Friday, March 29, 2019



Lafiagi, the headquarters of Edu Local Government Area in Kwara State is located on the Southern bank of the river Niger, and Northern part of Kwara State, Nigeria.
About 1800, Mallams Aliu Wari, Maliki and Manzuma together with some Fulani Cattle owners came from Machina located somewhere to the North East of the present sokoto Country to settle at Bijangi, a village situated between Lafiagi and Likpata. At that time, Lafiagi was a small village inhabited by Nupe fishermen and farmers under sokiara Mangoro as their Chief. The Settlement was part of the ancient Nupe Kingdom.

The Fulani’s lived peacefully at Bijangi attending to their cattle while some of their sons including Mallam Maliki and Manzuma learnt to read and write under Mallam Aliu Wari, an Islamic scholar.
It was at the same time that Mallam Dendo (Manko) from Bangana (Gwandu Country) arrived Nupe Country as an itinerant Mallam propagating Islam. At a time he became Mallam to the Nupe Etsu Majiya at Raba.

History of lafiagi

Around 1806-07, two years after the capture of Alkawa and proclamation of Jihad by Shehu Usman Dan Fodio, Mallam Aliu Wari sent Mallam Maliki to salute the Shehu. At sifawa in the then Sokoto Province, Shehu Usman Dan Fodio gave a flag and authority to Mallam Maliki to wage war and conquer the Nupe while propagating Islam in the Southern bank of the River Niger.
When the flag was handed over to Mallam Aliu Wari due to him being an old man, he returned the flag to Mallam Maliki with the instruction to gather his followers and carry out Jihad in the region. Shortly after handing down the instruction, Mallam Aliu Wari died at Bijangi and was survived by a son called Ismaila.

The Fulanis, under Maliki and Manzuma had their first war encounter with the Nupes under Etsu Jimada and defeated them at both Maigeri and Lade at about 1807. They proceeded to Ragada where they defeated the Nupes once again.  Etsu Jimada was killed but his son Idrisu who succeeded him fled to Kpada.

Shortly after, Etsu Majiya at Raba organized series of raids on the Fulanis and Etsu Idirisu. The Fulanis under Maliki and Mazuma and the Fulanis unde Dendo then in Sakama (Tsaragi) area all fled to Ilorin about 1808 under Alimi, the chief Fulani Mallam. Etsu Majiya proceeded with his army to Ilorin and pitched his camp near Sobi Hill. His army was forced to beat a retreat at Sobi and was pursued to Jebba where he made his escape across the River Niger.

Between 1808-1809, upon their return from Ilorin, Manzuma and Maliki decided to search for a suitable place in Majiya’s country to build their permanent settlement. However in the quest for settlement, they did not cross the River Niger but found Lafiagi a suitable place and decided to make it their permanent base. This was about 1810 and Lafiagi ceased to be part of the ancient Nupe (Tsoede) Kingdom.

Emir of Lafiagi


In 1824 when Mallam Mailiki, after living in Lafiagi for 14years died, his son Aliyu was a minor. He however claimed the throne but lost out to Mallam Manzuma who being the uncle of Mallam Maliki, elderly and with his supporters being the stronger party, was enthroned as the Emir of Lafiagi.
The paraphernalia of office was obtained from Emir of Gwandu Abdullahi for his installation as the first Emir of Lafiagi.

However, installation of Mallam Manzuma embitters Aliyu, the son of Mallam Maliki, to the extent that he decided to leave the town. He had the support of Mayaki Amadi, who due to fear could not lead Maliki’s force jointly with Ilorin forces led by Mayaki Doshe to pursue Etsu Majiya’s forces that invade Ilorin. Aliyu therefore left Lafiagi with the coward Mayaki Amadi with about one Hundred and Fifty (150) horsemen to Tsonga which was at that time a small Nupe village. The village of Tsonga was built by them and Aliyu the son of Maliki was made Sarkin Tsonga.
Lafiagi Emirate, during the reign of Mallam Manzuma, covered Lafiagi District, and Oke-Ode inhabited by the Igbominas

The domineering influences of Manzuma at the first Emir of Lafiagi threatened the authority of Etsu Nupe Idrisu, whose father Etsu Nupe Jimada was earlier killed by Mallam Manzuma. He had the support of, and was in fact further instigated by Mayaki Amadi who was at Tsonga with Aliyu, Sarkin Tsonga.

About three years after, Aliyu and Amadi had left Lafagi for Tsonga, Etsu Idrisu, leading Nupe forces to attack Lafiagi, sacked the inhabitants and burnt the town. But Mallam Manzuma escaped to Ilorin. He was however able to return to Lafiagi after the defeat of Etsu Nupe Idrisu who attacked Mallam Dendo in 1830. Mallam Manzuma on his return placed representatives (Hakims) in all important Nupe settlements under his jurisdiction to forestall any further rebellion.

Back on the throne at Lafiagi, Mallam Manzuma reached an agreement with Mamman Majiya the son of Mallam Dendo (then demised) on the division of Nupe Country in 1832.
As a result of the agreement, Lafiagi territory extended from River Oyi next to Ora, Oke-Ode, was on the South, Egbe, River Niger on the North, excluding Oro which later became fief of Aliyu, Sarkin Tsonga.

In order to pacify Aliyu, the son of Maliki, Emir of Lafiagi, Mallam Manzuma, on his return from Ilorin where he helped to wade off the aggression of Oyo and Borgu armies went to Tsonga. In his frank discussion with Aliyu, he assured that the kingmakers will be requested to install Aliyu as the Emir of Lafiagi after his demise. But he also obtained the agreement of Aliyu to install his son Abdulkadir, as Shaaba of Lafiagi, to which Aliyu consented.

