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This is Sokoto
Sokoto

Sokoto is a city located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River. As of 2006 it has a population of 427,760. Sokoto is the modern-day capital of Sokoto State (and its predecessor, the north-western State). The name Sokoto (which is the modern/anglicised version of the local name, Sakkwato) is of Arabic origin, representing suk, 'market'. It is also known as Sakkwato, Birnin Shaihu da Bello or "Sokoto, Capital of Shaihu and Bello".

Being the seat of the Sokoto Caliphate, the city is predominantly Muslim and an important seat of Islamic learning in Nigeria. The Sultan who heads the caliphate is effectively the spiritual leader of Nigerian Muslims.

Sokoto had been used as early as October 1804 by the Shehu Usmanu Dan Fodiyo as the venue for the meeting with Galadima, Yunfa's Vizier. Subsequently, it was used by Muhammad Bello as a staging post for an attack on Dufua in the spring of 1806. Bovil suggested that the area/district may have been known as Sokoto as early as the seventeenth century. In historical perspective, Sokoto was founded as a ribat (military camp or frontier) in 1809, when Shehu Usmanu was at Sifawa. It later became the capital of the caliphate after Shehu's death. In the 1820s, Sokoto was at its peak of prosperity coinciding with the peak of its `rulers' powers at the center of the caliphate, receiving annual tribute from all the fiefs before a long period of decline. The explorer Hugh Clapperton (1827) was highly impressed by this prosperity and its effects on the city.

Clapperton noted the importance of Sokoto's closely settled surroundings: the rivers, rather than long-distance trade, in the city’s economy. But the trade of Sokoto is at present inconsiderable, owing to the disturbed state of the surrounding country.

By the time the explorer Heinrich Barth arrived in 1853 Sokoto was thinly inhabited and greatly dilapidated. Barth in 1857 estimated the population at only 20,000–22,000, but the market was still supplied and attended, and a thriving suburb outside the wall was more animated than Sokoto itself.

Bovil aptly described Sokoto as a strong position, with steep escarpments from the east to the north-west and a small valley on the west and the south west protecting it against surprise cavalry attacks. The town dominates the broad lowland where the two rivers, Rima and Sokoto meet, being the junction of roads from Gobir in the north, Kebbi in the south and Burmi Zamfara in the east.

In the early 19th century, the town (Sokoto) was divided into wards. Such wards include Magajin Gari ward, Waziri ward, Sarkin Musulmi ward, Sarkin Adar ward, Magajin Rafi ward, and Sarkin Zamfara Ward. At this time the wards were small and surrounded with a wall, which included the mosques of Sultan Bello and Shehu, Sultan Palace and other buildings as well as the compound of Shehu. In 1818, the wall was extended up to the extent that it has gates that come in and out of the Birni wall. Such gates are Kofar-Kade, Kofar-Kware, Kofar-Rini, Kofar-Dundaye, Kofar-Taramniya, Kofar-Aliyu Jedo, and Kofar-Marke.

The area of the present Sokoto was the home of many empires and kingdoms of the pre-colonial western Sudan. These include the Gobirand Kebbi kingdoms as well as the world-renowned caliphate whose spiritual and political capital is the headquarters of the state.



Sources: Wikipedia