Sokoto State Profile

Updated: Jan 25, 2022
By Editorial Staff

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Sokoto State

Sokoto state is an ancient state located in far Northwestern Nigeria. The origin of the name ‘Sakkwato’ originates from the Arabic word ‘suk’ meaning market. The state is self-styled as ‘Birnin Shehu’ meaning ‘the headquarters of the caliph.’ It is an important state in northern Nigeria, being the seat of the caliphate where the Sultan sits and administer what is known as northern Nigeria. The other Emirs of various Hausa Kingdoms pay allegiance and tribute annually to the Sultan, who is a descendant of the Islamic reformer Usmanu Danfodiyo. The sultan still remains the spiritual leader of Nigerian Muslims.

The state was created on 27 May 1967 from the Northern region as the North-Western state. It was later carved out on 3rd February 1976, along with Niger state. Kebbi and Zamfara states were carved out from the state in 1991 and 1996 respectively. The state is an important farming centre, where the residents mainly Fulani and Hausa are farmers.

Sokoto state is one of the states sharing borders with two countries. It shares its border with Niger Republic to the North through Illela town and Benin Republic to the West. Sokoto also shares border with Zamfara to the East and Kebbi State to the South East.


The seat of the Caliphate

Population of Sokoto State

According to the NBS Projections of 2017, Sokoto State has a population total of 4,998,090 people.


With a surface area of 25,973 km², Sokoto state is the 16th largest state in terms of surface area.

Official Website

The Official Website of Sokoto State Government

Present Governor of Sokoto

The current Governor of Sokoto state is Aminu Waziri Tambuwal along with his deputy Munir Daniya who was re-elected for a 2nd term in 2019 under the banner of the PDP.

Social Media Handles

Twitter Sokoto State ICT Directorate

Sokoto State Governor’s Office Facebook

Sokoto ICT Directorate on Instagram

Past Governors of Sokoto State

Umaru Muhammed                    Military GovernorMar 1976 – Jul 1978
Muhammad Gado Nasko             Military GovernorJul 1978 – Oct 1979         
Shehu Kangiwa                     Civilian Governor (NPN, Died in office)Oct 1979 – 17 Nov 1981    
Garba NadamaCivilian Governor (NPN)Jan 1982 – Dec 1983       
Garba DubaMilitary GovernorJan 1984 – Aug 1985       
Garba Mohammed                      Military GovernorAug 1985 – Dec 1987       
Ahmed Daku                        Military GovernorDec 1987 – Aug 1990       
Bashir Magashi                    Military GovernorAug 1990 – Jan 1992      
Yahya Abdulkarim                  Civilian Governor (NRC)Jan 1992 – Nov 1993       
Yakubu Mu’azu                                   Military Governor9 Dec 1993 – 22 Aug 1996 
Rasheed Raji                                        Military Governor22 Aug 1996 – Aug 1998    
Garba RufaiMilitary GovernorAug 1998 – 29 May 1999    
Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarwa             Civilian Governor (ANPP)29 May 1999 – 29 May 2007 
Aliyu WamakkoCivilian Governor (PDP)  29 May 2007 – 11 Apr 2008 
Abdullahi Balarabe SalameCivilian Governor ((acting, PDP)11 Apr 2008 – 28 May 2008 
Aliyu WamakkoCivilian Governor (PDP, APC, 2nd time)                  28 May 2008 – 28 May 2015

Ministries of Sokoto State

Hon. Muhammad Arzika TuretaMinistry of Agriculture
Hon. Usman Sulaiman Danmadamin-IsaMinistry for Rural Development
Hon. Abdussamad DasukiMinistry of Finance
Prof. Aisha Madawaki IsahMinistry of Social Welfare and Community Development
Hon. Abdullahi MaigwanduMinistry of Religious Affairs
Prof Abdulkadir JunaiduAnimal Health and Fisheries
Hon. Bello Abubakar GwuiwaBasic and Secondary Education
Hon Mohammed Mainasara Ahmad, mniMinistry of Budget and Economic Planning
Hon. Mohammed S. ArewaCulture and Tourism
Hon. Bashir GidadoCommerce and Trade Development
Hon. Sagir Attahiru BafarawaEnvironment
Prof Bashir GarbaHigher Education
Dr. Mohammed Ali InnameHealth
Hon. Isa Bajini GaladanciInformation and Orientation
Hon. Bello Bala BodingaLand and Housing
Col. Moyi Garba RtdCareers and Security Matters
Hon. Bashir Gorau Youths and Sports Development
Hon. Kulu SifawaWomen and Children Affairs
Hon. Umar BatureWater Resources
Hon. Engnr Salihu MaidajiWorks
Hon. Sani Bunu YaboEstablishment and Service Matters
Hon. Bello Aliyu GoronyoSolid Minerals
Hon. Aliyu Balarabe DandinmaheEnergy and Petroleum Resources
Hon. Munir Muhammad Dan’iyaMinistry for Local Government

List Local Governments and their Headquarters

Sokoto state has a total of 23 local governments.

S/NLocal GovernmentHeadquarters
3Dange ShuniDange
13Sabon BirniSabon Birni
16Sokoto NorthSokoto North
17Sokoto SouthSokoto South
23 YaboYabo

Major Tribes in Sokoto State.

  1. Hausa Tribe
  2. Fulani Tribe (Toronkawa, Danfodiyo, Sullubawa, and Zoramawa.
  3. Kwenga Tribe
  4. Shonga Tribe
  5. Uncinda Tribe
  6. Zambarmawa
  7.  Gobirawa
  8. Zamfarawa
  9. Kabawa,
  10. Adarawa
  11. Arawa

Facts About Sokoto State

1. Do you know that Sokoto shares borders with two different countries? Sokoto shares border with Niger Republic to the North through Illela town, and Benin Republic to the West.

