Engr. Nura Yunusa

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Bayajidda: A Little New Light? By Prof. Malumfashi Ibrahim

bayajidda.pngYesterday I was traveling back to base when I saw your post and the tags. I had actually read the BBC interview some hours back and to say the truth, I was amazed at the ‘definitive authority’ of the submission also. As you rightly captured, the Bayajidda legend/history/myth/ or whatever one prefer to call it is an amazing intellectual task. It borders on almost all facets of knowledge; historiography, historicism, cultural geography, myth, religion, politics, war, migrations, states and statelessness, the rise and fall of empires and kingdoms, linguistic studies, and of course genetics and genography.

There is no one perspectives that can capture the essence of the ‘tale’ talk less of proving or disproving the thesis. It is so complex and intertwines that any supposition or claim to finality by one directional scholar will amount to grandstanding.

Researchers are still at it and may well be at it forever. It is that complex. I have been at it nearly 10 years now, and gauging the horrendous efforts made by earlier scholars, Muhammadu Bello, Richard Palmer, Mahadi Adamu, Bala Usman, Abdullahi Smith, Murray Last, Dierk Lange, Uba Adamu, Tahar Adamu, and extant chronicles of Kano, Abuja and Daura as well as genetic understanding of the phenomenon and the current Genographic studies and analyses, one is at loss as what to believe. It is very herculean.

In my own little way I have completed my book (Hausa Da Hausa A Doron Kasa), loosely translated (On The Footprints of Hausa People). It is nowhere exhaustive despite stopping at 490 pages, I had to stop somewhere not that I have reached my final destination. I am right now editing and adding the genographic details obtained after subjecting myself and some relatives to the full test of genetic science. This also, as we all know is not an exact study, a data from 5 people can not suffice for a thorough research…We need to cover about 3,000 people, spread in so many locations, within the West African substratum to the North and Central Africa and even beyond for us to have a batter glimpse.

All I can say is that, the history of the Hausa people and nation states is not all about Bayajidda or Daura. It is not about the Hausa Language, which studies have shown is not even 700 years old, as entity. It is not about the present people and nations, but the people then and even before then and beyond. This is because about 5,600 – 9,200 years ago, the people lived in West Asia, “these African travelers lived in a time when the Saharan region was changing from a lush land of savannas and woodlands to arid desert. As the climate changed, my ancestors moved first to the central Sahara and then on to the Lake Chad Basin. They brought with them the proto-Chadic language. Thus, they are the ancestors of all Chadic language-speaking groups.”

It is an interesting journey. “Today, geneticists have found men from my lineage at trace frequencies in Europe, about 20 percent of Egyptian Berbers from Siwa. It is about 6 percent of Southern Egyptian male lineages.It is also present at low frequencies in Jewish Diaspora and Saudi Arabian population groups. In Central Africa, the lineage is present in high frequencies, as geneticists have found it in the Ouldeme people (96 percent) of Northern Cameroun, Mada people (82 percent) of Western Cameroun, and the Mafa people, (88 percent) in Northern Cameroun and Eastern Nigeria.”

What more can one say? It is just a journey seeking for a little new light!


INEC Guidelines on Recall of Legislators

IN exercise of the powers conferred on it by Section 4 of the Independent National Electoral Comminecission Act 1998 and of all other powers enabling it in that behalf, the Independent National Electoral Commission (in these Guidelines referred to as “the Commission”) hereby issues the following Guidelines for the recall of a member of the National Assembly or House of Assembly of a State and procedure for the conduct of a referendum for recall.


(1) A petition for recall shall present the signatories arranged according to Polling Units, Ward, Local Government and Constituency.

(2) On receipt of a petition by the Chairman of the Commission for the recall of a member of the National Assembly or House of Assembly of a State by more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s Constituency alleging their loss of confidence in that member, the Commission shall within 90 days:

(a) cross-check that the signatories appear on the authenticated Votes’ Register; and if satisfied,

(b) conduct a referendum.

2. The Commission shall, soon after the receipt of the petition:

(1) notify the member sought to be recalled, stating the facts of the receipt of the petition for the recall of the member; and

(2) issue a public notice or announcement stating the days, time and location of cross-checking.

3. (1) The cross-checking shall be carried out at such centres as may be designated by the Commission within the constituency.

4. The power of control and supervision of cross-checking signatories to a petition for recall shall be vested in the Commission and any rules, regulations, circulars, manuals, directives and instructions given by the Commission regarding the cross-checking of petitions for recall shall be binding.

5. The Commission shall:

(a) cross-check which of the names of the signatories to the petition appear on the authentic Voters’ Register; and

(b) enter the result of the cross-checking in the appropriate Form.

6. The Commission shall:

(a) if satisfied that more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s Constituency endorsed the petition, conduct a referendum for the recall of the member; or

(b) where the outcome of the cross-checking shows that less than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s Constituency endorsed the petition, decline to conduct a referendum for the recall of the member.


7. The Commission shall, if satisfied that more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s Constituency endorsed the petition, issue a public notice stating the days, time and location of referendum.


(1) The referendum shall be carried out at the same time throughout the Constituency and at such centres as may be designated by the Commission.

(2) On no account shall referendum centres be located in private premises, churches, mosques or other religious places, palaces of traditional rulers, military or police barracks, club houses or Political Party offices.

9. The power of control and supervision of a referendum for the recall of a member shall be vested in the Commission and any rules, regulations, circulars, manuals, directives and instructions given by the Commission regarding the referendum shall be binding.

10. A person shall be qualified to vote at a referendum if he is registered as a voter in the Constituency where he intends to vote and has presented a voter’s card at the centre on the day of the referendum.


(1) Voting shall be by open secret ballot and in accordance with the procedure specified in these Guidelines.

(2) Voting shall take place at the designated referendum centres on the same day between the hours of 8.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. throughout the Constituency.


