Zamfara State consists of fourteen (14) Local Government Areas. In alphabetical order their names are as follows::
- Birnin Magaji
- Kaura Namoda
- Talata Mafara
Zamfara State consists of fourteen (14) Local Government Areas. In alphabetical order their names are as follows::
This table shows the order of the tenure of the different governors that ruled zamfara state from it creation to date. This list includes the names, political party and dates of swearing in and departure of the governors.
|Name||Title||Took Office||Left Office||Party|
|Jibril BalaYakubu||Administrator||07 Oct. 1996||May 1999||Military|
|Ahmad Sani Yarima||Governor||29 May 1999||May 2007||ANPP|
|Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi||Governor||29 May 2007||May 2011||ANPP|
|Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari||Governor||29 May 2011||May 2015||ANPP|
|Abdul”Aziz Abubakar Yari||Governor||29 May 2015||to date||APC|
The early history of zamfara can be traced to this story of a princess called FARA. Fara was a lost but found beautiful princess, a daughter of Sarkin Gobir. She is light in complexion thus the name was called Fara in huasa language.
Fara the daughter of the King was married to a man she dislike, and so one fateful sunny day, Fara ran away from her husband and entered a bush where she suddenly got lost.
However, a group of hunters found Fara in the bush and took Fara to their home at “Unguwar Maza” near Dutsi, (Dutsi was the first settlement of Zamfara Kingdom in Zurmi district where Zamfara rulers catch a niche and for seven years, they had no ruler).
While staying with the hunters, Fara felt comfortable with the hunters in those periods of ignorance and decided to live with them. And so for years Fara lived with the youngest of the men and eventually became pregnant by him. The hunters decided to take Fara home. They asked Fara the name of her land and Fara replied that it was “Gobir” one of the powerful kingdom in those days.
Meanwhile, few months later, the hunters took Fara back to her hometown where she gave birth after fourteen (14) days. The king of Gobir was very excited to see his beautiful young princess daughter Fara safely back home and therefore as a gesture of showing his gratitude, the king of Gobir gave the hunters all the piece of land at Unguwar Maza to the bank of River Niger. They called the land: “Kasar Mazan Fara” in Hausa language literally means “the land of men of Fara” and so Birnin Zamfara came into existence.
Finally, the Birnin Zamfara was built over the place where the beautiful princess Fara was originally found by the hunters.
NB: The story of the lost but found Fara, a beautiful princess daughter of the king of Gobir is said to be told differently by different local historians. But the one that sticks most is the story of Fara, a daughter of Sarkin Gobir. With the story, it provides a lesson in history via short story genre about the etymology and origin of the name Zamfara and the present Zamfara state and the progenitors of the Zamfarawa which started from Dutsi – Birnin Zamfara – Kiyawa – Sabon Gari and then Anka finally.
Zamfara is one of the 36 states in Nigeria. Its in the north western Nigeria. Its capital is Gusau and its current Governor is Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Up Until 1996 zamfara area was part of Sokoto State. Zamfara is populated by Hausa and Fulani tribes.
Major groups of people are the “Zamfarawa” from Anka, Gummi, Bukkuyum and Talata Mafara Local Governments areas and are also scattered all over the state.
Gobirawa people are from Shinkafi Local Government. The “Gobirawa” actually migrated from the Gobir Kingdom. Burmawa are found in Bakura and Fulani people from Bungudu, Maradun, Gusau and are scattered all over the State.
In Tsafe, Bungudu and Maru Local Governments are found “Katsinawa, Garewawa and Hadejawa”. While Alibawa are found in Kaura Namoda and Zurmi.
Zamfara State is mainly populated by Hausa and Fulani people, with some members of Gwari, Kamuku, Kambari, Dukawa, Bussawa and Zabarma ethnic communities. Others include the Igbo, Yoruba, Kanuri, Nupe and Tiv.
People of Zamfara have over the years struggled to have state of their own, it was in the year 1996 that the then Military Administration of the Late General Sani Abacha detached Zamfara State from Sokoto State.
With an area of 38,418 square kilometres, it is bordered in the North by Niger republic, to the South by Kaduna State. In the east it is bordered by Katsina State and to the West by Sokoto and Niger States.
Agriculture is the most important occupation of the people of the state ever which every community proud of being a region of farming. This agricultural activities has been achieved from having a good soil which is good and suitable for farming and irrigation especially cereals and legumes crops like wise the availability of large areas that helps in cultivating a large acres land in the area hence its slogan “farming is our pride”. And also Home Of Shari’ah.
