The Zuru People: By Amos K Bawa Sence | ISYAKU.COM



(An attempt to Authenticating issues relating to the
history of Zuru peopleandthe origin of C’lela as
a Language of the People)
Prince Amos K. Bawa S nc
Sponsored by:
Brdg. General M. K. Abdulkarim
Lt. Col. I. O. Bassey
Lt. Col. Ifeanyi Otu
Engr. Stephen Kure

Can hav an zugkan Zurannu an hobo


Can hav an zug a

Zurannu an hobo

What did you say? It means


The Zuru
Copyright Amos K Bawa Sence ISBN 978-978-52551-0-2
First Edition Nov 2014

 i ii
vi i
Dedication Fore word.
Author’s note
Historical Rout e of Lelna in Brief History
The Land
Deforestration of the Area A’zugru
The People
The Language
The Origin of C’lel a
C’lela in the Context of a Language of a People Lelna
The Diminishing Strength of C’lel a Language

  I dedicate this book to
HRH Maj Gen (Dr.)
Muhammadu Sani Sani
Sami Gomo II The Emir of Zuru

This  book    is little.  It  is  pocket  sized.  Yet  it  is  great,  in that  it contains  much  to learn. It is a bold atte mpt at distilling from the welter of existing oral traditions an
acceptable standard history of the Zuru ethnicity, such as can be taught in schools
with certainty as the authentic history of the Zuru people.
The author, in doing this, adopted a style of analytical and deductive reasoning on the one  hand, and  of phonological  and  phonemical approach on  the other , thus
engaging  the  reader  in  a  linguistic  tutorial  and  history  lesson.  He  tried  to  drive
home the point that every  language spoken on earth has an etymological origin.
The C’lela language, the language of the Zuru tribe otherwise Lelna of south Kebbi
State,  is  not  an  exception.  It  grew  up  pragmatically  through  human  exper ience
and  nominative  usage  of  sounds  in  describing  or  defining  objects,  subjects  and
environmental  condition  or  social  relationship,  dating,  perhaps,  from  the  14th
century.  Notice  how  assiduously  he  worked on  the origin  of  the  word  Zuru,  t he
name  commonly  used  in  calling  the  C’lela  language  speaking  people  of  Kebbi
State. He traced the name to its root and that root was the word Zurnu, Zurannu
or ‘Zugru meaning “Lion” It was so called because the land area which has now
become the home of the Zuru  people sometimes  called A’ zugru  or Copun A’lela
was  a wild  forest  vast  land,  dominantly  infested  by  wild  ferocious  lions,  back  in
the 14th century when the Le lna  sometimes spelt with a ‘K’, K’lela came upon the
land  as the first group of human beings to deforest it and establish an aboriginal
occupation.  The  seriousness  with  which  the  author  regards  this  subject  is  clear
from the fact that the whole of chapter 1 and 2 of the book is devoted to it.
The question whether  the Lelna people can as  we ll  be called  Zuru people seems to me  a  matter  of semantics. True, the word Zuru emerged as  a  corrupted  word
through mispronunciation by white colonial masters and adopted by the Hausas It
has  come  to stay.  Since it  has  become  the hob  of the  proto-Lelna  and  the most
densely  populated  cluster  of  A’lela  aboriginal  community  in  the  country,  the
people can be named Zuru people or Lelna people interchangeably, although the
name was originally to describe the region where the people are settled.
Another aspect  of  this analytical  history  book  is  the  author’s  effort to  argue  out how  the  original or  proto C’lela language resolved into the  dialectical verticals or
variants that now exist.  His effort seems to me to have ended up, in the language
of King Solomon of biblical Israel who in his attempt to unravel the meaning of life
ended up by saying “It is beyond me “ Eccl 7 23 The author ended up by saying in

