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KADUNA STATE
PHYSICAL SETTING
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PEOPLE, POPULATION AND SETTLEMENT
Posted to the web: 1/30/2003 1:34:16 PM
 
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Ethnic Composition, Culture And The Arts: Kaduna State forms a portion of the country's cultural meltina Dot. Apart from six maior ethnic groups found in the State, there are over twenty other ethnic minority groups, each with its language and arts or religion different from the other.

Works of art and pottery (e.g. the "Nok Terracotta") found in the southern parts suggest that it is a major cultural centre. Among the major ethnic groups are Kamuku, Gwari, Kadara in the west, Hausa and Kurama to the north and Northeast. "Nerzit" is now used to describe the Jaba, Kaje, Koro, Kamanton, Kataf, Morwa and Chawai instead of the derogato ry term "southern Zaria people". Also, the term "Hausawa" is used to describe the people of Igabi, ikara, Giwa and Makarti LGAs, which include a large proportion of rural dwellers who are strictly "Maguzawas."

Ahmadu Bello university, Zaria
Ahmadu Bello university, Zaria

In the north, the Hausa and some immigrants from the southern states practice Islam and majori ty of the people in the southern LGAs profess Christianity. The major Muslim festivals are the "Salah" celebrations of "ldEIfitri" and "ldEIKabir", while Christmas, New Year and Easter are observed by the Christians.

Two traditional festivals of significance are the "TukHam" and "Afan" in Jaba and Jama'a LGAs respectively. Prominent among the traditional arts, are leather works, pottery and indigopit dyeing with Zaria as the major centre.

Population Structure and Distribution: The 1991 census provisional result puts the population of Kaduna State at 5,001,258 (Table 18.1). Although majority live and depend on the rural areas, about a third of the State's population are located in the two major urban centres of Kaduna and Zaria.

However, except in the northwestern quadrant, the rural population concentration is moderate, reaching a high of over 500 persons per sq. km. in Kaduna/Zaria and the neighbouring villages; 350 in Jaba, Igabi and Giwa and 200 in Ikara LGAs. Despite the provisional nature of the census results, observations of movements of young able bodied male labourers in large numbers, from rural villages to towns during the dry season and back to rural agriculture fields during the wet season, suggest a sizeable seasonal labour force migration in the state.

However, the seasonal labour migration has no effect on agricultural labour demands in the rural traditional setting. Indeed, some of these sea sonal migrants come to town to learn specific trade or acquire special training and eventually go back to establish in the rural areas as skilled workers (e.g. masons, technicians, tractor drivers, carpenters, motor mechanics, etc). Another major feature of the State's population structure is the near 1:1 male/female ratio, not just for the state as a whole, but even among all the LGAs.

Local Tannery, Zaria
Local Tannery, Zaria

The effects of this may be helpful to the future social and economic development of the rural sector especially in the agroallied rural industries. The large number of secondary school leavers, polytechnic and university araduates provides a growing skilled labour force for the growing industries in the State.

Urban and Rural Development and Patterns of Human Settlement: The pattern of human settlement throughout the State is tied to the historical, political and socioeconomic forces the area has been subjected to, from the precolonial to post colonial period. Prior to the advent of the British occupation, the basic unit of human settlement was the extended family compound.

As compounds grew, the needs for security and defence led to a higher hierarchy of settlements called "Garuruka" (towns). These towns were protected by walls with a titled/administrative head appointed by higher political authority, the "Sarki". This pattern of settle ment dominated the Hausawa cultural groups to the north (i.e. Giwa, Igabi, Zaria, Sabon Gari, Kudan, Makarfi and parts of lkara LGAs).

Higher settlement hierarchy than the rural extended family compounds in other parts of the state was delayed, until the development of social amenities and infrastructure such as motor and rail road, Christian Missionary establishments and recently, produce buyers, markets and administrative reorganisations gave impetus (settlements such as Birnin Gwari, Kuda'a, Kachia, Zango Kataf, KwoiSambam Kagoma and Saminaka are good examples).

It is the impact of these historical and cultural developments on settlement pattern and probably because of the nature of the rural econo my (agrarian) that created the dominance of the two urban centres (i.e. Zaria and Kaduna) in the state. Table18.1 shows administrative areas and population distribution in the state.

Problem Of Urban Primacy: The growth of Zaria urban settlement, though influenced by historic circumstance and the

Kaduna Refinery
Kaduna Refinery

political authority it wielded prior to the 19th century, is also the result of deliberate establishment of educational institutions. First, as a centre for Arabic/Quranic studies, with its fame reaching Sokoto and Borno Kingdoms in the northwest and northeast respectively.

Second, the establishment of the Agricultural Vocational School in Samaru (1923) and a Research Station for animal husbandry at Shika (now National Animal Production Research Institute NAPRI) in 1928; followed by Government sec ondary and higher institutions of learning such as Zaria Government College (now Barewa College) which started in 1922 in Katsina. The establishment of the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Techology gave additional thrust not only by expanding the built up area but increasing the population.

Between 1962 and 1992, Zaria, as an urban centre, has been transformed from an educational centre to a rapidly growing manufacturing industrial city sprawling for more than 25km. stretch along KadunaSokoto motor road. Similarly, founded in 1917 as an administrative headquarters, Kaduna held a leadership position in the former Northern Region well into the late 1970s.

Federal Superphosphate Fertilizer Plant, Kaduna
Federal Superphosphate Fertilizer Plant, Kaduna

Changes in the political structure of the country in 1967, 1975 and 1991 successively eroded her pow erful leadership position as the newly created states were given autonomy. Even the Interim Common Services Agency (ICSA), a body established to oversee the common economic interests of the for mer Northern Region and located in Kaduna, could not protect the gradual loss of her past leadership in the northern state.

Although Kaduna, as an urban centre,has ceased to be the political leader, it has gradually evolved and is growing to be a powerful commercial, industrial and financial nerve centre. Indeed, the location of the popular International Trade Fair in Kaduna and the increasing presence of the Federal Government through the location of several parastatals, have further strengthened the city's new evolving leadership position. The two urban centres alone command up to a third of the state's total population (i.e. about 1,512,000).

Most of the remaining settlements are small and located in the vast, rich agricultural lands. As a result of the dominance of the two urban cen tres, there is a continual drift of young men and women into them. Thus, a lot of social facilities such as housing, schools, health institutions, portable water and electricity are inadequate and under serious pressure.

Consequently, the unskilled men and women (1630 years) roam the city streets in large numbers jobless or, at best, underemployed. Getting this potential rural labour force back to the countryside may have to await comprehensive rural development. Two other groups of ruralurban migrants are conspicuous; these involve children (under 20 years) coming in large numbers from as far as Illela and Jibiya, border towns in Sokoto and Katsina States respectively; and several scores of men, between 25 and 40 years) mainly from Kano/Jigawa States.

The children come from the end of September to early July as pupils in Quranic schools or dry season migrant workers ("yan cin rani" in Hausa) and reside mostly in Zaria. Older in migrants, also come into the cities as "Fadama" farmers and market gardening workers ("yan lambu" in Hausa).

 

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