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Kebbi state was one of the states carved out and created by the government of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. The state was created on the 27th of August 1991 out of Sokoto State. It lies in Northwestern Nigeria. It became part of the great Songhai Empire in the fifteenth century. Below are some of the interesting facts on Kebbi state:
- It has a total area of 36,229 sq km² making it the 10th largest in Nigeria.
- The state has Sudan and Sahel Savannah vegetation. This unique blend of terrain has the southern part of the state as rocky and the northern part as sandy.
- The Rima River flows from the northern part of the state and empties into the Niger River in the south part of the state.
- Bagudo Local Government Area is the largest and it is where the Rima River empties into the River Niger.
- Kebbi State is bordered by Sokoto State to the North and East, Niger State to the South, Dosso Region in the Republic of Niger to the North-west and the Republic of Benin to the West.
- Kebbi State is divided into 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and has four emirate councils (Gwandu, Argungu, Yauri and Zuru).
- A large percentage of the people are farmers. Major crops include millet, wheat, guinea corn, rice, onion, groundnut, cotton. Animal husbandry is also practised.
- Kebbi state has substantial deposits of gypsum, marble, kaolin.
- Though the state is mainly populated by the Hausa people. There are other ethnic groups such as: Fulani, Bussawa, Dakarkari, Kambari, Dukawa, Kamuku, and Kabawa.
- Germache Shrine is a shrine close to Zuru in Zuru Local Government Area. The shrine is located in an environment surrounded by thick trees and has crocodiles. It is a place of worship for the locals.
- The tomb of Abdullahi Fodio, the brother of Sheikh Usman Danfodio (jihadist of 19th century and founder of Sokoto Caliphate) is located at Gwandu, Gwandu Local Government Area.
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- Abdullahi Fodio also participated in the Jihad; he was the founder of Gwandu Empire. Like his brother, he was a writer as well.
- Kebbi state has at least two major festivals: the Argungu fishing festival and the Uhola festival.
- The Argungu Fishing Festival is an annual four day festival in Argungu, Kebbi state. During the festival, thousands of fishermen engage in a fishing expedition (that last for one hour on the last day). At the sound of a gunshot, they all enter the Matan Fada River carrying their traditional nets and gourds. The fisherman with the biggest fish wins.
- Other cultural activities during the festival include regatta, cultural dances, drama, motor-rally and archery.
- The event dates back to before 1934, but in 1934 it became an officially recognised festival. It has since become an international event.
- In 2006 fishing was not allowed during the festival due to safety concerns about low water levels.
- The festival has been cancelled twice in a succession because of political reasons (2011 and 2012).
- The Uhola Festival holds in the Zuru Emirate.
- It is a yearly festival of thanksgiving to God for his generosity and protection against diseases, wars, small harvests.
- The ceremony features dance, music, wrestling, art and crafts. The festival takes about 4 days after weeks of preparations that include fattening of boys and girls, cleaning of houses, shrines and the environment.
- The festival also marks the transition to adulthood of boys and girls.
- Karishi town is situated around Sakaba town in Sakaba Local Government. This settlement is a traditional one and the people there still hold to the traditional beliefs and customs. The town is in a rocky region and the people still maintain their ancient defence boundaries. Their ruler is seen once a year by his subject during their annual festival. He is seen as a god by his people.
- The Kanta Museum was a palace before it was turned into a museum in 1958, and houses the relics of Kebbi rulers from the time of Kanta the founder of the Kebbi Empire. It is located in the old section of Argungu town.
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