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Traditional Wall of Zaria City Kaduna State, Nigeria as a Source of Information for Defense and War Strategy

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SANI, Aliyu Soba (Ph.D)1, BASHIR Aliyu Tsafe (M.A)2, DAHIRU, Hussaini Sankalawa (M.A) DA3, and AMINU, Muhammed Maidala’ilu (B.A)4

1, 2 & 3 School of Secondary Education (Languages), Department of Hausa Language, Federal College of Education (Technical) Gusau, Zamfara State, Nigeria

4 School of Secondary Education (Languages), Department of Arabic Language Federal College of Education (Technical) Gusau, Zamfara State, Nigeria

Ganuwar Zazzau

Abstract

This paper studies the significance and impacts of the traditional wall of Zaria city of Kaduna state, Nigeria as a traditional innovative source of information for defense and war strategyThe study is based on survey research design. The population of the study consist of 28 makes the population of the study by the means of purposive sampling technique. A self-structured four likert scale questionnaire with 11 items was used as an instrument for data collection from respondents. The instrument was validated by three experts who found it valid for the study after making some correctionsThe findings of this study revealed that 20, representing (71%) of the respondents have strongly agreed that Ganuwa (Defence Wall) provides security to the environs where it was situated. 28, representing (100%) of the respondents made it clear that the essence of building the brick wall was to shield residences and households. 19, representing (68%) out of the respondents revealed that the presence of brick wall and its   custodians has greatly helped in monitoring all those who go in and out of Zaria, 18 representing (64%) out of the total number of respondents Ganuwa/City Wall is a source of generating internal revenue28 representing (100%) out of the total number of respondents  strongly agreed that Ganuwa/ City Wall protects the town from wild animal that can kill humans or destroy farm lands.

Implication: Recommendations includes: Government should re-erect all the collapsed Defence Wall in an around the state for the security of people and their properties, more fund should be provides to Emirates in the state to help them maintain Defence Wall in all nock and crannies.

Keywords: Information, Defence Wall, District heads, Security

Introduction

A defensive wall is a fortification usually used to protect a city, town or other settlement from potential aggressors. The walls can range from simple palisades or earthworks to extensive military fortifications with towers, bastions and gates for access to the city. From ancient to modern times, they were used to enclose settlements. Generally, these are referred to as city walls or town walls, although there were also walls, such as the Great Wall of ChinaWalls of BeninHadrian's WallAnastasian Wall, and the Atlantic Wall, which extended far beyond the borders of a city and were used to enclose regions or mark territorial boundaries. In mountainous terrain, defensive walls such as Letzis were used in combination with castles to seal valleys from potential attack. Beyond their defensive utility, many walls also had important symbolic functions – representing the status and independence of the communities they embraced. Existing ancient walls are almost always masonry structures, although brick and timber-built variants are also known. Depending on the topography of the area surrounding the city or the settlement the wall is intended to protect, elements of the terrain such as rivers or coastlines may be incorporated in order to make the wall more effective (Maxwel, 2019).

            One of the fundamental purpose of constructing a brick wall in the Zariya is to provide security.  In the ancient time Zazzau came under series of attacks from its numbering enemies and emeirons largely to the discovery of some national resources in Zazzau land prominent among which is the pressure of iron are in the land. Ganuwa Zaria has provided security to the people against invaders at all times.  The was equally a very deep hole around the wall which make it difficult to cross and penetrate to the city.  The presence of brick wall and its   custodians has greatly helped in motoring all those who go in and out of Zaria and in generating internal revenue and protected the town from wild Animal that can kill humans or destroy farm lands. Invaders from Ningi Kataf Kaje Nimzaru were mainly denied access to Zariya due to the protection provided by the Brick wall.  Also the Ganuwa has reduced to the barest minimum the attacks from Kano and Katsina invaders the Brick wall has provided trading opportunity due to the coming of traders from other parts of Hausa Land (Masud, 2018).

            This research attempts to bring to line light how the  ancient people traditionally derviced  ways of secuirty of their lives and property against any threat of enemies and intruders with the construction of  very big and large and strong city wall known as ‘Ganuwa’ in Hausa language equally the research discuss goes further to  the origin of Zazzau kingdom and highlight the perception of other communities in Hausa land and other African counntries on significance of city wall fence as security strategy.  The paper explains the security relevance of “Ganuwa” in providing safety to the communities who erected them particularly in Zazzau kingdom.  Provision of security of life and properties of people is one of the cardinal principles of any leaders in the olden days and the present ones. One of the strategies used in the olden days rulers is Wall Defence or city wall, this is a structured developed by the entire community to protect community or city from enemies attack.

