Yobe State
is one Nigerian state that scarce makes the news, yet it is full of vibrant
people and vibrant ways of life. Apart from the regular acts of terror
unleashed on the state by Boko Haram insurgents, not much about the state: not
the people, not the politics, not the culture, makes it to mainstream national
To enhance
discussion of this gigantic north-eastern state, I introduce you to the different
people of Yobe State, their histories, their traditions, and where they live in
Yobe State.

1. Kanuri

The Kanuri
are the largest tribes in Yobe State. There are over 6 million of them

2. Ngizim

The Ngizim,
or Ngizmawa live in Yobe State and some parts of Jigawa State. They speak the
Ngizim language.
The Ngizim
are the founders of Potiskum, the largest town in Yobe State. The Emir of
Potiskum is the paramount ruler and spiritual head of the Ngizim.
There are
over 150,000 Ngizim in Yobe State.

3. Karai-Karai

The Karai
Karai or KareKare are one of the largest tribes in Yobe State. They are found
in Fika and Nangere local government areas of Yobe State, as well as in Bauchi
State in Gamawa and Misau local government areas, and in Gombe State in Dukku
local government area.
There are
over 350,000 Karai-Karai people nationwide, with around 97% of them being
adherents of the Islamic religion.

4. Bolewa

In Yobe
State, the Bolewa are found in Fika local government area. They speak the Bole
language, and are predominantly Muslims.
The Bolewa
are believed to have left Yemen a little after 940 AD. They were thought to be
of hemanic origin, and historical collections relate them to have been one
branch of the Kwararafa group.

5. Bade

The Bade
are found in Jakusko, Bursari and Karasuwa local government areas of Yobe
State, as well as in Guri local government area of Jigawa State and Zaki local
government area of Bauchi State.
Most Bade
people are farmers, however they usually practice some other occupation during
the dry season.
The Bade
people speak the Bade language, which has three major dialects namely: Western
Bade, Gashua Bade and Southern Bade.
There are
over 300,000 Bade, 98% of whom are adherents of the Islamic religion.

6. Hausa

The Hausas
are one of the biggest tribes in Yobe State, and of course Nigeria.

7. Ngamo

The Ngamo
of Yobe State are found in Fika local government area.
people are estimated to be around 110,000, majority of whom are adherents of
native religions.

8. Shuwa

The Shuwa
Arabs are commonly referred to as “Baggara”. This name is derived
from the Arabic word bagar, meanng “cow” and refers to the Arab
tribes in West Africa who are cattle herders.
They are
spread from the Lake Chad region eastward to the Nile River in the countries of
Sudan, Niger, Chad, Cameroun, the Central African Republic and Nigeria.
In Nigeria,
the Shuwa Arab are found in Borno and Yobe States where their location is
determined by the movement of their livestock.
There are
over 300,000 Shuwa Arabs in Nigeria, 99% of whom are muslims.

9. Fulani

Fulani tribesmen are found in large number in Yobe State.

10. Margi

The Marghi,
also known as Uba are found in Askira-Uba local government area of Borno State,
as well as in Mubi and Michika local government areas of Adamawa State, and
also in Yobe State.

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