(1) A member sought to be recalled may by a notice in writing signed by him and addressed to the Resident Electoral Commissioner appoint one person who must be a registered voter in that Constituency (in these Guidelines referred to as “Polling Agent”) to attend at each referendum centre in the Constituency at which referendum is to be conducted, and the notice shall set out the name and address of the Polling Agent and to be given by the member to the Resident Electoral Commissioner not later than 7 days before the date fixed for the cross-checking or referendum.

(2) Notwithstanding the requirement of sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph, a member shall not be precluded from doing any act or thing which he has appointed a Polling Agent to do on his behalf in these Guidelines.

(3) The Petitioners or their representatives may by a notice addressed to the Resident Electoral Commissioner appoint a Polling Agent who must be a registered voter in the Constituency at each referendum centre in the Constituency at which cross-checking or referendum is to be conducted. The notice shall set out the name and address of the Polling Agent and be given by leader of the Petitioners to the Resident Electoral Commissioner not later than 7 days before the date fixed for the cross-checking or referendum.


(1) At the hour fixed for opening of the poll, before the commencement of voting, the Presiding Officer shall open the empty ballot box and show same to such persons as may be lawfully present at the referendum centre and shall then close and seal the box in such a manner as to prevent its being opened by an unauthorised person.

(2) The ballot box shall then be placed on a table in full view of all present, and be so maintained until the close of poll.

14. The Presiding Officer may, and shall if required by the member or a Polling Agent at the time of a voter’s application for a referendum ballot paper but not afterwards, put to the voter the following questions:

(a) “What is your name and where do you live?”; and

(b) “Have you already voted at the present referendum at this or any other referendum centre?”

15. Every person intending to vote shall present himself to a Presiding Officer at the referendum centre in the Constituency in which his name is registered as being entitled to vote. Where a voter produces his voter’s card, the Presiding Officer shall:

(a) record the attendance of the voter in a register specifically kept for that purpose;

(b) issue the voter with a ballot paper;

(c) stamp the voter’s card with the official mark of the referendum centre; and

(d) sign his name at the back of the voter’s card.

PROVIDED that where a person claims that his name is in the Register of Voters for the referendum centre and that his voter’s card is missing or has been destroyed, the Presiding Officer shall allow the person to vote if:

(i) the name of the person is found in the register of voters for the referendum centre or unit;

(ii) he has satisfied himself that the person is not impersonating any other person; and

(iii) he has satisfied himself that the person has not voted at that particular referendum.

16. The Presiding Officer shall separate the queue between men and women if in that area of the country the culture does not encourage men and women in the same queue.


(1) Voting at the referendum shall be by open secret ballot.

(2) A voter on receiving a referendum ballot paper shall:

(a) proceed forthwith to the voting compartment where ink pad is provided and make his thumb imperssion on the blank space provided for this purpose on the referendum ballot paper; and

(b) come out from the compartment and, in the full view of the Presiding Officer and all others present:

(i) deposit the referendum ballot in the ballot box; and

(ii) have the space between a finger nail and the flesh of the finger marked with indelible ink.


(1) No voter shall record more than one vote at a referendum under these Guidelines.

(2) If the votes cast at a referendum in any Constituency or unit exceed the number of registered voters in that Constituency or unit, the referendum for that Constituency or unit, shall be declared null and void and another referendum conducted at a date to be fixed by the Commission.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) of this paragraph, the Commission may, if staffed that the result of the referendum will not be affected by voting in the area where the referendum is cancelled, direct that a declaration of the result of the referendum be made.

19. A voter shall not place on the referendum ballot paper any writing or mark by which he may be identified so however than any print resulting from the staining of the thumb of the voter in the voting compartment shall not be or be deemed to be a mark of identification under these Guidelines.

20. A voter who by accident spoils his referendum ballot paper shall deliver it to the Presiding Officer and if the Presiding Officer is satisfied that the referendum ballot paper is spoilt, he shall issue another referendum ballot appear to the voter and the spilt referendum ballot paper to the voter and the spoilt referendum ballot paper shall be immediately marked “cancelled” by the Presiding Officer.

21. A voter who is blind or who suffers any physical disability may be accompanied to the referendum centre by another person chosen by him to asist him cast his vote and the Presiding Officer shall permit such a person to assist the voter.

22. No voter shall vote otherwise than by personally attending at the referendum centre and in accordance with these Guidelines.


(1) No person shall be permitted to vote at any referendum centre or unit other than the one at which he is registered.

(2) The Presiding Officer shall regulate the admission of voters to the referendum centre and shall exclude all other persons except the member, Polling Agents and any other person who in his opinion has lawful reason to be admitted.

24. The Presiding Officer shall, at the close of poll:

(a) count the votes in the presence of those present;

(b) enter the YES/NO scores in Form RF 001, sign the form and request the agents to sign;

(c) announce loudly the number of votes counted; and

(d) give copies of Form RF001 to the polling agents and the police if available and take the original to the Ward Collation Officer.

25. The Ward Coalition Officer shall:

(a) take delivery of all Forms RF 001 from the Presiding Officers;

(b) collate the votes entered in Form RF 001 using Form RF 002;

(c) enter the votes in both words and figures in the appropriate space in Form RF 002, sign the form and request the agents to sign;

(d) give a copy of Form RF002 to the polling agents and the police if available at the Ward Collation Centre;

(e) take the originals of Form RF 001 and RF 002 to the Local Government Area Collation Officer for the Constituency.

26. The Local Government/Area Council Collation Officer, in the case of Constituency made up of not more than one Local Government Area or Area Council, shall:

(a) take delivery of all original Forms RF 002 from the Ward Collation Officers together with other election materials pertaining to the referendum;

(b) collate the result of the referendum by entering the scores in the original Form RF 002 into Form RF 003 in words and figures, sign the Form and request the polling agents to sign;

(c) cross-check the figures in Form RF 003, announce loudly the scores and distribute copies of the Form to the polling agents and the police if available at the Collation Centre;

(d) enter the score into the Declaration of Result Form RF 005 for the referendum.