Zamfara state has a population of 3,278,873 according to the 2006 census and contains fourteen local government areas.
The term NGO has now become a popular in academic, policy and international cycles. The letters N.G.O is an abbreviation, which stands for Non-Governmental Organization, literally speaking because they are not formed by the government, not controlled by Government bureaucracy and they do not participate in decision or policy making of Government(s). By * IBRAHIM TUDU
The term NGO has now become a popular in academic, policy and international cycles. The letters N.G.O is an abbreviation, which stands for Non-Governmental Organization, literally speaking because they are not formed by the government, not controlled by Government bureaucracy and they do not participate in decision or policy making of Government(s).
SOME HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES
For a better understanding of the present topic, one needs to have an insight into the history or evolution of NGOs. Community based organization’s evolution dates back decades ago. Some of the then existing voluntary organizations were very small, inexperienced and generally localized and some exist with different names, such as societies and clubs committees which are mostly friends, relations, professional groups, etc. Generally, they lack some relevant organizational capacities, funding and networking.
Some of the oldest voluntary organizations established were the Anti-Slave Trade Society established in the year 1840. Another old and still surviving NGO established for humanitarian services was the International Committee for the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, an organization that out dates even the United Nations. It was established in the year 1863. It has played a major role in offering humanitarian services in major wars and conflicts.
NGOs globally are developed from the need to coordinate some specifically defined activities and objectives. Beginning from 19th century, Mosques, Churches, Professional, Scientific and Cultural groups formed all kinds of associations that execute the work of NGOs. In the 20th century, specialized bodies started to spring up in such areas like sports, businesses and communications.
This paper would now try to fully define the meaning of NGO and also go further to answer some questions on how, why and the need for NGOs, before finally addressing the roles they play in the national development and security which is the topic this paper is designed to address.
What is an NGO?
Let me begin by asking us this question. What does the term NGO stands for or what is the meaning of an NGO?
Even though there is no generally or universally restricted definition of NGO, however let us bring in some definitions by some institutions and international bodies in order to explain more the meaning or the message behind the term NGO. To enable us capture the idea behind the NGOs, four of these definitions would suffice;
NGOs are known to be legitimately engaged in activities that touch on the lives of their communities. These include economic, social, humanitarian, security and philanthropy. They are nevertheless broad in names and activities depending on their objectives, focus and mode of operation. These include associations, societies, forums, foundations, networks, charities, organizations, trusts, centers, clubs, committees, etc.
Why Are NGOs Established?
Let us try to address the question or give answers to the reasons on why NGOs are established by communities.
The belief that not all areas, activities, fields, needs and services of the communities are perfectly and completely offered or addressed by Governments however highly advanced or principled. This makes the establishment of NGOs absolutely necessary, complimentary and very encouraging in the history and developmental need of any nation.
It is generally agreed that human capital is another form of economic capital. Therefore, the vast resources and capacities accumulated by the voluntary, non-profit organizations could not be disregarded. The zeal to serve ones community and offer services to the poor and the needy or participate in developmental activities or other humanitarian and relief services are some of the motivating factors that give rise to the establishment of NGOs.
Recently, the activities of NGOs are on the rise, they are at the forefront in the fight for good governance, accountability and transparency by public office holders. So many factors and challenges have caused like minded people to unite and forge common front on some issues of the day ranging from the quest for offering social services to the people, to offering relief, humanitarian and emergency services. So also the issue of globalization, environment and anti war issues has united communities.
Between 1945 to 1995, the number of NGOs has increased astronomically. Currently, even in the absence of accurate data of the number of NGOs worldwide, one can safely say that their proliferation is directly associated with the coming of new technology, communication and the Internet. On the average, a new NGOs is created somewhere in the world every day.
Generally, it is our opinion that the number of CBO and NGOs in a particular locality, state or nation providing non-profit services in a very healthy development which should not be over looked by any state or government. More recently, there has been growing interest in the activities of NGOs not only in Nigeria but worldwide.
How Does NGOs Operate?
Worldwide, the activities and contribution of NGOs to societies through their participation and providing inexpensive, value driven and usually completely free services to communities has been acknowledged and is increasingly coming to the lime light.
