The Role Of Migrant Communities In The Development Of Kankia Town, 1950-2016

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The Role Of Migrant Communities In The Development Of Kankia Town, 1950-2016


Nigeria is a multi ethnic and multi religious country and thus there have been occurrence of ethnic-religious and political conflicts. Study of intergroup relation, such as that of Kankia which portray peaceful co-existence amidst peoples with variations in cultural and religious backgrounds, is of high relevance in the country nowadays. This research therefore, attempted to study the Role of Igbo and Yoruba migrants in the development of Kankia town, 1950-2016. Based on the framework of push and pull factors, the work examined the cases responsible for the settlement of migrants in Kankia, among which economic factor was the most important.

The study further examines the social and economic activities of Igbo and Yoruba, their dominant role in certain commercial enterprises and their contributions to the development of Kankia town. Also, the study discovered that, relations between the migrants and their hosts have, for long, been cordial. For the Yoruba migrants, for instance, because of Islam as a factor, there have been instances of inter-marriages with their Hausa host communities. The study then recommends that, peoples of the country generally and policy makers in particular need to learn from Kankia so as to promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerian communities for the betterment of all. This study was carried out, using primary and secondary sources.

Table Of Contents

  • Title page
  • Abbreviation
  • Table of contents
  • Abstract

Chapter One


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of problem
  • 1.3 Aim and objectives
  • 1.4 Significance of the study
  • 1.5 Scope and limitation
  • 1.6 Conceptual Clarification
  • 1.7 Sources of data and methodology
  • 1.8 Literature Review
  • 1.9 Conclusion
  • 1.9 Endnotes

Chapter Two

The Historical Origin of Kankia Town, its Land and People

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Geographical Location of Kankia town
  • 2.3 The Traditions of the Origin of Kankia
  • 2.4 The establishment of Kankia town and its early political system
  • 2.5 Economic activities
  • 2.6 Kankia During the colonial period
  • 2.7 Major Development in Post-Colonial Period
  • 2.8 Conclusion
  • 2.9 Endnotes

Chapter Three

The Migration and Settlement of Igbo and Yoruba in Kankia Town

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Migration of Yoruba to Kankia town and their settlement pattern
  • 3.3 The economic activities of Yoruba migrant in Kankia town
  • 3.5 Migration of Igbo to Kankia town and their settlement pattern
  • 3.6 The economic activities of Igbo migrant in Kankia town
  • 3.7 The pattern of Igbo and Yoruba settlements in Kankia
  • 3.8 Conclusion
  • 3.8 Endnotes

Chapter Four

The Role of Igbo and Yoruba in the Development of Kankia Town

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 The impact of Igbo and Yoruba migrant in the development of Kankia town
  • 4.2.1 The impact of Yoruba Migrants
  • 4.2.2 The impacts of Igbo Migrants
  • 4.3 The Dynamic of intergroup relations in Kankia town
  • 4.3.1 Hausa – Yoruba Relations
  • 4.32. Hausa – Igbo Relations
  • 4.33. Igbo – Yoruba
  • 4.7 Conclusion
  • 4.8 Endnotes

Chapter Five

Summary and Conclusion

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • Bibliography

Chapter One


1.1 Background of Study

Migrant communities, throughout the world, have been playing significant roles in the development of societies. For instance, the activities of migrants in different part of Africa contributed in re-shaping many societies and are viewed as major aspects of the history of Africa. Therefore human migration has been transforming the aspect of racial and linguistic composition of human population.1 Generally, scholars are of the view that migration is influenced by two important factors: the push and the pull factors.2 the push factors include famine, war and flooding.

The pull factors on the other hand, attract migrants to settle in an area, such as better socio-political and economic atmosphere.According to Abdulkadir the occurrence of famine and food shortage in some parts of Nigeria in 1932, for instance, served as push factors to the migration of people to different parts of Nigeria and beyond.3
This research is concerned with the migration and settlement of Yoruba and Igbo communities in Kankia town, 1950 – 2016. The Yoruba and Igbo came to Kankia town, in the second half of the 20th century, Igbo and Yoruba migrants were the predominant traders in Kankia town in fact their settlement facilitated trade and other economic activities in Kankia.