27. The Collation Officer shall serve as the Returning Officer and declare the result of the referendum.

28. The Local Government/Area Council Collation Officer, in the case of a Constituency made up of more than one Local Government Area or Area Council, shall:

(a) take delivery of all original Forms RF. 002 from the Ward Collation Officers together with other election materials pertaining to the referendum;

(b) collate result of the referendum by entering the votes in the original Form RF 002 into Form RF 003 in words and figures, sign the Form and request the polling agents to sign;

(c) cross-check the figures in Form RF 003, announce loudly the scores and distributes copies of the Form to the polling agents and the police if available at the Collation Centre;

(d) take the original Form RF 003 to the designated Collation Centre for the Constituency where he shall hand over same to the Returning Officer for the Constituency together with other materials relating to the referendum.

29. The Returning Officer, in the case of a Constituency with more than one Local Government Area shall:

(a) collate the scores in the original Forms RF 003 into Form RF 004;

(b) enter the votes in both words and figures in the appropriate spaces in Form RF 004;

(c) cross-check the figures in Form RF 004, sign the Form, ask the polling agent to sign and distribute copies of Form RF 004 to the polling agents and police if available at the Collation Centre;

(d) enter the scores in the Declaration of Result Form RF 005; and

(e) declare the result of the referendum. The member stands recalled by a simple majority of YES votes of the registered voters in the Constituency.

30. Where in these guidelines an act or a thing is allowed to be done by or in the presence of a Polling Agent, the non-attendance of a Polling Agent at the time and place appointed for the act or thing or refusal by a Polling Agent to do the act or thing shall not, if the act or thing is otherwise done properly, invalidate the process of cross-checking and referendum.

On receipt of a petition by the Chairman of the Commission for the recall of a member of the National Assembly or House of Assembly of a State by more than one-half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s Constituency alleging their loss of confidence in that member, the Commission shall within 90 days:

(a) cross-check that the signatories appear on the authenticated Votes’ Register; and if satisfied,

(b) conduct a referendum.

Where in these guidelines an act or a thing is allowed to be done by or in the presence of a Polling Agent, the non-attendance of a Polling Agent at the time and place appointed for the act or thing or refusal by a Polling Agent to do the act or thing shall not, if the act or thing is otherwise done properly, invalidate the process of cross-checking and referendum.

Nigerlites Wake Up By Muhammad D. Abubakar

I am yet to believe this not until we dig to unravel the projects locations and the Federal legislators (either the Senators or Reps) who received the funds to implement these projects in your communities.h

The era of #SidonLook isn’t trending anymore unlike how it was on the prowl years back. Stand up and #AskQuestions. You voted them in and they must, I repeat must be answerable to you.

Imagine, Niger State with 41 constituency projects in 2016 and non-implemented?? O
h this is pathetic. We seldom disposed our energies and attention on the executives at the central level when the legislatures are fattening on your rights?

The high time you reposition yourselves for better representations at all levels, the greater the chances of salvaging your generation in being dividends.

This is slavery in 21st Century.




15578783_1368372793206177_2823683240169878454_nMr. Speaker because this is my first letter to you since you assumed office, let me start by congratulating you for handsomely winning the last general election through the “SAK” train of President Muhammad Buhari. No doubt I must say, you are among those God favoured during the last election, whether you deserve it or not we will leave you and posterity to judge that.

2. I will like to be very direct in this letter, please don’t be surprise because I am just adopting your method of addressing issues to people.

3. Your actions yesterday to the protesters of #OccupyAEDC was not only uncalled for but you sounded like somebody who is suffering from a psychological and mental somersault.

4. Mr Speaker, if you are not aware let me draw your attention to some little statistics, electricity supply is the engine that drives many menial jobs in Minna, where industrial activities is almost unavailable. The ordinary man and woman selling cold water, the welders, barbers and vulcanisers among others are totally thrown out of business due to the epileptic power supply by AEDC. This is not likeable in any situation talkless of in a recession.

5. Ironically, as you may be aware Niger state is home to 3 major Hydro Power Stations in Nigeria. In fact the 4th one is coming up soon in Zungeru expected to generate 700MW of electricity. However, as proclaimed by Mr. Governor Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello, Niger state contribute “1500MW” to the national grid. disgusting Mr. Speaker Nigerlites are yet to reap from such benefit.

6. We are even far from tasting from such benefit. I know you may not be aware because you have been running on heavy duty generators both at home and at the house of assembly all thanks to tax payers, monies contributed monthly by the same people you showed your un-cultured behaviour to yesterday.

7. The above scenario informed the decision of Nigerlites to air their grievances in a peaceful protest tagged #OccupyAEDC and in their magnanimity decided to come to you so you can intervene on their behalf.

8. Unfortunately Mr Speaker, you totally bullshit them and poured out statement to them that looks like a buffalo purging, smelling to high heavens. You did not only goofed but also insulated the sensibility of the same people that gave you a historic vote, the same people that propelled your movement from a classroom teacher into the top echelon of the Niger state Parliament to represent them in the parliament and defend their rights.

9. Mr Speaker to draw your attention, among the protesters were people old enough to be your parents and those young enough to be your children helplessly looking for salvation from their son and father. But what did you do with the opportunity you got to be on the people’s side, you spat on their faces and showed them who you truly are.

10. Let me also informed you that the protest was a success and the result already manifesting. After a long time, we have for the last 3 days experience an improvement in electricity in Minna and its environ.

11. What this means is, with or without your support Nigerlites have taken charge of their issues and they are considering relieving you of the responsibility they task you with.

12. Finally Mr Speaker, remember their is always a day of reckoning. And sooner than later you will either come to us in 2019 or you stay off 2019. Only Allah knows!

13. As Gimba Kakanda will say, may God save us from us.

Ibrahim Akibu Ja’afaru
Concerned Nigerlites
21st December, 2016




Many symbols existing today were created long ago as a sign representing the ideology, belief, action, or material entity. These symbols can be in form of words, gestures, ideas or visual images, they are used to convey other ideas and beliefs.

