BIDA: Political History Of Nupe Kingdom

BIDaa Political History Of Nupe Kingdom, Nupe People Nupe Imperialism, Old Nupe Kingdom, Sallah Day , Ndayako Etsu Nupe


The story of the Niger Company campaign has been often written in Book of S.F Nadel.

Political History Of Nupe Kingdom

Between 1870 and 1890 the Royal Niger Company had established trading-posts all along the river, its northernmost posts being situated on Nupe territory.
Shortly after the accession of Abubakari trouble broke out in the south of Nupe kingdom, in what is to-day Kabba Province, where the Yagba and Gbira had revolted against Nupe suppression.

The Niger Company, which had many important trading-posts in this part of the country, promised them protection from Bida.
Etsu Abubakari, no friend of the white man, decided to kill two birds with one stone, to ‘pacify’ Kabba country and to oust the hated Europeans.
He moved his army south, under the command of Maku Mohamadu.

But the latter, who nursed a grievance against the Etsu for having refused his claim to the title of Heir Presumptive, made a pact with the British; in exchange for the promise of Sir William Wallace, who commanded the Niger Company troops, to make him Etsu of Nupe, he agreed to keep his army out of the fight.

The Kyedye, always ready to revolt against the central government, manned their canoes, placed them at the disposal of the Niger Company and, under the command of a gunboat, undertook to guard the river so that no reinforcements should reach the beleaguered capital.

The Niger Company troops marched on a city depleted of soldiers and arms. After twelve days’ fighting the stubborn resistance of Bida was broken.
Abubakari was deposed, and Mohamadu, Sir William Wallace’s ally, appointed Etsu.

The chief of the Kyedye was rewarded with the grant of the semi-independent status which his country had lost under the Fulani, and was placed directly under the authority of the Niger Company (a prerogative which was later withdrawn).

Moreover, acceding to the request of the Kyedye Chief, Patigi, the territory on the southern bank of the Niger opposite the Kyedye capital Muregi, was detached from Bida and given, as a separate Emirate, to Idirisu, the exiled Nupe king of the Jimada branch, who had been living in Bida as the ‘guest’ (hostage, in reality) of the Fulani Kings.

The Niger Company and later its successor, the Government of Northern Nigeria, continued for some time this policy of breaking up the too dangerous big Nupe kingdom.

Kolo Yisa, a grandson of the exiled Majiya, had thought of using the defeat of Bida for his own ends.
” But the British, by this time firmly established, helped Mohamadu, brought him back to Bida, and sent Abubakari back to Lokoja, where shortly afterwards he died in exile.

Mohamadu died in 1915, succeeded by Etsu Bello, 1915-26, Etsu Mallam Saidu, 1926-34, and finally the present Etsu, Mallam Mohamadu Ndayako.

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