Purpose of the study

i.                    Identify effect of Traditional wall as a defense and war strategy

ii.                  State strategies to enhance Ganuwar Zaria

Scope of the study

     This study covered only an appraisal of traditional wall of zazzau as a defense and war strategy of Zaria city and its environs.

Literature review

Concept of ‘Ganuwa’ City Wall

Ganuwa known in English language as city wall is a wall erected by a community or city to serve as security guard to their community against any attack by enemy. Bargery (1993), describes Ganuwa as city Bick wall or fence erected round a particular village, city or community.  Specifically the Ganuwa in Zaria which is also tradde marked as ‘Ganuwar Amina’ becomes a source of reference. In his view, Newman (1997), simply sees Ganuwa as a wall erected round a given village of town.  However, this definition falls short in explaning Alhaji Rilwan Yahaya fate and Makaman Zazzau

Babba Alhaji Kasim Abdullahi, the all said corrobarated the aforementned etymology of work ‘Ganuwa’ that is the word “Ganuwa’ used by travellers tranform or derived to “Ganuwa”. Another view a big difference from the above orgnes that the word ‘Ganuwa’ is derived from the staric case or steps used as a ladda in climbing the local Brick wall especially by the local city guards to examine any enemy comin from a distance towards the town or any suspecious movement aganist the town.  As soon as they sighted any of these they used to say “An gano su” meaning they have been discovered later the local Brick wall was named ‘Ganuwa’ haveing  removed the infix suffux uwar as illustrated thus ‘Gan’ to to root word Gan suffix uwa=Ganuw.

            Ganuwar or local Brick wall is not a new thing in Hausa nd.  The art of local artery and building has been established tradition in Hausa and from time immemorial. Hausa people used to erect brick wall round the residence of their king or leaders while other houses erre sorrounded with corn-stalk fence it was thos practice that was improved by erecting a Brick wall round the city or town. Further to this is that the Hausa people used to call city Brick wall as “Kur rami” roughly translated as hyena in the ditch.  This makes reference to a local traps made to catch hyenas which used to rampage at right some a diametres are so round-fenced with a very deep ditech while a goat is tied close to the ditch as a pray to the means hyena.  The trapped hyena usually jumped to the ditch in attemp to attack the tied goat and eventually fell into the ditch and  later be killed by the its humtors its is this art that was improved into building a very big brick world instead of digging a ditch.

Ganuwa in Human Thought

            Ganuwa as a wall for city defence has been in existence and play a key role in securing community lives and properties. Sutton (1976), claims that the history of traditional Brick wall has within to became a reference point to the construction of city gates in the modern time and this dates back to the 4th century. A visible evidence of the use of ‘Ganuwa’ can be seen in the project of freeing part of River Tigns and a part of Asia which proves the significance of traditional brick wall.  Equally a similar demarcation through the erection of brick wall is found in Indian River Indian, China and United Kingdom in the African continent, there are well erected brick wall in Egypt, Zimbabwe and our country Nigeria.  In Yoruba land of Nigeria for instance the traditional brick wall is called ‘Onibode’ in western Nigeria there are a number of brick walls particularly in very old settlements.  These include the old Oyo, Ado Ekiti, Ofa, Ile-efe, Ogbomosho and Oshogbo.  In the southern part of Nigeria, there are also a number of brick walls in Benin, Owala and Mbari.  In all these, the main materials used for building the brick wall are clay and stones.  

Ganuwa in Some Parts of Hausa Land

            Any historical town has in the past face the threat of insecurity.  Brick wall is one of the issue of insecurity. Places like Daura, Kano, Katsina and others have used brick wall for a very long time as stated by Achi (1985)

                        “The Ganuwa in Daura has been erected since the

                        Emergence of the Hausa peole.  It was said that the

                        Brick wall was founded during the reign of Sarkin

                        Daura “Yantsawani who rules around 19th century.

                        This, what makes it the oldest traditional Birck wall

                        In the history of Hausa land Achi (1985).