Even though, NGOs operate in different capacities and with numerous objectives, motivation and focus. Generally they work as pressure groups, watchdogs and developmental organizations. The United Nations for example has found it very necessary to deal with NGOs. In fact, the term NGO as earlier explained was coined by the U.N. after the WW II. Since then it has extended the ways and principles of it engagement with the NGOs by expanding and improving the way it works with them.
The British and American Governments have also created a variety of regional assemblies and grouping to try to bring more people and communities into active participation in democratization and other major campaigns.
The International Community uses numerous names to describe NGOs. These names include: Non- partisan organizations, not-for-profit, Watchdogs, Pressure Groups, Voluntary Sector, Complimentary Institutions, Stakeholders, Non State Actors, Bridge Builders, Development Partners, Grassroots Organizations, Community Based Organizations, Private Voluntary Organizations, Peoples Organization, Value Driven Organizations, Third Sector of the Economy, etc. The world of NGOs has continued to widen and assume more dimension and relevance today.
LEGAL STATUS OF NGOs
The right to establish, create or form an NGO is a fundamental human right that belong to the individuals or group of people and are not bestowed on the States or Governments. These rights are derived from the fundamental rights of an individual, group or community to free speech and association that exist in almost all civilized constitutions.
However, even though NGOs have right to exist and operate as informal organizations, a crucial part of the enabling environment for NGOs requires them to incorporate and acquire formal or legal personality or status this would in turn protect the principles of such NGOs from personal liability for the affairs of the organization, such as contracts, debts or legal action.
In Nigeria, for example, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is the body charged with the power to register NGOs that desire to operate in Nigeria. CAC derives its powers from the Companies and Allied Matters Decree No. I part C, which took effect from 2nd January 1990. So also States and Local Governments have departments of Social and Community Development and that of Youth and Sports Ministries overseeing the registration of NGOs.
AN IDEAL NGO
It is expected that every organization should meet some certain requirements in order to engage in legitimate activities as opposed to criminal and illegitimate groups. An ideal NGO is expected to among other things abide by the following: –
CATEGORIES OF NGOs
Even though their activities are sometimes similar and aimed at development, NGOs differ in so many ways and aspects. They can be safely categorized into various groupings. They can be CBOs, FBOs, and they can also be INGOs. The World Bank for example classified NGOs into 3 main groups, they are: –
Some of the other categories also include;
Further sub-divisions are also possible;
Active NGOs; these are the ones that strive to address the root causes of societal problems they stage programmes that even attract the media. They are either advocacy, service or development oriented.
In active NGOs; These are the less functional ones that have less or no funding whatsoever but attend conferences, seminars and workshops.
Brief Case NGOs; These are usually one-man show often described as “Portfolio Type” or a collection of “Family Business Groups”.
Networks; These are groups of NGOs from different areas, states or regions that comes from different backgrounds but working in the same field but not necessary the same focus and mission. e.g Cisnan
Coalitions; these are umbrella organizations that consist of different NGOs working in different fields of human endevour. They are of differing focus, objectives and missions but they are united for the betterment of their causes and social welfare. e.g Zacons
Who fund NGOs?
There are a number of funding sources or bodies working with different NGOs. They may be categorizes in the following;
After casting a picture of what NGOs are by showing how they operate and why they are established, we can now safely delve into their contributions national development.
NGOs as non state actors, have played and are stilling playing very important and major role in initiating and supporting various Local, National and International developmental activities.
To make sense out of this, one may digress a little to show how NGOs are also playing their role internationally. For example concerted campaigns, enormous pressure and actions by States together with NGOs led to the establishment of the International Court of Justice.
Globally, NGOs have impacted direct and meaningful involvement in shaping the international agenda at the United Nations and regional levels through remarkable negotiations.
NGOs are found in international and regional committees. They also contributed in the MDG and NEEDs programme.
They are also engaged as partners in United Nations Agencies such as the UNEP, UNFAO, UNDP, UNCTAP and UNCHR. But since this is outside the scope of this paper there is no need to go further.
NOW WHAT IS THE MEANING OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT?
To understand the contribution of NGOs to National Development especially in Nigeria, we need to acquaint ourselves with the meaning of the term National Development.
Development of any nation is defined by the advanced learners Dictionary as that nation’s process of changing and evolving pattern of becoming larger, stronger, more successful or more advanced.