Signs are invented and forgotten, symbols are born and die (Paul 1964). There are, therefore, dead and living symbols. A living symbol can reveal to an individual hidden level of meaning and transcendent or religious realities. For Paul a symbol always “points beyond itself” to something that is unquantifiable and mysterious; symbols open up the “depth dimension of reality itself”. (Paul 1964)

Campbell (2002) in his “Seminal Essay the Symbol Without Meaning”, proposes that a symbol is an energy evoking, and directing, agent.

Later, expanding on what he means by this definition Campbell says:

“A symbol, like everything else, shows a double aspect. We must distinguish, therefore between the ‘sense’ and the ‘meaning’ of the symbol. It seems to me perfectly clear that all the great and little symbolical systems of the past functioned simultaneously on three levels: the corporeal of waking consciousness, the spiritual of the dream, and the ineffable of the absolutely unknowable. The term ‘meaning’ can refer only to the first two but these, today, are in the charge of science – which is the province as we have said, not of symbols but of signs. The ineffable, the absolutely unknowable can be only sensed. It is the province of art which is not ‘expression’ merely, or even primarily, but a quest for, and formulation of, experience evoking, energy-waking images yielding what Sir Herbert Read has aptly termed a ‘sensuous apprehension of being’.

Heinrich Zimmer gives a concise overview of nature, and perennial relevance, of symbols.

“Concepts and words are symbols, just as visions, rituals, and images are; so too are the manners and customs of daily life. Through all of these, a transcendent reality is mirrored. They are so many metaphors reflecting and implying something which, though thus variously expressed, is ineffable, though thus rendered multiform, remains inscrutable. Symbols hold the mind to the truth but are not themselves the truth, hence it is delusory to borrow them. Each civilization, every age, must bring forth its own.” (Campbell, Heinrich 1969)

In the book Signs and Symbols, it is stated that A symbol … is a visual image or sign representing an idea — a deeper indicator of a universal truth.

Symbols are a means of complex communication that often can have multiple levels of meaning. This separates symbols from signs, as signs have only one meaning.

Human cultures use symbols to express specific ideologies and social structures and to represent aspects of their specific culture Thus, symbols carry meanings that depend on upon one’s cultural background; in other words, the meaning of a symbol is not inherent in the symbol itself but is culturally learned. (Womack 2005)

Symbols are the basis of all human understanding and serve as vehicles of conception for all human knowledge (Langer 1953). Symbols facilitate understanding of the world in which we live, thus serving as the grounds upon which we make judgments (Palczewski 2012). In this way, people use symbols not only to make sense of the world around them but also to identify and cooperate in society through constitutive rhetoric.

Symbols have been used since time immemorial… The use of the symbol is a strong feeling of loyalty and devotion to a political cause, idea, or movement inspired by either belief or nationalism.

Through symbols, we can understand what our origin was and the culture of our ancestors.


Arewa Knot is among those symbols which their hidden secret have not been discovered and its origin remains unknown. We have been told that it represents “Unity in Diversity”, but sometimes history is not what we have been told.

The Arewa knot is an emotive symbol of Northern Nigerian adopted by Sir Alhaji Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto) as a political identity. The symbol was adopted in the 1950s when Nigerian elites were preparing for political independence from Britain. (Ochonu 2008)

The symbol represents “Unity in Diversity”, which was encapsulated in the “One North” philosophy that was used to fight for representation and privileges for Northern Nigeria and to counter what was perceived as Southern Nigerian persecution and political domination. (Ochonu 2008)

When a symbol loses its meaning and power for an individual or culture, it becomes a dead symbol. The Greek gods might be an example of symbols that were once living for the ancient Greeks but whose meaning and power are now gone. (Paul 1964)

Similarly, with the Arewa Knot losing its true meaning or yet to be discovered, it only remains a symbol used for decorating houses and clothing and adopted as Northern Nigerian emblem; Northern Nigerian political identity (in the 1950s) without a true meaning.

According to Shareef “preservation and transmission of symbols, myth and collective memories are extremely important for individuals and the group of survival through time.

In the face of cultural aggression of all sorts, in the face of all disintegration factors of the outside world, the most efficient cultural weapon with which a people can arm itself is this feeling of historical continuity. (cheikh Anta Diop)

Many governmental (regional) agencies and non-governmental organisations also adopt this symbol as their logo without knowing what message it conveys.

There is a need to dig deep because knowing the secret behind this symbol can provide an incredible amount of insight into the understanding of its uniqueness, its origin and a deeper meaning it tends to convey.

So many questions were raised about where it originated from and what it stands for? No one was able to answer these questions.

Only a few made an attempt to uncover the uniqueness of this symbol, but the results remain unsatisfactory. It opens a door for everyone to search for its origin and meaning. And so a requirement to study the Arewa symbol is born.

Studying Arewa knot will open a door to a new reality, a new understanding. It will give an insight into where the symbol originated from. It is the intent of these researches therefore to investigate the origin and what is hidden about this symbol.


Among the recent findings is the work of Ibrahim A. Waziri (2009) which he gathered while trying to trace the origin of this symbol and significance. He visited Arewa House which contains all documented northern Nigerian historical artefacts and archives, but there was no trace of its origin, let alone why Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto adopted it as Northern Nigerian insignia knowing of its Christian origin.

In his assertion (Waziri, 2009), the Northern Nigerian insignia which is of Christian origin was adopted by Hausas as the Northern Nigerian emblem (political identity) under the guidance of Sir Ahmadu Bello Sardauna of Sokoto.

He supported his claim with the fact that there was a number of Christians living in present-day Northern Nigeria, especially in a Hausa state called Gobir. Also according to him one of the Gobir kings, Sarkin (Emir of) Gobir Mai Saka’andami was a Christian found wearing a cross around his neck.