effect that it is all par t of Babel’s denunciation of man’s inordinate ambition to be God unto himself.
The  mystery  of  dialectical  differences  within  a  language  or  ethnic  grouping  is common  to  most  languages.  It  is  in  Yoruba,  it  is  in  Igbo,  it  is  in  Urhobo.  This  is
certainly  an  inquiry  that  should  provoke  thought  in  all  serious  minded  people
irrespective of their discipline of studies and practice.
One   would  have  liked  to  know  from  evidence  that  the  Lelna  people  indeed migrated  through  and  from  katsina  by  reference  to  spoken  words,  phrases  and
clauses  or manne r  of expression  or cultural  practice  of Lelna which  ar e identical
or similar to those of the maguzawa people of katsina. This is missing.
It  is  pleasing  also  to  know  how  place  names  like  Bodinga  in  Sokoto  State  and Kaduna  in  Kaduna  State  originated.  The  one  name  is  rooted  in  the  language  of
hospitality in C’lela “Ne o D’bo Kotk Kad na ma” which can be contracted to Ne o
D’bo corrupted by the Hausas to Bodinga whic h re ndered in English is “give to
the visitors some venison out of the animal killed” (page 13 ultimate Para to page
14).  The  other name is  rooted  in  the  word  Kada,  the  Hausa  name for  Crocodile
which turned out to be some what like the C’lela language word “Kadunaka” for
A  group  of  Lelna  hunters  had  gone  to  the  land  territory  now  calle d  Kaduna  to hunt.  They  were  chased out  by  a  hostile  crocodile.  As they  retreated,  they  met
another  group  of  hunters  to  whom  they  narrated  their  experience.  The  region
was  thereby  called  Kadunaka  in  C’lela  which  the  Hausas  corrupted  to  Kada  and
the colonial  powers to Kaduna which got stuck. (page 20  Para 2). One  can go on
and on like this of place names like Gummi derived from Guiimni, the C’le la name
for  Leopards.  The  area  was  a  habitat  for  leopards  in  it’s  pristine  state  before  a
wave  of  Lelna  people  of the  Dakkarkari  tribe settled  there and  cleared it  off  its
virgin forest to make it a habitable Town for humans. (page 12 Para 3 last 4 lines).
It is also fascinating to note  that most of all these Northern  Towns and cities are Lelna lands going by the history presented by this book. For another example, the
town Gotomo derived from the Kingakwe/Lelna language “Gotobo na na”
corrupted by  the  Kabawa  people  to  Gotomo. (page  8  Para.  2  under Dukku  Hills
lines 4-10) Doso in Niger is also the settle ment of Kingawa /Lelna Why “de facto”
these  lands  are  ruled  by  Hausa  hegemony  and  the  language  is  predominantly
Hausa is baffling.

However,  the  author  seems  to  have  provided  the  answer  at  page,  14  (Para, Zamfara) where he said that Lelna people regard rulership as “a lazy man’s work
They would  rather engage themselves in productive farming and hunting  than  to
rulership.  The comment on Gummi settlement  at  page. 13  Para  2  lines 2   9  also
helps to clear the fog He said “ the King makers in Gummi Town today are the
Lelna  people  who  lost  their  identity  to  the  influence  of  the  Hausa  people  who
came and met them there In fact they are “Hausanised” but they know it right
within them that they are not Hausas but aboriginals to Zuru/ Copuna’ Lela. Thus,
ignorantly, they allowed the Hausas who properly should be stranger elements to
dominate  the m  and  make  them  the  strangers  in  the  reverse.  This  is  of  socio-
political interest.
Chapter  3  Is  devoted  to  how  the  various  Lelna  communities  with  their  distinc t dialectal  differences  came  to  found  enclaves  of  permanent  settlement  in  Zuru
land territory. The author concluded that the match of migration is from Senegal,
first  leg  to settle in Katsina  and from Katsina, they trickled  down to Kebbi, some
through karishe n second leg and finally came to rest in Zuru land, third leg. (pg. 36
para 1). One notes how the author using a didactic and pedagogic style of writing,
tries to instill ethnic awareness and pride in the true K’lela  son and daughter (pg.
Chapter 4 highlights the various tribal settleme nts of the  Lelna commune in Zuru land  South West Kebbi State. Some  of the se are  listed in the opening paragraph.
Then  we nt  on  to describe the festivals of the people, which celebrate God’s rain
for  planting  and  harvesting,  and  fertility  and  the   initiation  of  the  young  and
adolescent into adulthood and marriage. The picture of Yadato celebrants during
the  U’hola  festival,  the  most  popular  annual  festival  of  the  Lelna  people,  is
picturesque  and  quaint,  active  and  alive  at  page   42.  After  reading  about  the
Golmo  institution  that  offers  military  training  and  discipline,  endurance  and
bravery, whic h have  become ingrained  in  the  culture  of  the Lelna people   in the
wome n,  faithfulness  in  marriage,  in  the  men,  absolute  self-reliance,  one  is
tempted, though  lobbying  is  viewed  disapprovingly  among  the  people,  to  lobby
for a K’lela woman for a wife.
Chapter  5 deals w ith the  origin  of the C’lela  language. The  author is  not  distinc t and  definitive  in  his  treatise.  Like  most  languages,  he  said,  it  is  a  divine  ac t
traceable to mount Arafat in North of lake Va n in Turkey and concluded that the
confusion of the Tower of Babel is the source of all languages and their variants.

