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Precious things people don't know about Adamawa

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

/ by Adamawa Celebrities
Are you a visitor here in Adamawa State, and you want to see the historic and precious sites and places in your short stay? Maybe you are here on transfer or you are a tourist; you are in the right place. Perhaps you have heard about this “Land of Beauty” from others who visited before you and want to see those believable and unbelievable places yourself. Be  rest assured, you won't be disappointed because you'll live to see lasting memories that would stay on your mind for the rest of your life.

Is it not said that seeing is believing? Visit our amazing natural sites and taste our delicious traditional delicacies and you won't know when you make up your mind to stay for decades, enjoying the natural sites and the hospitality Adamawa people could offer. Ask the youth corps members from other States who served here in the State and you'll have the clear picture of the picture being painted here.

It is not however surprising to find out that there are some Adamawa people who have  stayed here for donkey's years without knowing that the State has so much to offer for their eyes, minds and stomachs. This State does not have hidden attraction sites, those precious places are visible and cut across the 21 LGAs. For instance, you cannot pass through Song LGA without sighting in close range the amazing Three Sisters Rocks beside you or visit Madagali LGA without the urge to visit the historic Sukur World Heritage. Likewise, you cannot stay for 2 hours anywhere in this State without hearing of a delicacy called Marghi Special.

What's so special about that delicacy? That urge to know alone could force you to visit one of the restaurants in order to have a taste of this special meals. Adamawa State is blessed with countless traditional delicacies varied according to the over 80 ethnic groups in the State.

Roots News visited Madagali, Fufore and Lamurde LGAs to dig out those visible historic tourist sites and palatable foods that could make you stay in Adamawa State as many have done before you. But before then, a brief history of Adamawa State could go for the record.

Adamawa is a modern state in northern Nigeria, with its capital at Yola. In 1991 when Taraba State was carved out from Gongola State, the geographical entity Gongola State was renamed Adamawa State, with four administrative divisions; Adamawa, Ganye, Mubi and Numan. The State was nicknamed Land of Beauty because of its natural landscape and is one of the largest States of Nigeria and occupies about 36,917 square kilometers with the population of over 3,178,950 inhabitants. It is bordered by the states of Borno to the northwest, Gombe to the west and Taraba to the southwest. Its eastern border forms the national eastern border with Cameroon.

Topographically, it is a mountainous land crossed by the large river valleys-Benue, Gongola and Yedsarem. The mountains of the Cameroon, Mandara and Adamawa form part of the landscape.

Economically, the major occupation of the people is farming as reflected in their two notable vegetational zones; the sub-Sudan and Northern Guinea Savannah Zone. Their cash crops are cotton and groundnuts while food crops include maize, yam, cassava, guinea corn, millet and rice.

The village communities living on the banks of the rivers engage in fishing while the Fulani are cattle rearers (if you want to know about Fulani people in Adamawa, look for The Scope last edition. The State has a network of roads linking all parts of the country and in every nook and cranny, courtesy of Bindow-led Government.

Before it became a State in Nigeria, Adamawa was a subordinate kingdom of the Sultanate of Sokoto which also included much of northern Cameroon. The rulers bear the title of Emir (“Lamido” in the local language; Fulfulde).

The name “Adamawa” came from the founder of the kingdom, Modibbo Adama, a regional leader of the Fulani Jihad organized by Usumaanu dan Fodio of Sokoto in 1804. Modibbo Adama came from the region of Gurin (now just a small village) and in 1806 received a green flag for leading the Jihad in his native country.

In the following years, Adama conquered many lands and tribes. In 1838, he moved his capital to Ribadu, and in 1839 to Njobolio. In 1841, he founded Yola.

Roots News findings revealed that Adamawa is the millennium tourist destination in Nigeria. All major towns in the State are adequately connected to the National Grid and have standard health facilities spread all over the State. There are good catering services provided by both government and private hotels.

The State has a lot of tourist attractions, many cultural festivals like harvest festivals, installation of chiefs, wrestling contest and hunters. These events attract a sizable number of tourists.

The historic places include Elephant House at Guyuk LGA, Gorobi Rock Formation at Mayo-Belwa LGA and Gumti Park in Toungo LGA (This is part of Gashaka Gumti National Park that shares border with Taraba state. It is a Reserve that harbours all sorts of wild life. The Scope published the situation in the Park some time ago).

Some of the attraction sites are Kiri Dam in Shelleng LGA. (Recently The Scope reported about that) located near Kiri town, it was specifically built to supply electricity and water needs of Savannah Sugar company at Numan LGA.

On the hilly side overlooking the dam are beautiful structures with modern facilities to accommodate tourists. Apart from irrigation and fishing, the dam is also suitable for boat racing and surfing.

Koma Hills are beautiful scenery with stone writing and painting of medieval in inhabitants of the areas called the Koma people. The hills give an insight to their history (The Scope visited Koma not too long ago gave you readers attraction sites and livelihood of the Koma people.

Next on is the Mandara Mountains. It lies in the north eastern part of the State along the Cameroon border, and the Shebshi Mountains rise to Mount Dimlong (6,699 feet, “2,042m”) in the state's south-eastern portion. Mandara is an ideal place for rock and mountain climbing.