I can’t deny the presence of Christianity in Hausa land due to the presence of Christianity in North Africa, or the fact that they were in contact with North African Christians trading with Arabs and North Africa. Also looking at the land where the Hausas migrated from (Nubia in ancient Ethiopian empire which was house to a thousand Christian at that time), there might be Christians among them or they were all Christians.

According to his findings, Christianity at that time didn’t attain the status of the state religion. They were only a few groups of Hausas practicing Christianity at that time called Isawa. If Christianity did not attain the state religion at the time there were no reasons why Hausa will adopt it as their symbol/identity because symbol reflects what people are and what they stand for. It is what they are recognised by.

These are not enough to justify or to conclude that Arewa knot represents the Christian cross or it is of Christian origin.

If we look at the symbol carefully we will see that it did not contain only the cross but also diamond which the cross is embedded on. If we assume or conclude that it is from Christian origin because of the cross, what about the diamond shape? Where does it originate from? What does it stand for?

I’m denying the fact that there were groups of Hausas who practised Christianity in those days and called Isawa (from the word Isa/Jesus), but there are few record or account for their presence, unlike Judaism.


There were numerous accounts for the Judaic presence in modern day Northern Nigeria. The genealogy of Jewish Hausa rulers are cited in several books of Mr Bubu Hama.

With Israel coming under Greek, Persian and later Roman rule and dependency, renewed waves of Jewish refugees including traders and artisans began to set up more communities in Egypt, Cyrenaica, Nubia and the Punic Empire, notably in Carthage. From Carthage, they began to scatter into various historically established, as well as newly emerging Jewish communities south of the Atlas mountains nearer to the modern day Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon and Congo. Several Jewish nomadic groups also moved across the Sahara from Nubia and the ancient kingdom of Kush towards West Africa. (Uwechia, 2007)

Coming across this fact; Judaic presence in today’s Northern Nigeria compels me to investigate more on this symbol in other to uncover its secrets.

For this reason, I searched deeper and gathered some information and clues that could help me to understand what this symbol represents. I went back to the origin of Hausa people. Where did migrate from? Did they come in contact with any community using the same or similar symbol in the past? Did they draw this symbol from them?

In answering these questions, I could not find any tribe which came in contact with Hausas and used a similar symbol in the past except Jewish Seal of Solomon (Known as Star of David).

Star of David

flag_of_the_hausa_people-svgArewa Knot

I critically examined the two symbols; Arewa Knot and Seal of Solomon and discovered that they are somewhat related. They bear same arrangement pattern. And concluded it is either the Arewa directly copied from Jews settled in Hausa land or Hausas were actually Jews converted to Islam and still maintain their symbol but undergo some modifications with time.



Cheltic Love Knot Judaica Two Hearts Star of by signsofspiriti am Irish,

Source: https://tr.pinterest.com/pin/63331938484239597/

To support my claim with the following literature, the Hausa people migrated from a place called Nubian situated between Northern Sudan and Southern Egypt 500 A.D which was then under Ethiopian Empire. They migrated to a place known as Northern Nigeria today through Kanem Bornu Empire and established a number of states known as Kasar Hausa (Hausa states), these are the collection of independent states of Hausa people fighting with one another.

Hausa states were united under the leadership of sheikh Usmanu Bin Fodio. After the 19th century Sokoto jihad, they became one nation responsible for one another ending the long-time conflict between them. They were all submerged under Caliphate Sokoto, the only surviving Islamic Caliphate in the world. May Almighty continue to protect and preserve the Sokoto Caliphate.

This is a story passed down to us by our parents; the story of Hausas’ migration from Habasha/Nubia (part of ancient Ethiopian Empire), coincided with the Jewish migration to the West African states. Meek C.K in his “Northern Nigeria Tribes” recorded that, according to local traditions, Diallaiman was a member of one of the Ethiopian-Jewish colonies transplanted from Yemen to Ethiopian-Abyssinia in the 6th century C.E. Dialliaman is said to have moved to West Africa along with his brother. They set up the Jewish community in Northern Nigeria which later merged with the famous 7 Hausa States.

The same community was located near the Niger River by the name of Koukiya led by a ruler known as Dia or Dji, a shortened form of “Dia min al-Yaman” or Diallaiman (meaning he who comes from Yemen).

This coincided with the story being published by many authors and told by our parent about the Hausas’ migration, the same century and from the same place Nubia to the same place called Northern Nigeria today and through the same route Kanem Bornu.
Also According to Abdurahman Bin Abdullah Assa’adi in his book Tarikh Assudan (translated by O.Houdas) that a Jewish community was formed by a group of Egyptian Jews, who had travelled to the West Africa through Chad.

There are some other records that account for the Jewish presence especially in Hausa. Of which is Al-Idrisi a 12th-century geographer born in Ceuta, Spain. He wrote about (existence of these Judaic communities) Jewish Negroes in the western Sudan.

Also Ibn Khaldun, a respected historian of the 13th century from Berber tribes. He refers to the Judaic association with the Touregs for trade beyond the Sahara, a commerce facilitated by the Touregs. (Lichtblau)

This Judaic association with the Toureg tribes who dominated the trade routes across the Sahara led to contacts with black tribes to the south and down the West African coast. Documentation of this penetration is found in Judaic, Arabic, and Christian accounts. They describe Jewish rulers of certain tribal groups and clans who identify themselves as Jews scattered throughout Mauritania, Senegal, the Western Soudan, Nigeria and Ghana. (Lichtblau).

Then there was the early 16th-century historian and traveller Leon Africanus, a Moslem from Spain, who was raised by a Jewish woman working in his father’s household. She taught him Hebrew, and migrated with the family to Marakesh, Morocco, in 1492.