Chapter 6 is  given to creation of new words in C’lela, an ingenious exercise, isn’t it?  The  English  language,  for instance, is  the riches t  in vocabulary.  It’s  lexicon  is
compendious  because  it  borrowed  words  and  phrases  from  other  languages,
extinct and extant e g “fait accompli” is French So also the words “milie u” and
“coup d’état” The wor d “Voodoo is Haiti In like manner were I to originate  a
word in U hrobo for school I would rather call it “skuul” than some other wor d
like “uwevwi-uyono“ The idea is this many of the languages existing today will
gradually become extinct as we move towards a world that is shrinking into a pea.
The English Language is the most widely spoke n language in the world today. The
sooner  languages  approximate  to  the  English  language  in  terms  of  the  use  of
descriptive words, the be tter for a United Kingdom of the world: How about that?
Chapter 7 disclosed that 29 dialects exist in C’lela language  with 319 clans, which the author meticulously, listed. The  link of  Kambari  people of  Kebbi,  Niger  State
with  certain  Igbo  clans  in  Imo,  Anambra  and  Enugu  States  through  the  trace of
similarity  of  words  and  their  meaning  and  cultural  practice  as  suggesting  a
common descent is, instructive  and enlightening. Although, the subject  is a stray
point, as recognize d by  the  author himself. These people are down here in Delta
Region of Nigeria called “Gam bari” and is mos tly  applied  derisively  to  the
Igbo’s of the old fashioned type It is fascinating to note that the word “Kembeyi”
means in Kambari “come back while in Igbo language it means “let us stay he re”
They both have the same phonemic connotation.
Chapter  8  laments  the   decline  in  the  ability  of  Lelna  sons  and  daughters  in speaking the C’lela language. This decline, the author fears may result in the total
extinction or diffusion of the language and eventual decay. He blamed the strong
influence of the Hausa and English Language for this. He also attributed it to inter –
marriage  and  cross  migration and  the  neglect  and  indiffere nce  of  the  people of
Lelna  themselves.  The  re medy,  he  suggested,  is  to  re-awaken  patriotism  and
ethnicity in Lelna people. I share in this. Pa ge 95-97, devoted to major landmarks
in the history of Zuru, is educative, suggesting when the enlightenment process of
the Zuru people , be gan.
This  book  is  soothing.  Although  the  c hapters  tend  to  be  repetitive  of  previous chapters, which tend to lull the reader into sleep through boredom, the racy style
of the author keeps the reader’s interest on.
The  entire  picture  painted  by  this  little  but  gorgeous  book,  is  a  scintillating  and fascinating  history  of  Lelna  people.  It  will  make  for  a  good  handbook  for  t he

linguistic  student,  the  language  student,  the  historical  student  and  anybody interested  in  the humanities.  For them all I recommend it. The  language  is  racy,
Jovial, classical and Queen’s. It is a book you would enjoy reading in the quiet airy
evening  setting  under  a  mango,  Mormoro,  C’riga    or  an  umbrella  tree  in  your
home garden or D’kebe.

Christian O. Scott-Emuakpor Esq.
Barrister & Solicitor
22nd July, 2014.

