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1.1       General Introduction

The evolution of “District Head System” in Northern Nigeria has attracted the attention of many historians and has generated a lot of controversies. In order word, the “District Head System” of local government administration is an issue of intellectual debate. Historian like Smith sees the “District Head System” as traditional in origin derived from pre-colonial system of administration, while Abba opines that “District head system” which has been regarded as a traditional political system in Northern Nigeria was both in structure and form a British creation.[1]The period of the evolution of “District Head System” in emirate of Northern Nigeria varied from one emirate to the other depending on how effective each emirate system was at the time of the British conquest and the complexities of the pre-colonial each of the emirates.[2]

It could be recalled that the 19th century Hausa land was a scene of revolutionary movement, “the Sokoto Jihad”. The jihad culminated in the establishment of a powerful state covering a vast area of about 250,000 square miles. This state created the emirate system of government in Hausa land and beyond. Zaria emirate happened to be the largest and important emirate in the Sokoto Caliphate. After the British conquest of Northern Nigeria, the British realized that the pre-existing pattern of local authority could not meet their economic need, they tried to create a link between the colonial government and the local authority. It is clear that what is actually needed was the re-organisation and re-structuring of the pre-existing political structures to be in line with the actualization of colonial economic exploitation. The basis for local government re-organisation was mainly to reduce the cost of administration, maximise revenue as well as effective supervision of conquered territories. It was this that resulted to the creation of “District head system” in Northern Nigeria in general.[3]

By 1907, Zaria emirate was divided into thirty-two district, each of these districts was administered or placed under the control of the district head whom the emir appointed and British confirmed. After independence, more and more district was created including Kurmin Gwaza district in 2001. District heads and district administration had undergone different positions in the country after independence from 1960 to the Second Republic 1979-1983 as a result of perpetual local government reforms experienced in the country during this period.[4]

Kumin Gwaza district is located in the Western part of Kachia Local Government Area and the district lies between Latitude 9o 54’ 04”N and longitude 70 55’ 37”E. The history of evolution and development of Kurmin Gwaza district which this research concerns itself with is aim at exposing and acquainting the readers and the general populace with the knowledge of historical evolution and development of Kurmin Gwaza district from 2001 to 2017. Over the years, people have wondered whether there were significant events or development in the district that deserve any historical studies. People still ask questions such as when and how was the district created? who were the figures that spearheaded the affairs of the district since its inception? And what contribution the district had on the communities that made up the district? It appears from available evidences that little or no researches have been conducted with respect to addressing these interesting questions. These also explain the scanty documentations and literature concerning the subject matter.

This dissertation is therefore, an attempt at a description and analysis of the historical evolution and developments that enveloped the district during the period under study. The work looks at the factors that necessitate the establishment of the district, socio-economic and political development, the communities that made up the district and inter-group relations in the district among others.

1.2       Statement of the Research Problem

Various aspects of the history of Kachia Local Government Area have been studied, in which the Kurmin Gwaza district is part of, and little or nothing have been done to reconstruct the history of Kurmin Gwaza district. This study therefore intends to study the evolution, development, administrative function, socio-political, economic conditions, communities as well as structure of Kurmin Gwaza district in Kachia Local Government Area.

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