            Katsina kingdom equally has one of the oldest traditional Brick wall Ganuwa as “Ganuwar Amin” i.e Amina Brick wall as expired further by Achi (1985).

                        “The Katsina traditional Brick wall was constructed

                        During the reign of Sarkin Katsina Ali Mirabus (1568-1572)

He was third in the Sarkin Kora Dynasty.  This came to light Towards the end of the 16th century when Leo Afrikanus visited Katsina in the year 1516, he also explained Songhai

Against Katsna without making any reference to the traditional

Brick wall of Katsina Achi (1985).

            The aware association proved that Traditional Brick wall is found not

Zazzau alone but in many parts of Nigeria Africa and parts of the world.

Origin of Zazzau Traditional Brick Wall

Suleiman explained what studies dinger said when he visited Zariya in the year 1880.

                        “The town is surrounded by brick wall made up clay

                        Known as ‘Ganuwa’ such wall need frequent repair

                        Work to counteract the erosive effect of the typical

                        Sun shine and torrential rains, a number of gates

                        (Kofa) gave entrance through the town walls and this

                        Could be closed with wooden doors and latches in each

                        Gatehouse, sat a few of the kings guards who levied a

Market of few carries for the wares brought by farmers of the districts.  However, we were not mandated to pay such a levy.  I didn’t have idea has much was being paid when leaving the town. (Suleman 2007).

            The Zazzau brick wall was constructed around 15 century with about 8 entrances to the town. The entrance include: Kofar Doka, Kofar KibaTukur-Tukur, Kofar Jatau, Kofar Kuyambana, Kofar Gayan, Kofar Galadima and Kofar Bai.  The 8th entrance was Kofar matasKwasa which was recently closed.  The reason was due to the fact that it was a founded after Sarkin Zazzau Mako broke the wall to enable him pick up his legendary sword known as Zazzau in the face of his defeat by jihadist he went-ahead to found the Suleja town.  Later the gate became shrine for the worship of ancestral a reason which led to its total closure by the subsequent ruler who was a Muslim.

Role of Ganuwa in Enhancing Security of the Zaria Town

            One of the fundamental purpose of constructing a brick wall in the Zariya is to provide security.  In the ancient time Zazzau came under series of attacks from its numbering enemies and environs largely to the discovery of some national resources in Zazzau land prominent among which is the pressure of iron are in the land. Ganuwa Zaria has provided security to the people against invaders at all times.  The was equally a very deep hole around the wall which make it difficult to cross and penetrate to the city.  The presence of brick wall and its   custodians has greatly helped in motoring all those who go in and out of Zaria and in generating internal revenue and protected the town from wild Animal that can kill humans or destroy farm lands. Invaders from Ningi Kataf Kaje Nimzaru were mainly denied access to Zariya due to the protection provided by the Brick wall.  Also the Ganuwa has reduced to the barest minimum the attacks from Kano and Katsina invaders the Brick wall has provided trading opportunity due to the coming of traders from other parts of Hausa Land.

SOME ZAZZAU BRICKWALLS AND THEIR LOCATION

            Zazzu has a special arrangement of people motioning the town or going out of it.  All these are monitored by custodians of the gates known as Wakilan Kofofi.  According to my findings, each gate was constructed for a species purpose and there are category or social class of people who pass through each gate especially during the reign of non-Fulani rulers known as Habe.

i.                    Kofar Doka:  There are conflicting views on the emergence of Kofar Doka.  The first view was that a particular tree found by the side of the gate called Doka tree from which the gate derives its name.  the second view hard that there were Doka trees which grew up that the Emirs place from which the gate got its name.

This Kofa serve as an important gate through which all visitors enter. It is situation opposite Kofar Gayan which a whole Sarkin Kofa a traditional ruler who appoints other representatives to oversee other gates across Zariya town.

ii.                  Kofar Gayan: Kofar Gayan originated from a river located in the southern of the gate.  The river is a very important one as it is almost the only source of water for drinking and other domestic purposes.  This gate is situated by the northern side of Kofar Doka visitors pass through it as an exit to the main Zariya town.

iii.               Kofar Kunyambana: this gate got its name from Kuyambana town located about 80 kilometres in the Northern part of Zariya.  This follows the conquest of Kuyambana town by Amina Sarauniya Zazzau who appointed her representative.  This gate source as a link between kuyambana town and Zariya, It was through this road that Kwararafa fighters followed to attack Zariya.  In the year 1532.