Mi k’lela 
A’ Lela Kings did not  give or handover  the chronicles of their royal dynasties in a written  document  containing  the  history  of  A’lela,  A’zugru,    nor  what  informed
the names, or the origin  of  the  names and the migration of their  people to their
successors.  Moreover,  our  ancestral fathe rs  could  not  do  so  because  they  we re
not  formally  educated.  However,  oral  traditions  were  passed  down  from  one
generation to  another. In view of the  limited   development and evidence of our
great history as Lelna “It is time we  harnessed  our  intellectual  abilities  and
strengths towards the service of our land ” according to the the n Zeds president
Col D. Komo Rtd, one time Gove rnor of Rivers State. On this note, I made an effort
and attempt to embark on a research about A’le la people. The book is an atte mpt
to  give  an  account  of  the  origin  of  A’lela  people  and  the  derived  meanings  of
words  like  Zuru,  A’zugru,  Zurannu,  C’lela,  Gummi  and  Argungu.    The  origins  of
Lelna people are discussed in chronological order.
In this book, you will e njoy a comparative study of the dialects within the region, particularly  in  the  region  of  A’lela,  Zuru.    I  did  also  consider  various  verbal
hypothetical  theories  and  claims.  However,  my  findings  have  revealed  a  dialect
and  tribal  variations  that  are  constant  betwee n  the  proto-Lelna,  Lelna:  Hunnu,
Paknu,  Gya  ane ,  Daknu,  Kelne  and  Kamuknu.  My  findings  further  revealed  that
these  tribes  belong  to  the  proto-Lelna  branch of  the  kainji  group;  speaking  one
parent language of C’lela der ived from proto-C’lela with its dialectic variations. My
source of information about the tribes, the people and their migration to Zuru or
A’zugr u,  was based  on  oral tradition.  It is  against  this  background that  I want to
tell my frie nds who are not from Zuru that Zuru “Zugar nu” people are not “yan
Zuru” or Zuru man as they may want to put it to mean a language or a people.
It  is  important  to  note  here  that  A’le la  people  would  prefer  to  be   called  or addressed by their indigenous name, Lelna. Zuru is the town of Le lna people and
is  divide d  into  five  Chiefdoms  that  constitute  the  region  of  A’lela  with  various
villages speaking C’lela and the dialects of Proto-C’lela as a general Language. The
Villages are further divided into clans. For instance, Sencne as a tribe  have about
9 – 12  clans  like: Govgne,  Denkarne,  Karni, Dogno  and Golono,  to mention  but a
few. You will  also  have  the  privilege  to know  the  five  chiefdoms,  district  and  all
the names of the villages in A’lela land (copu na’lela).  I was brief in discussing the
problems  facing  Zuru  politically  and otherwise. However,  it is  a  phe nomenon  or

virus that has eaten deep into the fabric of A’lela society. This phenomenon is not far  from  ethnicity  and  re ligion;  the  seed  sown  by  the  imperialist.  My  friend
Dominic,  in  a  chapter  of  a book titled “Challe nges of sustainable democracy in
Nigeria” by Emmanuel Ojo 2006 315 329 wrote on this subject and I feel he has
spoken my mind. In which case , I will not discuss it.
The  aggregate of  humans  as  rational  and social  beings, if  evaluated  properly,  is the  actualization  of  a consummate  personality whose  essence  or  existence  is  to
socialize  among  his  fellow  human  contemporaries,  regardless  of  ethnicity  and
religion. Every human being was socialized to adopt and believe in one religion or
the other, and fused to believe in the word of Almighty God as the Sovereign who
exists    to  be  worshiped    in  truth  and  in  spirit,  de void  of  viole nce  and
discrimination. Peace-makers, the Emir, our parents in Zuru, have practically used
wisdom, otherwise called prudence,  in human  resource  management  to address
this  issue   by  stimulating  their  Antenna  of  interactive   instincts  to  dialogue
unsolicite d  in  their  respective  homes,  among  children,  friends  and  brothers  to
advocate for peace, love and unity, hoping for a better tomorrow.
His  Royal  Highness,  the  Emir  of    Zuru,  is  peace-loving.  He  has  made  efforts  to organise  his community and promote the tradition of his people, and he  wrote a
lot of books to portray aspects of our ancient cultural heritage. He has organised
and  centralized  the  U’hola  celebration,  purposed  to  unite  and  revive  the  long,
about- to-be- forgotten, socio-cultural activities in the land, as it were, from  time
immemorial. I therefore urge the elites, traditional leaders, students, pupils, clan-
heads, and the women to join the Emir in his crusade for the socio cultural revival
of our beautiful heritage, devoid of sentiments. All the Lelna organizations in the
thirty  six  states  of  the  federation  should  draw  a  plan  to  be  represented  in  the
celebration of U’hola every year, especially those in the military barracks. Culture
is  a  way  of  life  of  a  people  and  culture  makes  a  people.  The  state  will  need  to
support the central celebration of U’hola in  Zuru; thus making it  devoid of occult
practices.  A  disregard  may  be  viewed  as  contempt  against  the  culture  and  the

