Posted by on 1/29/2003 1:08:16 PM

Ethnic Groups: Bomo State is quite heteroe, geneous. The Kanuri is the dominant ethnic group aand accounts for about threequarters of the popust lation of the state. The Kanuris inhabit Abadam, sMobbar, Gubio, Guzamala, Kukawa, Nganzai, er Monguno, Marte, Ngala, KalaBalga, Dikwa, Bama, '3 Konduga, Mafa, Kaga, Magumeri, Damboa and o, Maiduguri LGAs. Other ethnic groups are Babur?d Bura, Shuwa, Marghi, Fulani, Hausa, Gamergu, or Kanakuru, Chibok, Ngoshe, Guduf, Mandara, Tera oand several other smaller groups.

BaburBura are found in Biu, Hawul, KwayaKusar, Bayo and Shani LGAs. The Marghis have their homes in Askira/Uba in and parts of Gwoza LGAs. The Mandara of Gwoza ie LGA is made up of several ethnic subgroups.

The Chibok, another minority group, inhabit the newly as created Chibok LGA. The Shuwas form the dominant group and inhabit Mafa, rural Jere, Marte, Monguno, Dikwa, Ngala and KalaBalge LGAs and also form a significant minority in Bama and Konduga LGAs. The Hausas are mainly in Askira and Maiduguri. Nomadic herdsmen of varied origin are classified as Fulani. They are found in small 30 numbers in all the LGAs in the state


Thirty languages could be considered indigenous languages of the state. Kanuri is the dominant language. The languages of the original inhabitants such as the Gamergu and Wula are nearly extinct due to "kanurization." Conscious or unconscious "kanurization" is still in progress.

A dialect of Arabic is spoken by the Shuwa Arabs. The Marghis of Damboa have lost their language and now speak only Kanuri. Hausa and Fulfulde have the majority of their speakers outside the state. Others, like the Marghi and Mandara languages, are spoken by groups with cultural links with Cameroun.

Culture and Arts:

Arabic culture and arts have influenced, and in some cases, replaced the culture and arts of the inhabitants. Islam is the religion of most of the inhabitants of the state. Islamic laws, customs and dress are pervasive and in most cases have supplanted native laws, customs, beliefs and dress.

Population Structure and Distribution:

Provisional figures from the 1991 census (Table 8.1) show that the state has a total population of 2,596,589; and that males outnumber females by 58,033. The 1999 projected population data at the national annual growth rate of 2.8 per cent are also shown in Table 8.1. The projected population figures currently put the population of the state at 3,178,225. Although the state has a large land area (69,435 sq. km), it is sparsely populated.

Average population density is only thirtyseven persons per sq. km. (estimated at fortysix persons per sq. km in 1999). Apart from Maiduguri with very high density, only the southern LGAs have moderate densities. The low densities can be explained by harsh climate conditions which afflict a greater part of the state.

Urban and Rural Development and Pattern of Settlement:

A rapid rate of urbanisation is evident in the state, based on the growth of old urban centres and the emergence of new ones. Maiduguri, in the 1963 census, had a population of 139,905. The 1991 census puts the figure at 629,486, implying an annual growth rate of 12.06 percent (196391).

The creation of new LGAs has added momentum to the urbanisation process in the state. Borno State Government classifies as urban all its LGA headquarters and commercial centres with a projected population of over 20,000 inhabitants (Borno State, 1989). Rapid and unregulated expansion of all the urban centres in the state has brought about the emergence of slums, poor sanitation and pressure on services (housing, water and electricity).

In Urban flooding is now a common phenomenon in most urban centres in years with more than average rainfall. Ruralrural migration is also significant and this is mainly to the Lake Chad shores and the wetter LGAs to the south.

Rural development in Borno hinges on agriculture which is the mainstay of the economy. Because of the short rainy season and its attendant short rainfed cropping season, efforts geared towards achieving agricultural development include the establishment of the Chad Basin Development Authority (CBDA), the Borno State Agricultural Development Programme (BOSADP), the NorthEast Arid Zone Development Programme (NEAZDP) and the State Ministry of Agriculture. The CBDA is now more of a white elephant project and unable to facilitate commercial agriculture.

Because the main obstacle to agricultural production is inadequate rainfall, irrigation is emphasised and the provision of water pumps is pursued to increase production. There has been a water pump revolution in irrigation which has made the ancient shadoof system obsolete. However, skeletal shadoof irrigation still survives in remote locations, where dry season farming is carried out on a small scale.

under ground water is near to the surface have influenced the location of settlements. Consequently, people settle in widely dispersed nucleated villages and hamlets. The size of a settlement is determined mainly by the quantity of available allseason underground water. Rural settlements are often relocated due to the depletion of underground water during the dry season.

A typical Kanuri settlement is fully enclosed by individual compound fences, with the main wide entrance to the village which is called "danda", terminating at the village head's house which faces west. Compounds in Shuwa settlements are not enclosed even when the compounds are juxtaposed to those of the Kanuri in the same village or hamlet.

Consequently, there is some element of segregation in all KanuriShuwa settlements. Linear settlements dominate in minority ethnic group areas in the south where relief and roads influence the location and morphology of settlements.

Problem of Urban Primacy:

Spatial distribution of power has continued to influence the growth and development of urban systems in the state. Maiduguri is a primate city. The primacy developed because Maiduguri was first the capital of Borno Province (190267), later capital of Northeastern State (19671976), and has remained as the state capital.

It has, during these years, been the focus of government, employment and trade; as well as the gateway to Chad, the Northern Province of Cameroun and the Diffa Province of Niger. These agglomeration economies, developed over the years, have enabled Maiduguri to draw more people from far and near at the expense of other urban centres in the state. Bama, the next in rank, has been the seat of the Dikwa Emirate since 1939.

The population of Bama urban is less than twenty per cent that of Maiduguri. The designation of LGA headquarters as urban centres, the decentralisation of services to the LGAs, and the creation of Yobe State, with its capital at Damaturu, have combined to ease the pressure on Maiduguri.

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