Monday, September 13, 2010


The Tangale people have been ranked among the first twenty one major ethnic groups and languages of Nigeria, as documented in the country’s consulate in New York, United States of America.

Available corpus reveals that the Tangale people of present day Nigeria initially migrated from somewhere in the Far East. It is believed that they started their migration from Yemen and came through Egypt and finally arrived Nigeria through Birnin Ngazargamu, capital of the old Kanem Bornu Empire.

The exact period of migration of the Tangale people from Far East is not known. However, it is widely suggested by some scholars that it could have been sometimes between the 7th and 11th centuries when there was a mass movement of groups of people from the Mediterranean Region through North Africa and the South Sahara Region.

Also, it is widely suggested that the period of the arrival of the Tangale people to their present settlement might have been sometimes between 13th and 15th centuries. It generally believed that their migration from around Birnin Ngazargamu was due to some crises that took place in the old Kanem Bornu Empire, which led to the movement of some groups of people during the period. In fact, one of the British Colonial Officers that wrote a brief account of Gombe Division referred to the Tangale people as being the first to have occupied the area. Similarly, a German writer, Mr. Wiesbaden vividly disclosed that “The Tangales” were the earliest known dominant occupants of the old Gombe Emirate. Furthermore, Mr. A.B. Mathews, one of the British Colonial Officers that served in the area stated that Tangale people had occupied the present Gombe Emirate long before the Fulani jihad in parts of Northern Nigeria broke out.

The Tangale people had since pre-colonial times been one of the independent kingdoms ruled by powerful traditional heads with the assistance of palace courtiers. Oral account revealed that they had their overall traditional heads known as Mai Yelli (Now Mai Tangle) from the Billiri clan who other lesser “Mais” in the land owed allegiance to. Before the advent of the Billiri occupation of Tangale land in 1906, it is believed that this natural rulers of the Tangale kingdom had ruled for about five or six centuries. Due to extreme difficulty in obtaining the accurate number, the past overall rulers of Tangale land spanning the period of about six or seven centuries to date, the people can still boast of having up to fifteen names of such rulers including the present occupant.

The natural rulers of Tangale of Pre-colonial times rules with the advice of some prominent and very influential palace courtiers. This palace advisers were collectively referred ANANKWAD MAI (meaning the privilege beneficiaries of the king). There were however, two exceptions of these advisers whose individual roles had been defined as ANKAKNU and LAUWOTEN MAI or KANJERO, Meaning WAZIRI or GALADIMA respectively in modern terms.

The role identification and decentralization of the functions of the erstwhile ANANKWAD MAI, which the current Mai Tangale, His Royal Highness, Dr. Abdu Buba Maisheru II has introduced since the inception of his reign, is in the right direction. This is because each title holder under this domain would now strive to make positive contribution to the development of the Tangale Chieftaincy Institution, in particular, as well as the general development of the chiefdom, the state and the country at large
Faruk Mu'azu Gombe


  1. There is need for update on this blog if at all the ideas can impact positively on the target audience.

    1. Very true. The information here is kinda outdated.

  2. The information is even inaccurate.

  3. Make the updated and accurate version available if you have it