‘The Roles of Civil Society and Citizen organizations (in national development) are becoming better understood around the world,” says Martin Sime, Chief Executive Officer the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organizations. “NGOs has been over the past decade ahead of government on many key issues of our times,” said Mr. Naidoo an Executive social worker.
Another separate testimony by Mr. Mario “Whether we take the issue of land mines, environment, HIV/AIDS, global poverty agenda, gender equity, civil society’s impact is quite significant and remarkable in terms of facing difficult challenges of our time and putting forth solutions that are more bold, more courageous and more innovative than many who are constrained by their political office” says Mario Lubetkin, Director General of the Inter Press Service (IPS).
Even though NGOs as oppose to Governments, are well outside decision-making machinery of Governments, they have proved as dependable partners in the formulation of policies and programmes whenever consulted by Governments. Let us now list some areas of contribution by NGOs.
NGOs in Zamfara State that are affiliated and members of the coalition have contributed to the development of Zamfara States in many ways and at different levels.
Currently, NGOs have employed a number of youth both male and female as full time development staff and some on office routine. They can also boost of the largest collection of humanitarian volunteers from communities, civil services and the business sector.
NGOs in the state have executed a lot of projects totaling more than 30 millions naira in the past 3 years alone. More then 60 projects in the area of education, health and good governance were executed in Zamfara State.
NGOs have exalted themselves in areas of exchange of ideas and information. They have engaged in a number of capacity building workshops and other International Forums. NGOs have attended and represented Zamfara State in a number of seminars, workshops and conferences. In the past few years NGOs in Zamfara can boost of accomplishing the following as their own contribution to state and national development;
In Zamfara State NGOs can be found in different communities set up to work at Local, State and National Levels. This is in recognition of the role they can play in giving useful advises, constructive criticism and sound policy decisions.
WHAT ARE THE ROLES PLAYED BY NGOs IN NATIONAL SECURITY
Again let us address the term and notion of security and national security before indicating the role the NGOs play in ensuring national Security.
In a summary National Security as defined by Wikipedia, the internet encyclopedia refers to the public policy of ensuring the survival and integrity of the nation state through the use of economic, social and military power and the exercise of diplomacy in both peace and war time.
The strategy used or employed by the states to protect national security is numerous. They include the use of diplomacy to rally allies and isolate threats; marshalling economic power to facilitate or compel cooperation of the enemy.
Others measures include the use of intelligence and network of agents to depend, defeat or avoid threats and espionage and protect classified information.
However, national security does entirely and solely depend on the military power or population of a nation but the social well being of the people of a nation. The components that make up national security include the following: –
As indicated above, the notion of national security does not only mean the enforcement of laws and security operations. National security is a collective and relative name. It does not only means enforcement of fear or restoration of Security, but the elimination of all sources of insecurity, which must include the provision of all of the above components.
The NGOs helped in no small measure in the maintenance of each of the three mentioned security components. Let us try and list them in this order;
NGO’s most visible role and contribution is in the fight against hunger, unemployment and poverty. They perform so well in these areas by demanding for good policies by governments on the issues of tackling poverty.
They help in getting food to the hungry and the needy through humanitarian services, philanthropy, charity and endowments. “A hungry man they say is indeed an angry man and conversely a source of insecurity”.
Through the pursuance of good economic policies by governments the NGOs press for economic reforms and better economic measure to ensure a secure economy that buttress businesses and other economic activities. NGOs are in the forefront in the fight for accountability, transparency and equity by public and private office holders.
In the public and leadership arena, NGOs are in the forefront in the fight for good governance, democracy and human development. NGOs engage leaders and public office holders by ensuring public based legislation, participation and equal opportunities are provided.
This is one of the most and very important components of national security. Ensuring social cohesion, integration, participation, efficient and adequate distribution of social services and amenities. NGOs also help in the fight for equal opportunities and employment that are integral to their activities not only nationally but also globally.
On the health sector the NGOs has reacted to HIV/AIDs, Malaria and Tuberculosis with unprecedented attention and dispatch it deserves.
NGOs IN WAR AND PEACE
As generally believed, peace is not only the absence of war but a state of maximum security free from all forms of fear. Conversely, there is no security without peace. NGOs offer their services in peacetime and also offer humanitarian services in events of emergencies such as epidemics, earthquakes and other natural or man made disasters.
