Origin and Geography of Bauchi State
What is today known as Bauchi State was created in 1976 fron the then North Eastern State of Nigeria. According to the 1991 census, the state has a population of 3,836,333 after the creation of Gombe State in 1996. Bauchi State is one of the states in Northern part of Nigeria that spans two distinctive vegetation zones, namely the sudan savannah and the sahel savannah. The sudan savannah type of vegetation covers the southern part of the state. Here, the vegetation gets richer and richer towards the South, especially along water sources or rivers but generally the vegetation is less uniform and grasses are shorter than what obtains further South, that is in the forest zone of the middle belt. The sahel type of savannah which is also known as the semi-desert vegetation, becomes manifest from the middle of the state as one moves from the South to the Northern part of the state. The characteristics of this type of vegetation comprise of islated stands of thorny shrubs. On the other hand, the southern part of the state is mountainous as a result of the continuation of the Jos-Plateau, while the northern part is generally sandy.
The vegetation types as described above are conditioned by the climatic factors, which in turn determines the amount of rainfall received in the area. The rainfall in Bauchi State ranges between 1300mm per annum in the south and only 700mm per annum in the extreme North. This pattern is due to the fact that in the West African sub-region, rains generally come from the south as they are carried by the Sought Westerlies. There is therefore a progressive dryness towards the north, culminating in the desert condition in the far north.
Consequently, rains start earlier in the southern part of the state, in April with the highest record of 1300mm per annum and last longer. In contrast, the northern tip of the state receives the rains late usually around June/July and records the highest amount of 700mm per annum..
The weather experienced in the south and the north varies considerably. In the south, it is humidly hot during the early part of the rainy season. In the north, the hot, dry and dusty weather lingers on for a while. Under these leaders, the state has witnessed steady development in economic, political and socio-cultural spheres.
The state is divided into three senatorial zones viz: Northern zone, Central zone and Southern zone each with a senator representing it in the Senate, while in the House of Representatives, the state has twelve representatives, and in the state House of Assembly, there are thirty one members.
Local Government Areas
The are 20 Local Government Areas in Bauchi State, namely: Alkaleri, Bauchi, Bogoro, Dambam, Darazo, Dass Gamawa, Ganjuwa, Giade, Itas/Gadau, Jama’are, Katagum, Krifi, Miau, Ningi, Shira, Tafawa Balewa, Toro, Warji and Zaki.
In addition, there are a total of 55 ethnic groups in the state which include Hausa, Fulani, Gerawa, Sayawa, Jarawa, Bulewa, Kare-Kare, Kanuri, Warjawa, Zulawa and Badawa. They have vaied customs, festivals, historical backgrounds, occupational patterns and beliefs.
Nonetheless, there are cultural similarities in the people’s language, occupational practices, festivals, dress and thee is a high degree of ethnic interaction especially in marriage and economic existence.Bauchi state comprise of six emirates. They are Bauchi, Katagum, Misau, Jama’are, Ningi and Dass.
In addition to the rians, the state is watered by a number of rivers. They indlude Gongola and Jama’are rives, Gubi and Tilden Fulani Dams. There are also lakes like the Maladumba lake in Misau Local Government. All these provide necessary conditions that support agriculture.
Bauchi state has gone through series of transformation. From the colonial era up to independence, it formed part of the Bauchi-Plateau of the then Northern Region until the 1967 state creation exercise, when together with Borno and Adamawa provinces, they constituted the former North Eastern State.