Honestly,  my  sincere  appreciation  is  to  the  Almighty  God.  I  looke d  up  to  a dictionary  for  a  clause  that  could  best  describe  my  profound  appreciation  to
Mr.Daniel  Sence ,  Mr.  Mark  Dudu  Philips,    Mrs.  Elizabe th  Rongo,  Mr.  Samuel
Umaru (U’gamba I of Udaba) Late Mr Nathaniel Zomi (Post Maste r General Rtd)
Late  Mr.  Michael  Gujiya,  Mr.  Sunday  Sabongari,    who  despite  their  tight
schedules,  created  time  and  read  through  the  manuscript  and  edited  it.  My
appreciation also go to Mr. Ben Dikki my mentor and very good adviser. I am also
indebted to  those whom I  had the  reason to  discuss  this topic off-hand,  among
others,  Esther  Kar imu  Manga.  Above  all  my  sincere  thanks  to  Mr.  Moses  Dudu
Rumu  who  accompany  me  on  his  motorcycle  to  various  historical  cities  in  Zuru
land  when I was  interview and collecting the number of tribes, dialects and clans
we have in Zuru land. Thank you so dearly.

Copyrights (c) Bawa Amos K Sence 2014

 ©  All rights Reserved
No  part  of this publication may  be  re produced or transmitted  in  any  form  or  by any means without the permission of the copy right holder.
First publication Nov 2014
Printed by:

Is  Z ur u  a 
La ng u a g e   o r
a   Pe op le ?
Fi nd   ou t !

Bou ndaries Town s and Villages
U’H Y   GU

It is difficult to  discuss A’lela region and its history without  discussing the people and how they migrated from where ever they came. From the available literature,
there  seems  to  be  conflicting  explanations  about  the  migration  of  the  people
found in the area. In fact, quite a number of oral traditions exist and they are at
variance with each other.

In vie w of this,  it  is necessary to  assume theoretical  questions suc h as:  Who are the  zuru  people?  What  is  C’lela?  Who  are  the  Lelna  or  K’lela?  How,  when  and
from  where  did  the  Lelna  people  actually come?  These are  the  same  questions
that are asked by indigenous people  of the land and differe nt people in different
parts  of  the  world  about  the  people  of  A’lela.  Some  of  us  presume  and  give
hypothetical theories that we came from the East and some say Lelna people are
aboriginals. Fortunately, Le lna people have several account of their  origin history
in  oral  tradition.  Some  of  which  seems  similar  to  the  Jewish  traditional  history.
One  of the most popular of the variant forms of oral traditions held by the people
themselves  is  the  claim  that  Lelna  are  descendants  of  Dudu  and  Zegro.  These
allude to  Adam  and  Eve in the  story  of creation.  This  will be  discussed  better in
the first chapter.

Let  me  quickly  prepare your  mine d  by  introducing  you  to  this  work  about  these questions as you read through, because it seems to be the heart of this book.  The
Zuru people are  indige nously referred  to as Lelna in north-westhern  Nigeria and
are presently located in the south of Kebbi and Niger State. Their region is A’lela.
This book therefore seeks to clarify some of these myths and claims. It is based on
four basic considerations:
–   The migration of zuru people in brief
–   The land (Zuru)
–  The people (Proto-Lelna and Lelna) and the origin of
–  The Language (Proto C’lela)

We have no conclusive evidence from pre vious oral tradition and assumptions as to  how,  when  and where  from  the  Lelna  people  migrated.  Perhaps  climate  and
pests,  fire  and  other  natural  disasters  made  it    diffic ult  to  keep  and  preserve
historical records. As a result, there were no written documents from that time to
illuminate their systematic lineage. The old men who would ha ve told us in detail
about our history orally or in written document before colonization had no formal
education. The y are also  not alive to give us solicited oral history. Some of them
die d a natural death, while some died as a result of war espec ially during the then
Kanta  war around the fiftee nth century that lasted for forty years in Kebbi State,
North Western Nigeria.

Another  natural  culprit  that  made  the  history  remote  was  migration.  Hence  it made it difficult to have a conclusive history  about the  Lelna people as it is  with
other  tribes  and  most  languages  in  the  world.  Most  tribes  in  the  world  do  not
have  authentic  histories  of  their  origin  and  migration.  An  attempt  the refore,  to
explain  or  trace  a  partic ular  origin  or  the  making;  of  a  people,  clan,  tribe  or
language  will amount  to  fishing  in  troubled  waters.  However, our  origin  is from
Babel  in  the  Middle  East,  going  by  the  biblical  account  of  the  origin  of  all
languages on earth.