Africanus thereafter converted to Catholicism, but remained interested in and reported on the Judaic communities he encountered throughout his travels in West Africa. (Lichtblau)

Some of the established Jewish communities existed in such still renowned places as Gao, Timbuktu Bamako, Agadez, and Kano (the most popular Hausa state). In Timbuktu, the UNESCO still maintains notable archives containing records of the old Jewish community of Mali and the Hausa states of Nigeria. (Uwechia, 2007)

Another account from Mr Bubu Hama (former Nigerian National Assembly President and was also a prolific writer on African history), from his account I asserted that once Judaism was widely practised prior to Islam. It attained a status of the state religion and Seal of Solomon as their emblem. The genealogies of Jewish Toureg rulers, as well as those of the Hausa kingdom, are cited in several of Mr Hama’s books. (Lichtblau)

To move further in supporting my claim, apart from the migration, Linguistically, Hausa and Hebrew belong to the same language family; Afro-Asiatic family, the same group of language; Semitic group (Professor A. A. Mazurai) while according to others its belong to Chadic group of languages.

Also According to Prof. Williams F. S. Miles () Hausa shares several distinctive grammatical similarities with Hebrew, such as second person feminine pronouns and verbal suffixes.

There are some other linguistic similarities between Hausa and Hebrew, Alamin M. Mazrui and Willy Mutungain in their book: Debating the African Condition: Race, Gender, and Culture Conflict, Mazurai links Hausa (via Arabic) with Hebrew through the vocabulary of religion.

The connections do not end with a common religious vocabulary, however, even numerically, Hausa and Hebrew, through their Semitic similarity linguistic heritage, converge (ashirinashirim=20; arba’in-arbaim=40; hamsin-hamshim=50; saba’in-shava’im=70.). Surely a linguist can trace many more similarities than those indicated here. For this initiate to Semitic-rooted languages, however, is sufficed that the transition from Hebrew to Hausa is remarkably smooth.

Before I proceed, I’m sure one may argue or debunk the fact that the numerical similarities between Hausa and Hebrew were due the Arabic influence on The Hausa language as a result of Islam. If that is the case, what was their counting system? How do they count before coming in contact with the Arabs or prior to Islam? We know that there were numbers 1-19 (Daya-Goma Sha Tara), 100 (Dari) and 1000 (Dubu) that were undeniably Hausa. How do they reach 100 up 1000 without having 20, 30, 40, 50, 70, 80, and 90? 100 and 1000 (Dari and Dubu) proved that Ashirin as 20; Arba’in as 40; Hamsin as 50; Saba’in as 70 etc. have been used by the Hausas for counting even before coming in contact with the Arabs. If that is so they are either remnant of Jews that migrated to West Africa or the lost Jewish tribe.

Another supporting fact to my claim, according to Prof. Williams F. S. Miles is that, more than linguistic ties, there is the cultural gap. Without a doubt, my integration into Muslim African life was facilitated by my Jewish background. It was not as much as an American, but as a Jew (or, better, Hebrew descendant) that common link with my Hausa host was discovered, and the bond created.

Also according to Professor Miles, beyond the links that were strengthened by a parallel religious tradition, life in rural Islamic Hausa land brought me closer to the understanding of my own historical and spirituals roots. How could I look at a sand-swept, stalk-thatched shelter of the nomadic Fulani, and not see a Sukka, the Israelites hut of branches and leaves, as they wandered through Sinai wilderness? (Sukkot are still reconstructed by modern-day Jews, during the holiday of the same name.)




Traditional Fulani Settlement (Hausa Village)

Out in rural Hausaland, I feel, what has been lost by Jewish Americans persist in Muslim Africans. (Prof. Miles)

The impact of Judaic influence led to the conversion to Judaism by a number of ruling families in Ghana, notably among the Peuhl, Fulani, Mossi, Fanti and Songhay tribes. Similar conversions had taken place among several Nigerian Yoruba and Hausa groups.
The observation made by Lois Rose of Los Angeles (Hebrew History Federation) makes me strongly believe that she was referring to Arewa knot. She reported on the curious use of the “Seal of Solomon” as a standard pattern in ancient fabrics woven in West Africa.

From my knowledge, Arewa Knot is the only symbol used in ancient fabrics woven in West Africa and in still been used in modern clothing by both Hausas, Yorubas and others.

Old Hausa Babban Riga


Modern Hausa Babban Riga

Yoruba Attire


  1. A B Womack, Mari. Symbols and Meaning: A Concise Introduction. California: AltaMira Press, 2005.
  2. Alamin M. Mazrui,Willy Mutunga Debating the African Condition: Race, gender, and culture conflict p. 98-102
  3. Al-Kati M., “Tarikh al-Fattash, 1600”.
  4. Bagossy, Renate. The Difficulty of the Amendment Process of the Constitution of the United States of America and Freedom of Speech and its limits. GRIN Verlag; 2008-08-11 [cited 5 November 2012]. ISBN 9783640129546. p. 16–17.
  5. Bednar, Michael Kay. How Symbolic Action Affects the Media as a Governance Mechanism. ProQuest; 2008. ISBN 9780549738817. p. 17.
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  8. Cheikh Anta Diop, Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology, (New York), p. 112
  9. Christ, A symbol of the self CW vol 9i Aion RKP 1958
  10. Dorling Kindersley Limited. Signs and Symbols. p.6. ISBN 978-0-7566-3393-6. 2008
    Faculty Profile: Bill Miles and the Jews of Nigeria. Retrive from https://www.northeastern.edu/cssh/jewishstudies/newsletter/faculty-profile-bill-miles-and-thejews-of-nigeria/
  11. Indick, William. Ancient Symbology in Fantasy Literature: A Psychological Study. Jefferson: McFarland &, 2012. Print.
  12. Jean Dalby Clift, Core Images of the Self: A Symbolic Approach to Healing and Wholeness. Crossroad, 1992.
  13. Jide Uwechia, 2007 THE BLACK JEWS OF AFRICA PART 2: JEWS OF NIGERIA, SENEGAL AND CONGO http://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptianhercules/the-black-jews-of-africa-part-2-jews-of-nigeria-senegal-and-congo/comment-page-2/
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  17. Muhammad Shareef, Lost and Found Children of Abraham.
  18. Online Etymological Dictionary
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  20. Professor Ali A. Mazurai African Thought in Comparative Perspective p. 286
  21. Smart, Ninian (1979). The Phenomenon of Christianity. Collins Press. pp. 283–4. ISBN 0002151154.
  22. The Nothern Knot Ibrahim Waziri is an editor of KadunaVoice.com, he also writes at RGUILD Read more: http://newsrescue.com/the-northern-knot-the-arewa-insignia-is-actually-of-christiannorthern-origins/#ixzz4P9OLhoQR http://newsrescue.com/the-northern-knot-the-arewa-insigniais-actually-of-christian-northern-origins/#axzz4OZNFvspQ
  23. Tillich, Paul (1964). Theology of Culture. Oxford University Press. p. 54,58, 59. ISBN 0195007115.