iv.               Kofar Tukur-Tukur (Kibo)

This gate got its name from Tukur-Tukur rock but in the 19th century the name of the gate changed to Kibo Gate from the word “Kiban”.  This indicated the war between Haruna of Ningi and Sarkin Zazzau Sambo (1987-1888 A.D) Suleman (2007).  The dominant weapon used were ‘Kiban’ that is arrow from which the gate got its name.  the name of the gate representative is Wakilin Kofar Kibo Maidala.

v.                  Kofar Jatau:- this gate derives its name from Sarkin Zazzau Jatau (1782-1802).  The second view has it that this gate was frequently followed by Sarkin Zazzau Jatau whenever going for hunting or coming back from hunting ( Umar, 2021).

Security

            According to Bargery (1993) explains security as security something or giving protection to something.  This definitions has greatly limited the scope of security to protecting something only thereby leaving and more circumstances that require security. Thus, Ganuwa i.e traditional Brick wall is one of such means of securing people and their environments to guarntee the safety of lives and property of individuals in the environment. Sa’ad (1987), opined that most Hausa communities usually erect the building around areas with large number of tree for security reasons because such areas are believed to be highly possessed by spirits and most Hausa people hold that such spirits give them special protection and safety against any enemy be it human or animals.  This is another indication that the ancient people made frantic effort to provide security to themselves and their environments.  In this effort the Zazzau people are certainly not left behind.

How to Improve the Ganuwar Zariya

            The only way to enhance security of Zaria town is to bring back the Ganuwa as it was before and indeed all other brick walls across our lands.  It is equally very important to erect or maintain city gates as they used to be.  Government in particular should provide fund for the rehabilitation of Ganuwar Zazzau and others in Hausa land.  It is quite disturbing that in 1990.  The United Kingdom under its British Council organization donated funds for the rehabilitation of Kano and Zariya City gates but when the rehabilitation started it later stopped with some of the gates left untouched without any known reason. Secondly there is need to bring back the provision of gates representatives or custodians that will the same roles of those who took care of the gates.  In the past, this will help in motoring the people’s movement in and out the city.  Equally the traditional rulers should provide for continuous maintained of the gates and the brick wall.   Stringent measures should be taken against those who destroy the brick wall and use it for constructing their own houses (Sabiu, 2018).

Research Methodology

The aims of the study was to survey information needs, information seeking behaviour of the local miners in some affected areas of lead poison in Anka and Maru Local Government Areas of Zamfara State, Nigeria. Survey research design was adopted for this research project: An appraisal of traditional wall of zazzau as a defense and war strategy. The population of this study comprises 28 respondents which includes Palace security of Zaria Emirate council some District Head in Zaria city, Kaduna state.  Purposive sampling techniques was used for the to sample only Palace Security and some District Head of Zaria Emirate, Kaduna state, Nigeria. The sample size are: 21 Palace security, 07 District heads. A self-structured questionnaire with two parts was used in collecting data from the respondents concern. (Part A of the questionnaire contained Bio-data and part B contained research questions). The questionnaire contained 12 items, modified likert four scale type was used as the responses option. The instrument was faced validated by three experts one from Measurement and Evaluation unit, School of Education, Federal College of Education (Technical) Gusau, Zamfara state and two from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. The instrument was administered to the respondents with the help of three research assistance who were trained on how to administer the instrument and interpret it where necessary. The instruments were retrieved after 11 days of administering.  The data collected were analysed using frequency percentage.

Data analysis

Research question 1: Effect of defence wall as a defense and war strategy

Instruction: Please tick the option you prefer guided by the key below:

SA: Strongly Agreed, A: Agree, Disagree, SD: Strongly Disagree

S/N

ITEMS

SA

A

SD

D

1.

Ganuwa (Defence Wall) provide security to the environs where it was situated

20(71%)

08(29%)

-

-

2.

The essence of building the brick wall is to shield Residences and house holds

28(100%)

     -

-

-

3.

Brick wall serves as a sheld for the animals and their immidiate sorroundings

28(100%)

      -

-

-

4.

