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stories and histories INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE ANCIENT WAWA " CITY WALLS" @ GBERE, WAWA KINGDOM, BORGU,NIGER STATE.

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Adeyemi Olajide » INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE ANCIENT WAWA " CITY WALLS" @ GBERE, WAWA KINGDOM, BORGU,NIGER STATE.

It is on various historical records that some settlements of the world are found on natural defensive site while some were artificially built by the early settlers as a means of providing protection for their people.

Numerous of these city walls are found around the world as to which probably their history, magnificence or architectural standouts made some be chosen & included in the list of world heritage sites by UNESCO. Among of these are:-Taroundant(Morocco),Xian & Pingyao(China),Diyarbaki (Turkey),Jerusalem (Israel), Carcassonne (France),Avila (Spain), Itchan Kala (Uzbekistan), Harar (Ethiopia), Obidos (Portugal) etc.

Coming down to Nigeria, this history suffice similar because even before the arrival of the Colonialists ancient & venerated towns had their city walls, including those on natural defensive locations.E.g the towns of Kano,Zaria,Keffi,Benin-city etc.

Thus,Wawa ancient City in Borgu of Niger state stand as one unique example where her early settlers built a city walls with a moat & gates to essentially provide protection for her Citizens.

The giant project of the ancient Wawa city walls began during the reign of the first King (Dodo) of Wawa,Mallam Abdullahi Adamu Toga Kanuri (1715-1750),the city walls was completely built with a " RAMPARTS OF EARTH " which labour was pulled from among the Citizens of Wawa & as well strong & agile men from the Villages of Faku,Kali & Lesu of those days.Chains were said to be laid down in the groundwork followed by a recitation of some verses of the Quran before the work commenced. The opposites sides of the walls embarkment were traced to be supported with drainages that easily transport erosional water & their debris from one area to another.
The ancient Wawa city walls originally had an estimated height of 13-15ft & about 25-30ft thick at the base with four gates around it,occupying a space of 2,500 square metres in the town.

But then,century after centuries, the original height & size of the city walls embarkment had & is being greatly wear down by natural & artificial agents ,almost making it appears different from one part to the other. Infact some segment of the walls are completely removed by those aforementioned forces. Left alone,only relics of the walls & their surrounding are majorly covered by growth of dense vegetation especially neem (Dogonyaro trees).

In English Language, the walls are known as city walls,Binii in Bissa,Kaginda in Kambari,Eaban in Nupe,Garu in Kanuri,Ganuwa in Hausa etc.

The four gates were made from silk cotton(Bombax costatum) trees known as Beruli in Bissa & Kuryaa in Hausa.The gates were named after each Village with respect to their location from Wawa town.A security guard is usually mounted at each gate whose duty is to locked at night falls & to reopened it next day at early morning sunrise. The Kpayi household is one known family in those days that produces a guard incharge of Kali gate at Kosobi. Mallam Muhammad Aliyu Ditor Present Wambai of Wawa (A Prince of Wawa dynasty) was once an adopted son to that family.

In addition,very exceptional indeed, to fortified Wawa protective mechanism, the then Wawa valiant Warriors paripassu dug a warfare trench from the Wawa royal palace to Kali gate at Kosobi,a distance of about 1,000 metres long.It was gathered that an average tall man can walk through from vent to vent freely in the ditch.This was said to be secretly made as a hideout on basis that if the day may turns dark during war such may be of enormous help to Wawa Citizens. Although such experience or incidence never occurred in Wawa history. This trench was also buried over time but only for it's entrance/exit at Dodo's palace that still exist & was re-dug & sunk into a well.While the other one at Kosobi is profoundly covered by sand,debris & thick vegetation.
Dear readers,the British could not hide their feelings when they came to Wawa.In 1907,when Master Dwyer visit the Wawa city walls ,he was impressed & passionately acknowledged "WAWA IS OF VERY OLD STANDING" as one kingdom founding the Borgu country.This fact is to this this day affirmed due to presence of existing remains of the city walls of protection built through the collaboration of Wawa Citizens & Valiant Warriors. It is on record that the impenetrable walls enables Wawa flourished economically, socially & politically.
Inter-alia,the history of ancient Wawa City will not be complete a mention to our over 300 years city walls & moat built by her patriotic & dedicated Citizens. For all these great men & women of honor non is alive today except it is our prayer & believe that history shall continues to venerate their brave efforts.
Hoping the Wawa's traditional & political authorities/National Commission for Museums & Monuments will decisively take the bull by it's horn to see to the reviving & maintenance of our numerous heritage sites of the historical town.

To all & sundry, Wawa ancient town is blessed with several historical sites here in Borgu, so do find time to visit the Kingdom royal palace where you shall be guided to these sites of attraction. However, in our subsequent post we shall take you to another different interesting world of Wawa (Gbere) in Borgu, Niger state.
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Author: adex3g 7 months
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