Nana Asma’u Bint Usman Bin Fodio

There are certain names which are known (familiar), as names, all mankind; and every person who seek for any degree of mental cultivation, feels desirous of informing himself/herself of the leading outlines of their history, that he may know, in brief, what it was in their character or in their doing which has given them so widely extended a fame.
After reading the stories of five great personages; great women whose history constitute a useful and not merely entertaining, knowledge, and their contribution have profoundly impacted on this our modern society. Came to realized that the role of women in society isn’t just a mere housewives, rare children but has something to offer, to contribute in building a progressive and prosperous society.
These women are Mary Stuart known as Queen Mary of Scots, Queen of France and Self proclaim Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth I known as virgin Queen, Queen Amina of Zagzak (Zazzau) Dodon Kanawa da Katsinawa, Nana Asma’u Bint Usman Bin Fodio known as “Sarkin Mata” or “Women Leader” and her step Sister Maryama Bint Usman Bin Fodio.
To discuss about their lives history and their indelible achievements, it requires thousands of paragraphs and hundreds of pages, but here to give some glimpses of the life of Nana Asma’u Bint Usman Bin Fodio and what she had accomplished, she is special among all of them, her contribution wasn’t for the Sokoto Caliphate only but for the entire world, she was involved in authorship, politics and community development unlike her sister Maryama who only involved in authorship.
Before I proceed I would like to start by this, the women are the basic unit of society. A woman makes the family, a family makes home and home make society. We should never think that a society would come to existence and progress without the contribution of women.

-Nana Asma’u is a product of the 19th century Sokoto Jihad. She’s a woman scholar, poet, community leader, political commentator, and sociocultural engineer whose mountain of knowledge cannot be equal to her contemporaries. She was active in politics, education and social reform, she was a prolific author, popular teacher and renowned scholar and intellectual (Mark and Boyd; 2000:1)

-These qualities possessed by Nana Asma’u made a distinguishable figure and model for those who have the zeal for learning and at the same time, she is an answer to those who view women as exploited, oppressed and relegated to the rudiments of home management and service to the children of Islam.

-Nana Asma’u a twin, was born in about 1793 in Degel, a small settlement lying 25 North West of Sokoto, which was only an unimportant harmlet in the year of birth (Boyd’s 1989:1)

-Nana Asma’u twin brother was named Hassan, but instead of the name Hassana, the Shehu chose “Asma’u” for his daughter, the name that recalls the extraordinary seventh-century Asma bint Abubakar Al-siddiq (Marck & Boyd; 2000:7)

-Nana Asma’u was brought up by shehu’s wives Aisha and Hauwa, Muhammad Bello’s mother after the death of her mother in 1795.

-Nana Asma’u married Muhammad Gidado in 1807 and moved to live in Sokoto, the town built Muhammad Bello in 1809.

-Nana Asma’u gave birth to Abdulqadir in 1809, Abdullahi in 1820, Usman 1829, Abdullahi Bayero 1832 and Muhammad Laima in 1839.

-Nana Asma’u memorized the Quran, although this is the approach is the one by which children assimilate the word of God but it involved rigorous programme of study.tutored by her family, Asma’u studied Islamic philosophical text on prayer, mysticism, legal matters, fiqh (which regulates religious conducts), and tawhid (dogma).

-Nana Asma’u’s scholarship was well respected because it actively supports the major tenets of jihad. The promotion of Islam, and the end of oppression of Muslims.

-Nana Asma’u taught both men and women.

-Nana Asma’u was fluent in four languages (Hausa, Fulfulde, Tuareg, and Arabic), composed didactic and philosophical works in whatever languages suited her intended audience.

-Nana Asma’u was egalitarian in training non-Muslim refugees as she was comfortable communicating with revered Muslim scholars far across West Africa.

-Nana Asma’u’s responsibilities went beyond those involved with teaching. She was a highly educated scholar, upon whom the best scholar in the community could depend on, an efficient manager, and a consummate mediator. One of her first state duties, at the age of twenty-seven, was to facilitate the organization of the Shehu’s works after his death. This was a task so important that the ‘Ulama in Sokoto today draw a parallel between it and the compilation of the Qur’an after the Prophet Muhammad’s death (PBUH). Such a task required her quadri- lingual skills and intimate knowledge, which were extensive since he had been writing since the time he was twelve. Furthermore, this project would have required an extraordinary memory to allow her to catalogue innumerable pages of unbound texts that had suffered decades of use and transportation from one encampment to another during the Jihad years. Only someone who was of unquestionable trust, and whose ability was revered would be equal to the job (Boyd & Mack; 1997:8).
-Nana Asma’u was the woman chose by Bello to lead the caliphate women in the paths of orthodoxy, to turn them if necessary from the slippery slopes leading to what she herself called ‘The Satan named bori”. (Boyd; 1989:44). Asma’u was identified as Sarkin Mata duka (Chief of all women) by captive women, as an uwar-gari figure by the general populace as a mother of the faithful’ by her peer group; and as a Shaikha

-Nana (scholar) whose writings transcended gender by the intelligentsia. She functioned as one of Bello’s aides to integrate women into a society whose ideology was rooted in Islam. A woman was able to earn herself a living by spinning an occupation over which woman had a monopoly to the extent that they organized the marketing of spun thread either through direct purchase or through commission agents. There was also a market run by women for women near Gidado’s house which, in a much-attenuated form, existed until the 1970s (Ibid).

