1966 he was the NA Councilor for Natural Resources, and
  5. was moved to Shira as the District Head.

He was also Minister of State, Premier’s Office, Kaduna( 1957 - 1960), Minister of Internal Affairs, Northern Nigeria( 1960 - 1966); he had earlier been elected into the Northern House of Assembly (1952-1966) during when he was appointed parliamentary secretary, Ministry of Land and Survey in 1957.Between 1976 and 1978 he was the Chairman of Bauchi State Housing Corporation. In the same year, he was appointed chairman of Bauchi State Development Board, Chairman, Board of the Governing Council of College of Islamic and Legal Studies, Misau (1986 - 2001). He was also at different times, the Pro-Chancellor, of Federal University of Technology, Yola; Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and Chancellor, University of Calabar from 1986 to date.