This research is divided into five chapters. Chapter one gives the general background of the study. Chapter two examines the history of the area of study. Chapter three discusses the migration and settlement of Igbo and Yoruba migrants in Kankia town. Chapter four analyses the impact of Igbo and Yoruba in Kankia town. Chapter five provides summary and conclusion to the study.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Kankia is one of the towns in Katsina Local Government that witnessed the arrival and settlement of migrant communities. The predominant migrants in Kankia town are the Igbo and Yoruba. The settlement of these communities has social and economic significance. However up till now, this development has not been studied and recorded. Looking at the country at large, there have been series of ethno-political and religious conflict.

The case of Kankia was however different Igbo and Yoruba migrants have been living peacefully with certain level of economic interdependence. It is therefore imperative to examine the pattern of intergroup relations in Kankia so learn from the lessons it contains. This work therefore essentially examines migrant communities in Kankia town with specific reference to Igbo and Yoruba. Therefore the following questions are therefore addressed in the work

  1. What were the factors responsible for the migration and settlements of Igbo and Yoruba migrants in Kankia town?
  2. What were the major economic activities of the Igbo and Yoruba migrants in Kankia town?
  3. How did Igbo and Yoruba migrants relate with the host communities?
  4. What were the impact of Igbo and Yoruba migrant in Kankia town?

1.3 Aim And Objectives

The aim of this work is to study the history of Igbo and Yoruba migrants in Kankia town, 1950- 2016. The research also intends to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To examine the factors responsible for the migration and settlements of Igbo and Yoruba in Kankia town
  2. To examine the major economic activities of the Igbo and Yoruba in Kankia town.
  3. To study the pattern of relation among the Igbo, the Yoruba and host communities in Kankia town
  4. To analyses the impacts of Igbo and Yoruba migrants in Kankia town.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

This study is significance in the sense that it shows how migrant communities from southern part of Nigeria relate peacefully with their Northern Nigeria, host communities. This study is therefore a clear illustration of peaceful co-existence among various Nigeria communities

The study highlights the economic activities of the migrant communities towards the development of Kankia town such as Auto mechanic works, Electrical and electronics work among others. The study therefore shows that the peaceful co-existence between migrant and host communities can lead to the social, economic and political development of both migrants and their host and therefore the development of the country in general. The work therefore, generally contributes to existing literature on the history of intergroup relations in Nigeria.

1.5 Scope Of And Limitation Of The Study

Kankia town is now the headquarters of Kankia Local Government. It is divided into 2 districts. Kankia town is bordered to the north by Charanchi to the south by Musawa to the East by Kusada and to the west by Dutsin-ma.

Kankia is a Local Government area located in the northern part of katsina state. Kankia is presently under daura zone its headquarters are in the town of Kankia. It has an area of 824kms and a population of 151.434,4 as of the 2006 census and the population projection of Kankia town in 2011 till date is 175,900.5 The year 1950 was a landmark in the history of migrants in Kankia town because that was when the first southern to settled in Kankia Mr. Simon A. Shaba, came to Kankia and established a Bakery.6

The year 2016, which served as a terminating period, was also significant in the history of migrant in Kankia town. The Yoruba and Igbo migrant began to establish association for the improvement of their welfare and promotion of peaceful co-existence in Kankia town.

1.6 Conceptual Clarification

In this section the migration is defined. The context in which it is applied in this work is also clearly provided.