-Nana Asma’u was by far the most prolific writer and influential woman to have emerged in the western Sudan during the nineteenth century; what is more, her influence carried over into the world of men. So kind …. her charity was a thousand fold. But she carried it to the places where decisions were made. She was not a surrogate man; she led no troops on the battlefield like Queen Amina, was in charge of nor tax collectors like the Inna, in her role as the Sarki’s aide, and headed no religious cult like the Inna, In her role as the head of bori, she made stringently and apt observations in her political verse as a wearer of the Shehu’s mantle, but remained decorously within the confines of her home. (Boyd; 1989:99).

-Nana Asma’u’s main work was in the education of women in order to equip them to bring up the next generation of children within the desired ideological framework (Ibid).

-The greatest of Asma’u’s contribution which signifies her political and intellectual sophistication is the ‘Yan taru movement (the first feminist movement in the history). A movement which is the backbone of her teaching philosophy and the soul of her reform strategy, hence the genesis of the Nana Asma’utradition.

-Asma’u established a cadre of literate, itinerant women teachers (Jajis) who disseminated her instructive poetic works among the masses. Trained by Asma’u, these women were extension teachers using Asma’u’s works as lesson plans and mnemonic devices through which they instructed secluded women in the privacy of their homes… Nana Asma’u’s training of Jajis and the ‘Yan taru was community work whose primary tool was the spoken word (Mack & Boyd; 2000:76).

-Nana Asma’u relied on each Jaji to act as a mentor and to bring groups of women to her. To each, she gave a large malfa hat made of fine silky grasses. Usually worn by men, the hats have a distinctive balloon shape because they are intended to be worn over turbans. A Malfa was also (and remains) one of the marks of the office used by the Inna of Gobir, the chief of women devotees of bori. Asma’u deliberately took up the symbol, and by giving each Jaji a Malfa, she at once devalued its uniqueness and transformed what it stood for From being symbolic of bori, it turned into an emblem of Islam (Ibid:89).

– When a Jaji left Asma’u to return to her home village, she walked in the midst of her group of women students, her distinguishing headgear lending utmost respectability to the group. She probably carried a copy of Asma’u’s latest work (ibid:79). The women came to seek for knowledge from Asma’u because those who wished to pursue their studies had to seek out to the recognized masters, wherever they might be found and enroll themselves as their pupils (Johnston; 1967:27).

Nana Asma’u had the will, she possessed the knowledge and worked for the common good of all. According to Ibn Badis “Man’s life from its beginning to its end, is based on these three elements: will, knowledge, and work. These three are in their turn dependent on another three: work is dependent on the body, knowledge of the mind, and will on the behaviour. Sound knowledge and strong will are the products of wise behaviour, useful work, and robust body. Therefore, mankind must care for and look after these three; the mind, behaviour, and body. The mind should be fed on knowledge, the behaviour of the Holy Prophet should be approximated, and strength should be given to the body by balancing diet, avoiding injury and working”. (El-Tayeb; 1989:271).

-Her Authorship:
• Books:
o The way of pius.
o Give us victory.
o Holy Quran.
o A warning.
o Forgive me
o Quranic Translation.
o Story of Shehu.
o The path of truth.
o Quranic translation into Arabic (commentary)
o Islam, Sokoto, and Wurno
o Destroy Mayaki.
o The battle of Gawakuke.
o A warning.
o Prayer.
o Reason for seeking God
o And many other

• Poem:
o Elegy for Abdullahi.
o Elegy for Bello.
o Elegy for my sister Fadima.
o Elegy for Gidado (her husband after his death).
o Elegy for Na’Inna.
o Elegy for Aisha I & II.
o Elegy for Mustapha.
o Elegy for Zahratu.
o Elegy for Hauwa’u.
o Elegy for my Niece Fadima.
o Elegy for Yalli

-Nana Asma’u Died in 1863.
The main achievement of Nana Asma’u and the entire Jihad movement is on scholarship. This notable achievement of the Sokoto Jihad movement in the field of Islamic scholarship informed the perception of the historian of the Sokoto caliphate such as Smith (1979), who describes the movement and by extension the caliphate, as an intellectual movement. (Usman: 2003:21).

We learned that what made Nana Asma’u distinguishable among contemporaries was knowledge and understanding.

We learned that without education, no development is possible. A family, who educates their girls, educates the next generation. Girls mature into women who for the most part oversee learning in the home and at school. When girls do not receive a well-rounded education, they cannot impart the same to their offspring; the very first and best school of a child is its mother’s lap. A good healthy society doesn’t automatically emerge on its own and stands firm but it needs to emerge and for its emergence women play a pivotal role. From behavioural to health education women have their hands in. it’s a woman who teaches how to behave, how to speak and how to deal with different classes of people. These all are the basic fundamentals of a good society and women are the main contributors in building up a strong society. Woman of today needs to get her own identity because identity is the key for all human beings. It is imperative that a woman knows her strengths as well as her weaknesses so that she may be the best team member working cooperatively with all around her whether she is playing a game “at home” or “away”.

SIR AHMADU BELLO, GCON, KBE The Sarduna of Sokoto said:

“There are two reasons behind what people call my generosity. Firstly, I am a Muslim, and generosity is enjoined on all believers, by Islam.

Secondly, I am also a realist. I happen to know that hoarding earthly wealth is meaningless in so far as a millionaire will not, when he dies, be buried with his millions. I prefer to share the little I have with those who have none at all in the belief that God whose command I thus obey will reward me in the next world. I can’t even hoard things for my children as many people do.For one thing, how do I know that my children, when I die, will not spend all the wealth I have thus amassed through tight – fistedness within twenty – four hours! Such a thing has happened to many so- called rich men, hasn’t it? I believe that no one but God can make anyone rich. ” JULY 1965.