2. Sokoto was the capital of the Danfodio caliphate, stretching far into present-day Benin and Niger Republic, and other Northern towns. The rulers of these sections see the Sultan as the titular head and pay allegiance to him.

3. It became a permanent capital of the Fulani empire in 1809 when Usman divided the empire into two sectors and made his son Muhammad Bello an overlord of the eastern emirates.

5.  Muhammad ruled from Sokoto, but it was not until Usman’s move (1814) to the town and his death there in 1817 that it became the spiritual headquarters of the Fulani people.

6. By the 1820s Sokoto had become known for its two large mosques, the Masallacin Shehu and the Masallacin Bello (both of which were rebuilt in the 1960s), and for the palace of the sultan.

7. The states of Zamfara and Kebbi were all carved out of Sokoto, making it one of the largest states back then.

8. Sokoto state’s first elected civilian Governor, Shehu Knagiwa died in 1982 while playing Polo. His deputy, Garba Nadama succeeded him.

Tourist Attraction Sites in Sokoto

  1. Sultan of Sokoto Palace
  2. Surame Cultural Landscape  (Surame)
  3. Tomb of Usman Dan Fodio (Hubbare)
  4. Waziri Junaidu History and Culture Museum  (Waziri Junaidu Museum)
  5. Shehu Kangiwa Square
  6. Goronyo Dam
  7. Alkalawa
  8. Sokoto Museum
  9. Masallacin Bello
  10. Masallacin Shehu

Notable People and Personalities from Sokoto State

  1. Abdullahi dan Fodio, Brother to Shehu Usman Fodio
  2. Abu Bakr Atiku, Sultan
  3. Ahmadu Atiku, Sultan
  4. Ahmadu Rufai, Sultan
  5. Ali Babba bin Bello, Sultan
  6. Nana Asmaʼu, Scholar, Poet and Daughter of Danfodio
  7. Muhammadu Attahiru II, Sultan of Sokoto
  8. Ahmadu Bello Sardaunan Sokoto, First Premier of Northern Nigeria
  9. Sultan Muhammed Bello
  10. Umaru Nagwamatse, Founder of Kontagora Emirate
  11. Usman dan Fodio, Scholar and Founder of the Sokoto Caliphate
  12. Yahaya Abdulkarim, Governor of Sokoto 1992-1993
  13. Attahiru Bafarawa, Governor of Sokoto 1999-2007
  14. Shehu Kangiwa First Elected Governor of Sokoto State 1979-1982
  15. Garba Nadama Governor of Sokoto State 1982-1983
  16. Abdullahi Balarabe Salame, Former speaker and Acting Governor
  17. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko Governor of Sokoto State 2007-08, 2008-12, 2012-15
  18. Inuwa Abdulkadir, Former Minister and National Vice Chairman of the APC
  19. Jelani Aliyu, Nigerian automotive designer and Director General of the Nigerian Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC)
  20. Muhammed Zayyanu, Former acting Governor and Current Sarkin Gobir of Gwadabawa
  21. Shehu Shagari, Former President
  22. Bello Bala Shagari, Former President of National Youth Council Of Nigeria,
  23. Muhammad Bala Shagari, Eldest son of Shehu Shagari and District head of Shagari
  24.   Sambo Dasuki, Former National Security Adviser, and Sokoto Prince
  25. Yusuf Sulaiman, Former Federal Minister of Transport, later of Sports
  26. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Former Speaker House of Representatives and Incumbent Governor Sokoto State
  27. Bello Yabo, Religious cleric
  28. HRH. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, Sultan of Sokoto
  29. Professor Mansur Sokoto, Religious Cleric
  30.   Muhammad Arzika, Former Minister of Communication
  31. Dr. Halliru Alhasan, Former Minister of State for Health
  32. Alhaji Abubakar Alhaji, Former Permanent Secretary, Minister and Sardauna of Sokoto
  33.   Aisha Abubkar Alhaji, Former Minister of Trade and Investments, Daughter of Abubabkar Alhaji
  34. Alhaji Bello Danbaba, grandson of Sardauna and Magajin Garin Sokoto
  35. Hamzat Ahmadu, Former Aide to General Yakubu, Gowon, Ambassador and Walin Sokoto

Natural Resources and Mineral Resources Found in Sokoto State

  1. Gold
  2. Silver
  3. Tin
  4. Copper
  5. Lead
  6. Zinc
  7. Iron
  8. Nickel
  9. Chromium
  10. Aluminum
  11.  Gravel
  12.  Gypsum
  13.   Halite
  14.   Uranium

Other crops and livestock grown in Sokoto state include; rice, wheat, maize, groundnut, soybeans, millet, beans, cattle, sheep, goats etc.

Ceremonies and Festivals in the State

1. Hawan Sallah

2.  Hawan Idi

3. Eid al-Adha

4. Eid al-Fitri

5. Maulidi

6. Shoro and Doro festivals

Tertiary Institutions in Sokoto State

  1. Sokoto State University
  2. The Polytechnic of Sokoto State
  3. Shehu Shagari College of Education
  4. Usman Dan Fodio University Sokoto

Emirates in Sokoto

The Sultanate of Sokoto is a traditional state in Northern Nigeria with headquarters in the city of Sokoto, capital of the modern Sokoto State.

The current sultan, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR is the chairman of state traditional council of chiefs, as well as the head of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (Society for the Support of Islam – JNI), and president-general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCI)

Major Markets in Sokoto

Sokoto Central Market

Wamako Market

Sabon Birni Market

Goronyo Market

Illela Market

Gwadabawa Market

Kebbe Market

Rabah Market

Goronyo Market

Binji Market

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