History of Adamawa State, Local Government Areas, Tribes, Ethnic Groups

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Map of Adamawa State

Adamawa State is one of the 36 states of Nigeria, located in the northeastern region of the country. The state was created in 1991 from the former Gongola State. The current governor of the state is, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

History of Adamawa State

Adamawa state has a rich cultural heritage, it is home to many ethnic groups, including the Hausa, Fulani, Tiv, Jukun, Kamwe, and many other minority groups.

The state has a long history, dating back to the pre-colonial period. The area now known as Adamawa State was originally inhabited by various ethnic groups, including the Hausa and the Fulani.

During the colonial period, the state was first brought under the control of the British Empire in 1901 and was later split between the British Northern Nigeria and French Cameroon.

After Nigeria gained independence from the British in 1960, the region became part of the newly formed country.

During the Civil War

In the post-colonial period, Adamawa state played a significant role in the Nigerian Civil War. The state was the site of some of the war’s major battles and was also home to many internally displaced persons and refugees.

Adamawa State
Map of Adamawa State

Boko Haram Insurgency

In recent years, Adamawa state has been affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has caused significant displacement and loss of life in the state.

Despite these challenges, the state has made significant efforts to rebuild and develop, with a focus on agriculture, education, and infrastructure.

Adamawa state is known for its rich cultural heritage, scenic beauty, and diverse ethnic groups. It is also home to many historical sites, such as the Lamurde stone circles, the Yola Museum, the Jimeta Old Market, and many more.

Ethnic Groups

Aside from the way the state is made, Adamawa is also religiously diverse. 55% of the people who live there are Muslims, 30% are Christians, and the rest worship in traditional ways.

The state has been around for a long time and has many different ethnic groups, such as the Bwatiye (Bachama), Bali, Bata (Gbwata), Gudu, Mbula-Bwazza, and Nungurab (Lunguda) in the central region; the Kamwe in the north and central region; the Jibu in the far south; the Kilba, Marghi, Waga, and Wula in the north; and the Mumuy.

Local Government Areas

  1. Demsa
  2. Fufore
  3. Ganye
  4. Girei
  5. Gombi
  6. Guyuk
  7. Hong
  8. Jada
  9. Lamurde
  10. Madagali
  11. Maiha
  12. Mayo-Belwa
  13. Michika
  14. Mubi North
  15. Mubi South
  16. Numan
  17. Shelleng
  18. Song
  19. Toungo
  20. Yola North (state capital)
  21. Yola South

Tribes In Adamawa State

There are more than 70 tribes in Adamawa, and each one came from a different place. Some tribes get along well with each other, while others have a history of fighting. This makes the state mostly peaceful. Here is a list of the state’s most important tribes.

History of Adamawa State, Local Government Areas, Tribes, Ethnic Groups
Round About Mai Kwarya


The Kamwe Kamwe (also spelled Kamue) is a Chadic language that is native to Adamawa State, Borno State in Nigeria, and Northwestern Cameroon.

About 80% of the Kamwe people live in the Michika Local Government Area of Nigeria’s Adamawa State. They can also be found in the local governments of Mubi North, Hong, Gombi, Song, and Madagali in Adamawa State.

The Kamwe people can also be found in Borno State, especially in the local government areas of Askira/Uba and Gwoza. Blench (2019) says that Mukta, who lives in the village of Mukta in Adamawa State, is part of the Kamwe cluster.

Kamwe comes from the words “Ka” and “Mwe,” which together mean “people of.” Kamwe is a word for people who are related or related by blood. It means kin or family. Family members are tied together.

It got its meaning from a special kind of native Kamwe jewelry that close relatives of a dead person wore as a way to show who they were and that they cared. Elder Kamwe say that the “Mwe” is a sign that a person is a relative in Kamweland.

In the past, if someone who isn’t a family member wore the Mwe, it could cause problems with the real family members. Only people who are related to each other can wear the Mwe. Because the “Mwe” is a close relative’s real name and makes their relationship stronger.

“Tselie ra na,” they will say to themselves as they hug themselves. (You are my family member.) Some older people still think that “Kamwe” in Vecemwe means “people of the heavens, hills, mountains, or even the sky.”

The Kamwe language, Vecemwe, has more than 24 dialects, but Nkafa is the main dialect and is used for writing and literature. In the past, both the Kamwe people and their language were called Higi (Higgi).

Kamwe elders say that the word “Higgi” is an insult (Ngelai in Vecemwe) and that it comes from the word “hagyi,” which means “grasshopper.” In the past, the Kamwe’s neighbors, the Margi, made fun of them by calling them “grasshopper.”

Most Kamwe people hate the insulting word “Higgi,” with the exception of a few people from the Margi tribe who live in the Dakwa (Bazza) area.

Because the insulting word “higgi” comes from the word “grasshopper,” which is a hopeless insect that lizards and frogs eat because they are weak and easy to catch. In 1937, the Margi started calling the Kamwe people “Higi.”

