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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.

Prior to the creation of Kurmin Gwaza district, it was under Kwaturu district in Kachia Local Government Area, however in year 2001 Kurmin Gwaza district became an autonomous district, independent of Kwaturu district. This study therefore seeks to give an insight as to why the Kurmin Gwaza district was separated from Kwaturu after many years of their co-existence.  However, the research also intends to study the evolution migration, politics and policy surrounding it existence. It is also important to note that there are several literature on Kachia local government and some on Kwaturu district, but we have very few on Kurmin Gwaza district, therefore most of the work will concentrate on primary sources and the few secondary literatures available for the research, which will trace the issue as to when and how the district was created and various development that took place which shape the history of the district.

More so, the research will give an insight to how Kurmin Gwaza district was administered in various aspects which include, but not limited to land, people, and tradition of origin among others. The study will therefore expand our knowledge as to how policies, migration and structure affected the district.

1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Study

This is where the basic reasons for embarking on the study should be appreciated. For any scholarly and academic work; it is aim at achieving a purpose. This purpose is what we consider as aim and objectives. In like-manner, this dissertation intends to achieve a number of reasonable aim and objectives which include:

1.     The aim of this study is to historicize the evolution of Kurmin Gwaza District from 2001 – 2017.

2.     To examine factors that necessitates the establishment of the District.

3.     To examine the evolution, migration and the development of Kurmin Gwaza district up to 2017.

4.     To highlight on the socio – economic and political development of the district from 2001 – 2017.

5.     To examine inter–group relations in Kurmin Gwaza as no community ever lived alone. It is also aimed at helping the readers and of course the general populace with the understanding of the nature and impact of the relationship between the district and her neighbors.

6.     The dissertation will served as an additional material to the existing available documents which will help future researchers in their bid to further research on the subject matter.

1.4       Significance and Justification of the Study

“District Head System” and its application in native authority is a theme studied by scholars. It still attracted the attention of researchers and students who may want to study. A study of this nature therefore tends to give more in – depth and critical account about what transpired between the democratic dispensation, native administration and the people at large. Therefore, focusing on Kurmin Gwaza District as a case study, it is going to be of significance interest to examine how the evolution of the District took place and shape the area. In addition, the District of Kurmin Gwaza made up of sub – settlement that exist in a neighborhood pattern such as Kongo, Ungwan Shaho, Ungwan Maisaje, Ungwan Wuje, Ungwan Tama, Ungwan Gizago, Bonjok and Ramin Kura.

The research work will increase our depth of understanding about the administration that existed in Kurmin Gwaza district as well as it surrounding communities; the dissertation will also add and give more meaning to the few and scanty documents and materials existing on the subject matter as well as fill the gap not found in other literature about Kurmin Gwaza history in relations to the affairs carried out in the area and thus culminate and combine to serve as sources of historical reconstruction or writing. Again if the work completed, it will serve as a veritable source materials for Students, researchers and the general public interested in the history of the district. Finally, it will contribute to our knowledge of how the change in districts affected the Kachia Local government in general and Kurmin Gwaza in particular.

1.5       Scope and Limitation of the Study

Kurmin Gwaza district is located between Latitude 90 54’ 04 “N and Longitude70 55’37”E in the Western parts of Kachia local government area of Kaduna State. The area is bordered by Ankwa district to the West, on the South by Kwaturu district, on the East by Mazuga district and Gumel district on the North. Kurmin Gwaza district is under Ham chiefdom and the chiefdom is made up of several district such as Nok district, Kwaturu, Kurmin Gwaza, Sabon Sarki, Kurmin Musa, Gidan Tagwai, Gidan Jibir, Jaban Kogo (Dung), Gidan Gyara, Gidan Mana, Ankunng, Bitaro, Chori, Daddu, Dura, Fada, Fai, Foghei, Kurmin Jatau, Ngumkparo, Sabon Garin Kwoi, Samban, Sabzuro and Ungwan Rana district but this research limits itself to Kurmin Gwaza District. The choice of 2001-2017 has a political significance since it falls within fifth decade of Nigeria’s independence as well as 4th Republic. The year 2001 was a milestone to the existence of settlement as well as a turning point in the history of communities that made of the area namely Ungwan Wuje, Kurmin Gwaza, Ramin Kura (Jir-Muri), Ungwan Tama (Har-Gyak), Ungwan Shaho (Har-Mopyo), Kongo (Fu-Ridun), UngwanGizago and Bonjok because it was during the year these settlement were brought together as a District.

The year 2017 is a terminal date for the research because it was that period (year) that the Kaduna State Government suspend all the district that were created in 2001 and Kurmin Gwaza district was not inception. The major problem and limitation facing this research is insufficient written sources, this is because Kurmin Gwaza is a newly created district and therefore, there is inadequate written record. Hence, the work would largely rely on oral sources. Some of the in formats to provide relevant information on the subject matter were either dead or had left the district to another location, therefore reaching them was seemingly impossible as well as scanty sources have all hindered the ability of the researcher in the course of making the research. Nevertheless, the work will utilize the little available information to be obtained from the members of Kurmin Gwaza district involving the traditional title holders, district head, village heads, parents as well as custodians of the norms.

1.6       Research Methodology

The research adopts inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches to historical analysis. This is because, as Mallam noted, “there is a recurring agreement that the history of most African societies can best be reconstructed through the combined use of insights from archaeology, linguistics, anthropology and other disciplines”.[5] Thus in addition to the insights from the above discipline, this dissertation draws insights from economic, agricultural sciences, geography, sociology and political science. This enable us grasp and understand the prime issues in evolution and development for a holistic analysis. However the challenges encountered with inter and multidisciplinary method is the difficult of collecting, interpreting, evaluating and analyzing the facts for historical reconstruction. These challenges were surmounted through direct consultation and reliance on advice and interpretation of the facts by experts in those other fields and disciplines effective historical reconstruction.

Because of how central objectivity is to historical analysis, the researcher will try to be analytical and critical in the collection of data, its interpretation and analysis for reconstructing the history of evolution and development of Kurmin Gwaza district, 2001-2017. As a methodology, the researcher tries to be objective in the collection, interpretation and analysis of his data, for the purpose of reconstructing the evolution and development of Kurmin Gwaza district during the period under examination. To this end, conscious and conscientious efforts are made in gathering the evidence or sources as much as practicable and available. The researcher makes conscious and realistic efforts to avoid the negative influence of the society on the dissertation as he avoid also any distortion, misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the evidence before him.[6]

In explaining the subject matter, the researcher employs the narrative, descriptive methods in presenting the information gathered. Both Oral and Written records will be applied in this study. Interview will be conducted with about 29 number of people his Royal Highness the district head of Kurmin Gwaza District HRH Dangana Sarki, Gregory Shaho, Mango Mallam, Shehu Handan and Mallam Takobi among others and written sources gathered from relevant studies earlier conducted on the Kachia area which will help navigate the work properly.

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