The presence of brick wall and its   custodians has greatly helped in monitoring all those who go in and out of Zaria

19(68%)

09(32%)

-

-

5.

Ganuwa is a source of generating internal revenue

2(7%)

18(64%)

8(29%)

-

6.

Ganuwa protects the town from wild animal that can kill humans or destroy farm lands.

28(100%)

-

-

-

(Source: Field survey, 2021)

Table above shows that 20 representing (71%) of the respondents have strongly agreed that Ganuwa (Defence Wall) provide security to the environs where it was situated, 08 representing (29%) agreed. 28 representing (100%) of the respondents made it clear that the essence of building the brick wall is to shield Residences and house holds, 19 representing (68%) out of the respondents revealed that the presence of brick wall and its   custodians has greatly helped in monitoring all those who go in and out of Zaria, 18 representing (64%) out of the total number of respondents Ganuwa is a source of generating internal revenue28 representing (100%) out of the total number of respondents  strongly agreed that Ganuwa protects the town from wild animal that can kill humans or destroy farm lands.

The findings of this is in line with Sa’ad (1987), opined that most Hausa communities usually erect the building around areas with large number of tree for security reasons because such areas are believed to be highly possessed by spirits and most Hausa people hold that such spirits give them special protection and safety against any enemy be it human or animals.

 

Cluster BStrategies to enhance Ganuwar Zariya

Instruction: Please tick the option you prefer guided by the key below:

SA: Strongly Agreed, A: Agree, Disagree, SD: Strongly Disagree

 

S/N

ITEMS

SA

A

SD

D

1.

The only way to enhance security of Zaria town is to bring back the Ganuwa system

28(100%)

-

-

-

2.

Government in particular should provide fund for the rehabilitation of Ganuwar Zazzau

28(100%)

-

-

-

3.

There is need to bring back the provision of gates representatives or custodians that will have the same roles of those who took care of the gates

18(34%)

2(30%)

1(26%)

-

4.

Stringent measures should be taken against those who destroy the brick wal

28(100%)

-

-

-

5.

Traditional rulers should provide for continuous maintenance of gates

9()

19()

-

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: Field survey, 2021)

Table above shows that 28 representing (100%) of the respondents have strongly agreed that the only way to enhance security of Zaria town is to bring back the Ganuwa system, 28 representing (100%) strongly agreed that Government in particular should provide fund for the rehabilitation of Ganuwar Zazzau, 18 representing (34%) of the respondents made it clear that there is need to bring back the provision of gates representatives or custodians that will have the same roles of those who took care of the gates.. 28 representing (100%) out of the respondents revealed that stringent measures should be taken against those who destroy the brick wall.

The findings of this is in line with Muri (2003), observes that part of the security strategies of the Hausa was to the movement of any suspension character or new face in their vicinity. Given the above association. Therefore, security is an entire process and strategy measures to guarantee the safety of their lives, their property and above their entire environment against any threat of enemies or external forces either human or animals.  In any society, people serve the greatest frontiers in providing security to the environment.  Security can hardly be enhanced in the absence of stringent measures and strategies out of which is the construction of ‘Ganuwa’ traditional brick wall.

Outcome of the Research

            This investigation reveals that the importance of “Ganuwa Zazzau” is found in many aspects of the people’s life and cannot be over emphasis it source as the main source of security and safety to the people of Zazzau and boosted their commercial activities and trading opportunity due to cornstalks with other people from other lands.  It help Zazzau kingdom in generating revenue for the purchase of weapon and other basic necessity of life.  If the Brick wall are to be erected and the existing are maintained the issues of insecurity in some Hausa land would be rendered just like the proposal of the new U.S President Dona Trump made of erecting a Brick wall between America and Mexico.

 

Conclusion

            Zazzau Kingdom has used Brick Wall to provide security to its people other parts of Hausa land like Daura and Keffi Kano Katsina, and Gobir have equally used the same method to secure their town that maintain a Brick wall and city gates.  If this culture will be reviewed, definitely the security of life and properly of the people would have been guaranteed. 

Recommendations

The following recommendations were made:

i.                    Government should re-erect all the collapsed Defence Wall in an around the state for the security of people and their properties.

ii.                 More fund should be provides to Emirates in the state to help them maintain Defence Wall in all nock and crannies.

iii.              Penalty should be formulated for any person who break or attempt to break the wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

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