Trewartha, described that the term ‘migration’ has various shades of meaning. Most commonly, migration involves a movement of some distance, which results in a change in permanent residence. This restrictive definition exclude other types of human mobility, including the daily trek of commuters between a city center and its peripheral areas, the seasonal shifts of migrant workers, the temporary and irregular movement of tourists and the wandering of pastoral nomads.7

Also, Goldscheider, defines migration as any permanent change in residence. It involves the detachments from the organization of activities at one place and the movement of the total round of activities to another8. This view is similar to the opinion of Week, that migration is the process of changing residence and moving you across state line or international border9. The U.S. Census Bureau classifies those persons as migrants who cross any political boundary. Person that changed his residence but stayed within the same country, according to Census Bureau is a mover rather than a migrant.10

Zeinsky defined migration as the perceptible and simultaneous shift in both spatial and social locus. He stresses on the territorial movement and stated that not all forms of spatial mobility may be regarded as migration. Migration in his view, implies a permanent or semi-permanent change of residence and therefore excludes e.g. commuters, holidaymakers and students moving temporarily between family home and college. Their form of mobility are often designated as circulation.11

However In this work migration is the territorial shifting of people with a view of establishing a residence either for living permanently or temporarily.12

1.7 Source Of Data And Methodology

Both primary and secondary sources were used in the reconstruction of this work. The primary sources include interviews conducted with Igbo and Yoruba migrants in Kankia town. Including the heads of Kanti, Gachi and Sabuwar Abuja areas where most of the migrants reside. B.A projects and M. A Dissertations were also conducted.

The secondary sources used in this work comprise books and journals. These sources were carefully studied and analyses for an objective assessment of the issues under consideration.

1.8 Literature Review

Igbo and Yoruba have a long period of interactions with the various communities of Northern Nigeria. In this study literatures that directly or indirectly relate to our area of study and inter group relation are reviewed

Jamilu Shehu examines the nature and factors that promoted inter-group relations between 1903 and 2007. The paper starts by tracing the arrival of Yoruba community into Katsina metropolis and then argues that religion, languages, commercial, and hospitable attitude of the Katsina people are the major factors that encouraged and still encouraging cordial inter-relations between the communities. The work was however centered to Katsina and as a result, developmentin Kankia town were not recorded13

Yusuf, in his work“Kankia Past and Present” highlights the arrival of first southern migrants to Kankia, and the areas they first settled, This work is relevant in the sense that it highlights what motivated migrants to settle in Kankia. However author did not discuss issues of intergroup relations and how it has contributed to the development of Kankia town.14

Akanji’s work examines the interface between migration, conflict and the challenges of state building in Nigeria. These factors usually manifest when discussing migration and intergroup relationship in Nigerian areas. The writing rather than looking at a particular community was focused to Nigeria at a whole, even though generalization could be problematic but these within the Nigerian area.15

Musa in his study “A Socio-Economic History of Kankia in the 19th and 20th Centuries,16 highlighted the political and socio-economic structures of Kankia. He discussed the emergence of Kankia as a district in Katsina emirate. In addition the work gave an insight about the establishment of some structures such as the creation of Local Government and construction of Kano-Katsina Trunk, a road which facilitated arrival of migrants from other parts of Nigeria. However the work did not discuss the role of migrants in the development of Kankia and the nature of relations between migrant and host communities.1

Gatawa’s PhD thesis titled “intergroup relation of Yoruba and Hausa communities of Agege, Lagos, Nigeria 1861-2007” was also found very relevant. He states that a number of factors significantly helped shaped the intergroup-relation between the Hausa and Yoruba ethnic groups. He pointed out the factors of migration, commercial relationship, settlement, trade, inter-ethnic marriage, and integration among other factors, given a clear understanding to the nature of intergroup relationship in agege18

The work of Nadabo Yusuf analyses the trends, pattern, nature and the reasons for the establishment of various communities and areas within the Katsina metropolis, among which Kankia was included. The writer further explains the first settlers of such areas, their early political development and also some of their occupations. His work has contributed to our knowledge in this research, even though the work lacked chronological approach.19

Finally, Jubril in his work titled “Retribalization and Detribalization: Nupe in Struggle”20, pointed out the struggle made by Nupe migrant in maintaining their own culture and identity in the metropolitan Kaduna by applying certain measures such as not giving out their daughters hand in marriage to non-Nupe people and the use of their language as a unifying factor. The work of Jibril has help in the understanding of dynamics of intergroup relations among various communities.21


This chapter forms an introductory of this study. It therefore stated the problem of that triggered the study, that the contributions of Igbo and Yoruba in Kankia town and the circumstances that led to their settlement in Kankia town is not recorded. The chapter also reviewed the relevant literature. It was discovered that, most of the literature on migration heavily dealt with migration during colonial period as a result of colonial exploitative policies. Little has therefore been written on the migration on post-colonial Nigeria. This research, in the subsequent chapters attempted to fill in this gap by examining the role of migrant communities towards the development of Kankia town with emphasis on Igbo and Yoruba.