Kamwe people were the first people to live in the area where the Michikan local government was set up in 1976. People thought that Kwada Kwakaa, a great lion and leopard hunter, started the settlement.

The town was named after the way he crept up the hill to hunt animals. “Mwe” means “heaven” or “hills” in the Kamwe language, while “Ci-ka” means “creep.” Which the colonists later said was spelled Michika. ((wikipedia))

Kanuri Tribe

The Kanuri were from Borno State and were a big part of the Bornu-Kamem Empire before it was taken over by the British. They were also fearless horse riders in the old empire.

They are mostly Muslim, and farming millet, maize, and rice, which are staples for the tribe, is their main source of income. ((Kanuri people))

Babur Tribe

This tribe moved from Yemen through Sudan and the Sahara Desert. It is thought that most of them live in the Gombi local government and partially speak Hausa, even though their mother language is called Afro-Asian, Biu-Mandara, and Chadic.

Their accents and independence make it easy to tell them apart. Aside from shaptang ka dana, they also eat taraku and kavila. Most of them are Muslims, and their robes and turbans make them stand out. ((Babur Tribe))

History of Adamawa State, Local Government Areas, Tribes, Ethnic Groups
The Three Sisters Rock in Adamawa State

Fulani Tribe

The people of this tribe in Adamawa state are used to raising livestock. Even though it’s not their only cultural heritage, it’s a big part of who they are. We don’t know much about the Fulani people, except that they raise cattle.

Another thing that makes them interesting is the mystery that surrounds them because they look like the Hausa and people think they came from the Middle East. Most likely, they were the first people in Nigeria to learn about Islam, which then spread to the rest of the country.

Men wear Babban Riga gowns, and Fulani women wear wrappers tied around their blouses. The main things that this tribe eats are millet, rice, and maize. ((Fulani Tribe))

Bachama Tribe

They are also called Bwatiyes, and the most of them live in Lamurde, which is in the state of Adamawa. Their roots go all the way back to Sokoto. After the Fulani Jihadist invasion, the Bachama tribe is one of the last tribes that hasn’t been taken over.

They follow Islam, but most of the people who live there are Christians. Farming and fishing are their main ways to make money. Food is something that this tribe has a lot of. Millet, rice, maize, and sorghum are their favorite foods.

Bachama men wear long, flowing dresses called Babban Riga, while Bachama women wear blouses and abaya. Most of the time, they cover their heads with hijabs. ((Bachama Tribe))

Banso Tribe

The Banso tribe used to be called the Nso until the Fulanis beat them in the 17th century. Nigeria and Cameroon are good places to see them.

They are in the Nigerian area of Sauduna local government. They are from the north, but they don’t speak Hausa. They talk Lamnso instead, which is related to Hausa.

In terms of religion, the Banso are mostly “demonic,” and their magical skills are well-known. This is the main religion of these people. Banso people spend most of their time farming.

The Banso eat maize, millet, and rice, just like other tribes in northern Nigeria. Their men wear Baban Riga, and their women cover their heads with hijabs and wrappers on their blouses.

History of Adamawa State, Local Government Areas, Tribes, Ethnic Groups
Yola Hayin Gada Design

Gombi Tribe

There are two sides to the people who live in Adamawa state. They are both a tribe and a local government. Only a few of them are Muslims. The rest of them worship idols.

Recently, members of the Boko Haram sect attacked the home of the Gombi people. Because of this, no one lives in Gombi now.

Like their relatives, the Gombi tribes work in farming and trade. They eat corn, sorghum, and rice.

Their men wear long, flowing dresses called Baban Riga, and their women wear wrappers over their blouses and hijabs on their heads.

Koma Tribe

The Koma tribe lived in the Atlantika Mountains back in the Stone Age. There are 11 villages in the Koma tribe. It is now in Nigeria and is part of the Jada local government area.

There are 61,000 Koma people, and they speak the Koma language. In Koma, women wear fresh leaves and men wear loincloths. ((Koma Tribe))

Gude Tribe

The Gude people live in Mubi, which is now in the state of Adamawa. ((Gude Tribe)) Most of the Gude are Muslim cattle ranchers who follow the Islamic religion.

Aside from that, Gude men wear flowing dresses called Baban Riga and sometimes wear caps to cover their heads.

The women of this tribe wear wrap over their tops and hijabs on their heads. They eat rice, millet, sorghum, and maize.

Gudu Tribe

The Gudu people live in Adamawa state, in the Song local government area. They talk in an Afro-Asian language called Gudu. The Gudu lives in Nigeria, where there are about 10,000 of them. Some also live in Cameroon.

Their clothes are similar to those of northern Nigerians. The women wear wrapper-covered blouses and hijabs, and the men wear flowing gowns called Babban Riga and sometimes caps to cover their heads. Since most of them farm and are Muslims, millet, maize, and rice are their favorite foods.