There is Hot Spring (Ruwan Zafi) located in Gyakan village of Lamurde LGA. Here a spring of hot water gushes out to meet with cold water in a confluence that forms a warm water stream. We also have Sassa Water Falls at Toungo and Yadim Water Falls at Fufore LGAs (Roots News) visited these places.

Also visited by our reporter is the almighty Sukur Kingdom that houses the Sukur World Heritage. It is located in Madagali LGA, and has been accredited as World Heritage sites by UNESCO because of its natural exposition of human nature and its preserved structures dating more than 500 years.
Adamawa State also has the popular Three Sisters Rocks. They appear in three formations, making beautiful scenery that overlooks the town of Song in Song LGA.

Roots News was in Sukur Kingdom at Madagali LGA and had an interaction with one of the Historians at Sukur World Heritage, Mr. Habila Zira. According to him, Sukur Kingdom the cultural landscape with its palace, terraced fields, ritual features and villages whose unchanged settings have survived for many centuries.

He said that the site is among the over 1,300 sites, including historic buildings, archaeological sites as well as works of “monumental sculpture or painting” adding that these are the features that hoped and made the United Nations' Education, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO) to notice and grant World Heritage Status (WHS) to the site in 1999.

He said, “UNESCO calls this site an exceptional landscape illustrating a form of land-use that marks a critical stage in human settlement and its relationship with its environment. Let me tell you, the cultural landscape of Sukur is also eloguent testimony to a strong and continuing spiritual and cultural tradition that has ensured for many centuries”.

According to Habila, Sukur kingdom heritage has two man gate, of varying sizes among the other gates. The small one and the big one. While the big gate is for everybody's use, the small gate is for the king only. He stated that the Sukur people have a belief that the king is not supposed to share the  same passage with “ordinary people”, therefore the king has his own passage in most of the gates.

In his words, “Sacrifice is also being offered at the gate by slaughtering a goat. The bones of the goat get buried in the middle of the road and the skin of the goat is tied from end to end by a special method.

The second gate over there (pointing to his right side) has a guard who takes care of the gate and the king's grave yard. As you can feel it, the atmosphere in this kingdom (Sukur kingdom) is always calm and breezy. Inside the king's compound, there is a small hut meant for the king to sit and watch all activities taking place in his domain.

“Few steps away from the king's hut, there is a shrine and seats for the king's men. The shrine is known as Medala, it houses a very deep hole into which their local wine is poured every year as a form of sacrifices done to ascertain the possibility of a good harvest of crops. If the hole is still filled up when it is opened after a year, it indicates prospect of a good harvest. But if the hole is empty, the omen is that of a bad harvest.

“After touring the site, you don't leave by the same gate you gained entrance to the palace, there is an exit. At the exit gate, there is a forbidden stone. The stone is placed so that it separates the passage for ordinary people and that of the king. Inspite of all these traditional practices, this kingdom (Sukur kingdom) has been hosting tourists from around the world because of its natural landscaping. Your visit to Adamawa State is incomplete if you did not visit the Sukur kingdom”.

Roots News visited Yadim Water Falls at Fufore LGA and met some tourists admiring the “nature's gift to Adamawa State”. The cold water descends heavily, satisfying the expectations of its visitors.

A cross section of the tourists who spoke to Roots News said that Yadim Water Falls is one of the tourist sites fun-seekers around the world should visit, adding that the site has a way of cooling down tension and ending stress with its God-given atmosphere is not found any where. One of the tourists, Mr. Tom William said, “Here, you're just an inch away from nature. It's gonna remind you of God and His creativity. I've been to many Water Falls in this country and other places in Africa and around the world, but this water falls is unique. The sound of the water falls, the songs by the different birds, the path leading here and the scenery are epitome of nature”.

Still need to know the various delicacies in the State, right? This is what a renowned cook in Madagali LGA, Mrs Asabe Andrawus said about Marghi Special. “Marghi Special is a special delicacy indigenous to us here in Adamawa State. It is basically fish with vegetables. It is mostly cooked at night, the whole night is spent cooking it because of its gradual process”.

Other delicacies in Adamawa State that could make you cut off  your tongue include Sunghut by Nyandang people in Gorobi community of Mayo-Belwa LGA, Kwah in Lamurde LGA and the Higgi people of Michika LGA, as well as Huggo soup of Satte people of Mayo-Belwa LGA.

Research by Roots News however disclosed that the delicacies that the Adamawa people specialize cannot be numbered as all the over 80 ethnic groups in the State have their specific delicacies. What gives Adamawa state upper hand over the 35 states is its rich culture, natural tourist sites and delicacies.

This is better said by one of the tourists at the Yadim Water Falls. Mr. Tom Williams disclosed, “Adamawa State is blessed with both human and natural resources. The people are hospitable and accommodating, very friendly and willing at all times to help visitors. I'm really enjoying my stay here. The State is blessed with natural attraction sites, the nature designed mountains and hills are simply amazing. Their delicacies are palatable. Those that have never visited Adamawa state are missing great things”.

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