NGOs contribute in no small measure in times of peace and security. This becomes evidently clear in the sense that NGOs themselves help in bridging gaps, resolution of conflicts and public enlightenment on contentious issues.
Even though there some NGOs whose formation and activities draws some security concerns, one may hasten to say that those NGOs only strive as a result of inadequate security and failure of governments to provide checks and balances which fuels their existence and increase their activities. These “NGOs” may include extreme pressure groups, armed freedom fighters, criminal gangs, rebels, cultist, syndicates, cartels, ethnic and racial movements, nationalist fighters, etc. Therefore these organizations should be carefully separated from developmental and progressive NGOs.
Even though the above voluntary and community organizations may be initially established or formed by a law abiding community and legally, but later their activities may draw some special concerns, fears and security threats. Generally a good NGO should contribute and argument the effort of their communities, localities, states and nation in their chosen areas of operations.
NGOs IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SECURITY
There are numerous NGOs that are found in uniform or out of uniform that help security services in the maintenance of law and order. They participate in confronting emergencies by providing assistants and First Aid support. e.g. Red Cross, Red Crescent, Man ‘O’ War Bay, Civil Defense, Volunteer Forces, Scouts, Girls Guide, Boys Brigades, etc.
One painful fact still remains that security networks and by extension their Governments have not yet recognized and appreciated the huge reserve of knowledge, capacity and resources resident within the voluntary sector that can contribute to their policies and programmes towards National development.
On their part, some NGOs underestimated their relevance and the role they can play in National Development and Security through engaging Governments at all levels on all issues.
Criticisms of NGOs from some quarters that are either not direct recipient of their services or are ignorant of the role they are playing in national development also abound. They are being called all sorts of names that include; they are self appointed, undemocratic, answer to no constituency, encroaches on National and International laws, long arm of their sponsoring partners, resembles multinationals, chase disasters, proponents of western values, aggressive organizations, extremist, etc.
Whatever the criticism, it is evidently clear that nationally and Internationally, political and economic developments has risen with the rise and rise of NGOs, Civil Organizations has become a vital link and force for social change. They put people first before profit; they put food first before reserve or politicking.
The bottom line is that, the work of NGOs which is the provision of socio-economic needs of the people as well as caring for their well being are also the key elements in any development and security effort of any nation. The security of people must starts from meeting their human needs. This implies that social amenities such as shelter, education, health and other infrastructural materials and the elimination of economic inequality are part of security.
All of the above cannot be secured unless and until we have good governance, democracy, peace, security and sustainable national development. Fortunately, these are exactly what the NGOs are fighting for and were known for globally.
The Author of the paper holds HND in Printing Technology from Kaduna Polytechnic in 1989. He worked in the private sector and was one time Managing Director Nasiha Professional Printers, Sokoto and Zamfara States. He was also the Press Manager, Mazan – Fara Printing Press, Gusau.
He worked in the public sector and was the Chief Superintendent of Press, Survey Division, Ministry of Lands and Survey, Zamfara State.
He also served NGOs in different capacities: Executive Member, Muslim Students Society, Kaduna Polytechnic Branch, Secretary General, Joint Youth Islamic Organizations, Zamfara State.
Currently he is the Secretary General, Global Network for Islamic Justice, Zamfara State, Executive Director, Partnership for Muslim Health, Zamfara State, Chairman, Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations, Zamfara State, President, Association of Nigeria Authors, Zamfara State Chapter.
He has attended so many seminars and conferences both at national and international levels. The Author is currently employed with the Zamfara State Zakat and Endowment Board, in the position of Director Zakat Collection.
SOME ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS USED
AAN – Action Aid Nigeria
CSACEFA – Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All.
CISHNAN – Civil Society Network on HIV/AIDS.
DFID – Department for International Development.
SFH – Society for Family Health
SACA – State Action Committee on Aids
USAID – United State Agency for International Development
CODEC – Community Development Centre
NACA – National Action Committee on Aids
CISCOPE – Civil Society Action Coalition on Poverty Eradication
GLONIJ – Global Network For Islamic Justice
UNDP – United Nations Development Programme
NEEDS – National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy
IDASA – Institute of Democracy South Africa.
ZASCON – Zamfara State Coalition of NGO’s
AAIN – Action Aid International
SEEDS – State Economic Empowerment Development Strategy
TMG – Transition Monitoring Group
PLWHA – People Living with HIV/AIDS
CARE – Cooperative Assistant for Relief Everywhere