In 1832 when Manzuma died, Aliyu was invited from Tsonga and installed the second Emir of Lafiagi by the kingmakers. He did not put Tsonga under anybody’s care which invariably means Aliyu was also administering Tsonga in Pari-Pasu from Lafiagi.

Emir Aliyu Malik reneges on his promise to install Abdulkadir, Son of Manzuma as Shaaba Lafiagi. Instead, Aliyu installed his younger brother Nuhu, as the Shaaba Lafaigi. This action expectedly, did not go well with Abdulkadir Manzuma.

When the installation of Usman Zaki as Etsu at Raba in 1833 did not go down well with Masaba, the youngest brother, he revolted and fled to Lafiagi. Aliyu, the Emir of Lafiagi refused to welcome Masaba but Abdulkadir did and even escorted him to Lade to settle there. To reward the magnanimity of Abdulkadir, hardly has Masaba settled down at Lade that he sent words to Emir of Gwandu that Aliyu was not fit to rule Lafiagi. His words were accepted, Aliyu was dethroned and in his stead, Abdulkadir Manzuma was installed Emir of Lafiagi. Aliyu had to return to Tsonga in 1834 to continue as its ruler for the second time.

Emirs of Lafiagi
List of past Emirs of Lafiagi

Relationship between Abdulkadir Manzuma and Masaba however became strained around 1840 when Masaba instigated a serious Nupe revolt led by Etsu Tsado against his brother Etsu Usman Zaki because Emir Abdulkadir of Lafiagi refused to raise an army to support Masaba. He instead linked up with Emir of Ilorin for support for Etsu Usman Zaki but before their arrival at Raba the town had been sacked and Etsu Usman zaki fled to Agaei. The Emirs of Lafiagi and Ilorin returned to Ilorin until dispute was resolved by Emir Halilu of Gwandu. It is necessary to state that attempts by Etsu Usman Usman Zaki to assume the title of Etsu Nupe was the remote cause the revolt by the Nupes.
Thus Abdulkadir of Lafiagi returned in 1844 but Etsu Usman Zaki had been replaced by Masaba since the Nupes revolted his recall to the throne.

Etsu Masaba who relocated from the devastated Raba Lade continued his hostility against Emir abdulkadir of Lafiagi with the connivance of Shaaba Usmanu, a brother to Abdulkadir, and other willing supporters in the town, Masaba launched an attack and sacked Abdulkadir with the promise of installing the Shaaba. While abdulkadir fled to Ilorin, Masaba reneged in his promise to Shaaba Usmanu, and, instead recalled aliyu Maliki from Tsonga in 1845 and returned him to the throne of Lafiagi as the Emir for the second time.

In 1847, Mayaki Uma, commander of Masaba army with the connivance of Shaaba Usmanu, the aggrieved brother of the deposed Emir abdulkadir Manzuma and, Etsu Maza of Zugurma marched on Lade, sacking Etsu Masaba who fled southwards. Shaaba Usmanu pursued and caught up with Etsu Masaba, but refused to kill him. Shaaba Usmanu was contented with seeing him humiliated.
Unfortunately, Shaaba Usmanu lost his life in the ensuing encounter.
In 1856, Aliyu returned to Tsonga as Sarkin Tsonga after the defeat and the killing of Mayaki Uma by the combined Fulani and Nupe forces under Umaru Majigi

Abdulkadir Manzuma was therefore once more confirmed and reinstated as Emir of Lafiagi.
In 1868, Ibrahim Halilu was installed the Emir of Lafiagi and reigned for fourteen years. He was succeeded by his brother Aliyu 1882.

During Aliyu’s reign, Lafiagi became a theatre of war involving Bida forces until 1884 when the news of the death of Etsu Umar Majigi reached them, and Yerima Maliki who led the Bida forces was instantly enthroned as Emir of Bida at Lafiagi. Although Aliyu returned to Lafiagi, and got his throne back, he lost some part of his territory in the post conflict settlement.

After the death of Aliyu in 1891, Abdulrahim, the last of Mallam Manzuma children was enthroned as the Emir, and ruled for about one and a half years.

The next Emir was Ahmadu, the son of Emir Abdulkadir who voluntarily signed treaty with the British. He therefore voluntarily put Lafiagi under the protection of the British. Thus Lafiagi fell under Colonial rule.

Emir Ahmadu died in 1915 and his son Muhammadu Bello succeeded him as the next Emir in 1915.
After Mohammed Bello’s long and eventful reign, he was succeeded by Abubakar Kawu in 1945. During his reign, Oke Ode was transferred to Ilorin on ethnic consideration, while Tsonga and Tsaragi were also ceded to Lafiagi on the same basis. Abubakar Kawu reigned from 1945 to 1949 and was succeeded by Etsu Maliki who reigned between 1949 – 1951.

Abubakar Cecesko was installed as the Emir of Lafiagi in 1951 – 1961
In 1961, Mallam Umaru Oke-Ode was appointed as the Emir of Lafiagi, reigning between 1961 and 1975. An avid administrator and selfless leader, Lafiagi during his time witnessed stability, economic, social and political progress as well as educational advancement. He was succeeded by the current Emir, Mai Martaba, Alh. Saadu Kawu Haliru (OFR).

The current and 13th Emir of Lafiagi, Alhaji Saadu Kawu Haliru, the son of Haliru Lukpan and grandson of Muhammadu Bello, the 8th Emir of Lafiagi, was born on 20th April 1935. He was appointed to succeed late Emir Umaru Oke-Ode on 21st October, 1975.

genealogical dynasty of lafiagi
A chat showing genealogical dynasty of lafiagi

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