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Katagum

KATAGUM, the sub-province of the double province of Kano in the British protectorate of Northern Nigeria. It lies approximately between 11 and 13 N. and 8 20' and 10 40' E. It is bounded N. by the French Sudan, E. by Bornu, S. by Bauchi, and W. by Kano. Katagum consists of several small but ancient Mahommedan emirates Katagum, Messau, Gummel, Hadeija, Machena, with a fringe of Bedde pagans on its eastern frontier towards Bornu, and other pagans on the south towards Bauchi. The Waube flows from Kano through the province via Hadeija and by Damjiri in Bornu to Lake Chad, affording a route for the transport of goods brought by the Zungeru-Zaria-Kano railway to the headquarters of Katagum and western Bornu. Katagum is a fertile province inhabited by an industrious people whose manufactures rival those of Kano.

In ancient times the province of Katagum formed the debateable country between Bornu and the Hausa states. Though Mahommedan it resisted the Fula invasion. Its northern emirates were for a long time subject to Bornu, and its customs are nearly assimilated to those of B ornu. The province was taken under administrative control by the British in October 1903. In 1904 the capitals of Gummel, Hadeija, Messau and Jemaari, were brought into touch with the administration and native and provincial courts established. At the beginning of 1 905 Katagum was incorporated as a sub-province with the province of Kano, and the administrative organization of a double province was extended over the whole. Hadeija, which is a very wealthy town and holds an important position both as a source of supplies and a centre of trade, received a garrison of mounted infantry and became the capital of the sub-province.

Hadeija was an old Habe town and its name, an evident corruption of Khadija, the name of the celebrated wife and first convert of Mahomet, is a strong presumption of the incorrectness of the Fula claim to have introduced Islam to its inhabitants. The ruling dynasty of Hadeija was, however, overthrown by Fula usurpation towards the end of the 18th century, and the Fula ruler received a flag and a blessing from Dan Fodio at the beginning of his sacred war in the opening years of the 19th century. Nevertheless the habit of independence being strong in the town of Hadeija the little emirate held its own against Sokoto, Bornu and all comers. Though included nominally within the province at Katagum it was the boast of Hadeija that it had never been conquered. It had made nominal submission to the British in 1903 on the successful conclusion of the Kano-Sokoto campaign, and in 1905, as has been stated, was chosen as the capital of the sub-province. The emir's attitude became, however, in the spring of 1906 openly antagonistic to the British and a military expedition was sent against him. The emir with his disaffected chiefs made a plucky stand but aRer five hours' street fighting the town was reduced. The emir and three of his sons were killed, and a new emir, the rightful heir to the throne, who had shown himself in favour of a peaceful policy, was appointed. The offices of the war chiefs in Hadeija were abolished and 150 yards of the town wall were broken down.

Slave dealing is at an end in Katagum. The military station at Hadeija forms a link in the chain of British forts which extends along the northern frontier of the protectorate. (See NIGERIA.)

(F. L. L.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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