Chapter Five

Summary and Conclusion

5.1 Summary

This study discussed the Role of Igbo and Yoruba Migrants in the Development of Kankia town, from 1950 to 2016. In Chapter one, which is an introductory chapter, we discussed that study on migration is an important aspect of intergroup relations. However such a study specifically on Kankia was not recorded. Before looking at the push and pull factors of Igbo and Yoruba migration to Kankia, in chapter two we discussed the evolution of Kankia town. Kankia was established in the first decade of the 19th century by the Hausa people. Subsequently, Fulani people settled in the settlement after the Jihad of Usman Danfodio. The evolution of Kankia had relation with its fertile land for agriculture and availability of wild life for hunting. In chapter three, we discussed the migration of Igbo and Yoruba into Kankia. The construction of Katsina-Kano road which traversed Kankia facilitated movements of people to Kankia. The Igbo came to Kankia before the Yoruba. Subsequently, Yoruba migrants also came to Kankia. Igbo and Yoruba settled in Kankia because of its economic potentials. Therefore, they engaged in different forms of economic activities in Kankia. While the Igbo engaged mainly in selling of spare parts, the Yoruba also engaged in trade, specifically in mechanic work. Chapter fouranalyzed the impact of Igbo and Yoruba migrants in Kankia town. The settlement of Igbo and Yoruba migrants, no doubt contributed to the economic development of Kankia. A number of Hausa people engaged in different forms of economic activities established by Igbo and Yoruba such as in bakery and in their other forms oftrading. The chapter also analysed the pattern of intergroup relations between the migrants (Igbo and Yoruba) and the host communities of Kankia. Itclearly demonstrated, with instances that, relationship between migrants and host communities were cordial. In fact because of Islam as a factor, inter-marriage existed between the Yoruba and Hausa people in Kankia town. The Igbo migrants, most of whom were Christian and as such, there was no inter-marriage with them but rather economic relation. While the Igbo and Yoruba migrant benefit significantly from their trading activities in Kankia, the Hausa people of Kankia also learn certain skills from Igbo and Yoruba.

5.2 Conclusion

Based on the literature reviewed, it is observed that,little has been written on the migration on the post-colonial Nigeria. Most of the literature on migration discussed migrations either in the pre-colonial or during the colonial period. This research, attempted to fill in this gap by examining the role of migrant communities towards the development of Kankia town with emphasis on Igbo and Yoruba.

The work provided an overview history of Kankia town where development that took place in Kankia during the colonial period. In Kankia like in other parts of Northern Nigeria, measures were adopted by the colonial government to control the economy, parts of the instruments used was the establishment of colonial trading companies such as the (U.A.C) and G.B.O Ollivant. These companies secured plots in Kanti and developed agency marketing through Lebanese. In fact, this development influenced the migration of the Yoruba and Igbo into Kankia town, who came in order to enjoy the economic potentials of Kankia. Other issues discussed in the study include the economic activities of the Yoruba and Igbo migrants. The Yoruba engaged in various occupations such as bakery, Photograph, Auto mechanic, electric and electronic works, welding and shaving. The Igbo migrants ventured into trading such as timber sale pioneered by an Igbo man, named John in around 1980s. Other Igbo business includes patent medicine stores, spare part sales, building materials, hotel business. The Igbo womenalso engaged in palm oil trade and hair dressing.

Furthermore, this work examined the impact of Igbo and Yoruba migrant in the development of Kankia town. It was shown that the Igbo and Yoruba played important role in the economic and development in Kankia town and the relations among Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba have been cordial. This study therefore recommends that more studies should be conducted on intergroup relations with a view to finding solution to incessant occurrence of ethno-religious and political conflicts in Nigeria.

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