Bata Tribe

The Bata people live in Mubi, Song, and Numan, which are all parts of Adamawa state. The Bata tribe speaks a language that is a mix of Afro-Asian and Asian languages.

Some Bata people have left their home country. Because of this, not much is known about them except that most of them are Muslim and that they farm and raise cattle.

Their clothes look like those of their neighbors to the north. Men wear long, flowing dresses, while women tie wraps around their blouses and wear hijabs to cover their heads. In the same way, the dinner with the Bata

Bille Tribe

Bille is both a tribe and a town in northeast Nigeria, about 11 kilometers from the road that goes to Jalingo. Bille is another name for the language they speak.

People know them for farming and making things like baskets and calabashes. Their main religion is Christianity, and they dress like the tribes in the north.

Their men wear long, flowing dresses called Babban Riga, and their women wear wrappers over their shirts and hijabs on their heads.

Botlere Tribe

The only thing known about the Botlere Tribe is that they speak Hausa. Their main job is farming, and most of them are Christians.

Botlere men wear long, flowing robes, and Botlere women cover their heads with hijabs and wrappers on their blouses. Corn, millet, and rice are often used in Botlere food.

Bura Tribe

The Gombi local government area in Adamawa state is home to the Bura people. Up until recently, the Bura tribe, which is mostly made up of farmers, was one of Adamawa state’s most powerful tribes with a strong sense of culture.

Because of where their religion and civilization came from, not much is known about their culture. As a result, they are only compared to the Hausa.

Bura men wear long, flowing gowns, and Bura women wear wrappers tied around their blouses and hijabs on their heads.

Daka Tribe

The Daka tribe of Cameroon and the Daka tribe of Adamawa are related. They are very creative artists who are loved for their skills.

Their sculptures and many metal works speak for themselves. Dakas is neither Christian nor Muslim. They believe in the Chamba way of life.

People from Dakas wear clothes that look like those of the Fulanis and Hausas. Men in the Daka tribe wear long, flowing gowns, and women cover their heads with hijabs and wrappers.

Daba Tribe

They live in both Nigeria and Cameroon, but in Nigeria they are a small minority. Most of them are Muslims, and most of them work in agriculture. As the name suggests, they speak Daba.

Daba women wear shirts and wraps on their bodies and hijabs on their heads. The robes that Daba men wear are called Babban Riga. Millet and sorghum are their favorite foods.


Kilba is a tribe that started in the Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria. The tribe lives in the states of Adamawa, Borno, and Taraba.

Kilba people can also be found in the neighboring countries of Niger Republic, Cameron, and the Chad Republic, among others. This shows that the number of people in this large tribe in Nigeria is slowly growing.

The Kilba tribe is unique because of how they dress, what they eat, and how they take care of their other needs. Groundnut farming is the tribe’s main way of making money and living from farming. Most of these wonderful people in Kilba, our country, are Christians.

Gwa Tribe

The Gwa tribe is one of many unknown tribes in Northern Nigeria. They are Muslim people who work in farming. This group has taken on the Hausa way of life, including how they dress and what they eat.

Gizigz Tribe

The Gizigz tribe is a minority tribe in the state of Adamawa. It has kept its old ways of life in spite of outsiders, and Islam hasn’t changed it much.

There is nothing different about how the other tribes dress. They also depend on farming for most of their income and like to eat meals made from maize and millet.

Hausa Tribe

The Hausa are the most common people in Nigeria and most of Africa. They are also an important tribe in the state of Adamawa. They are either farmers or traders who want to learn a lot about politics.

Islam is the main religion of the Hausa people. Men from this tribe often wear dresses called Babban Riga that are long and flowy. This is often paired with a cap.

Women from the Hausa tribe wear wrappers over their blouses and hijabs to cover their heads. Most likely, the Hausa are the most well-known tribe in Adamawa.

History of Adamawa State, Local Government Areas, Tribes, Ethnic Groups
Welcome to Yola gate

The people of Bali

This category is used by the Numan, Mayo Belwa, and Demsa local governments. Their main ways to make money are farming, raising animals, and trading. About 2000 people lived in different parts of the state.

They are also Congolese immigrants who used to live in places near Lake Chad before moving to Nigeria. Still, these are the tribes with the most people in Adamawa state.

In Conclusion

Most people agree that Fulanis are the most common group of people in northern Nigeria and Adamawa state.

The Fulani are different from the Hausa in both nature and culture, but they have many of the same traits. Also, most of them live in Nigeria, Mali, Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal, Niger, and Senegal.

The Fulani language, also called Fula, is part of the Atlantic branch of the Niger-Congo language family. They also know how to raise animals.

People who don’t raise cattle are rare among the Fulani. This is because civilization and western ways of life have taken over Africa and the rest of the world.


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