From  the  Literature  written  by  various  authorities  and  scholars,  no  one  fact  or evidence  has  been  substantiated  and  established  as  to  how,  when  and  from
where Lelna  migrated   to their present area of domicile, Zuru (A’zugru  or Copun
A’lela).  In  this  regard,  one  could  view  Lelna  people’s  migration  from  two
perspectives.  One  is  the  actual  and  the  other  is  the  virtual.  The  virtual  is  the
insinuation  that  the  Lelna  people  migrated  from  Kebbi,  Katsina  and  Zamfara;
while  the  actual  is that these suggested areas  of  migration are merely  romantic
guesses,  and  logically  inconclusive.  One  may  therefore  look  at  Lelna  people’s
migration to their present location as complex in nature.

My deductions therefore is, some of the authorities’ writing relating to the history of Zuru (A’Zugru,) and Lelna as a people, is simply dogmatic because it is based on
personal interest and subjective ideology. One could therefore say that the  three
phases  of  migration  as  suggeste d  or  claimed  by  some  scholars  may  be  seen  as

mere speculations. Since, history is the study of time in perspective, the materials that  make  up  this  book  are  centerd  on  mental  and  oral  scie nce,  deducted from
unwr itten oral history, which endeavours to explain the origin, internal migration
and the true nome nclature of the people refereed to as Zuru people or Darkkar ri
as aganst Lelna.

Those  who  have  made  effort  to  write  one  history  text  or  the  other  are  people who  claim  to  be  the majority,  who  have the  tendency to  dominate. Hence,  they
would always want to write the history of the so called minorities. Historical facts
based on oral  tradition  reveal that  the insinuation  that  the Lelna  people are the
descendant  of  Zamfarawa  does  not  actually  hold  true.  The  so-called  historical
scholars  distorted  certain  facts  to  suit  their  political  dogma  and  greed  over  the
Lelna.  Let’s  therefore  enjoy  these  oral  stories  as  we  read  further  about  the
historic and internal migration of Lelna people from our elders who may pass on
anytime from now. Another interesting part of this book is  that, it discusses how
languages or tribes are carved out from other “languages ”

CHAPTER 1 Historical Route
If the claim by various schools of thought is true that Lelna have a Western origin, and  that  they  migrated  from  somewhere   to  Senegal  through  Dakka  to  Katsina,
and  towards  Dukku  hills  to  their  present  location,  we  shall  in  the  next  chapter
know  whether  or  not  the  claims  actually  hold  true  or  if  there  are  proofs  about
their  exodus  and  internal  migration  from  where  they  came.  Hence,  there  are
three  hypothetical  historic  routes  as  to  how  and  where  they  really  came  from.
This constitutes  the subject  of this study effort.  The  book is characterized  by  an
effort of making an atte mpt to deflate the insinuation and wrong prese ntations of
the Lelna people mistakenly called Zuru pe ople or Darkarkari.
This  chapter  sets  out  to  address  the  origin  and  system  of  migration  by  the ancestral  fathers  of  the  Lelna  from  time   immemorial  to  their  present  area  of
domicile, Copu na’lela. It is also aimed at frowning at the effort of some history or
political scholars  and  students  of history  who  rushed into  writing  the  history of
Lelna without having to ascertain whether or not such history holds true. Some of
these  claims  are  de vastating  and,  over  time,  have  a  te nde ncy  of  misleading
assumption  that  can  be  diffused  into  the  societies  at  home  and  abroad,  which
may  like ly  give  birth  to  insinuations,  wrong  assumptions  and  distorted  oral  or
written history. It is on the strength of these claims that we shall be looking  at the
three phases  of  migration as  spec ulated by different people  in  different  parts of
the  world  about  the  internal  migration  and  exodus  of  the  Lelna  people,  as
claimed, from Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara.
On  the  6th  of  June,  2012,  I  had  an  interview  with  the  District  head  of  wage, Mohamme d  Danbaba  Bawa,  about  the  migration  of  some  Lelna  people  from
where ever they came. He expressed the view that, according to his father, Lelna
people  actually came  from  Darka  in Senegal, that may have  informed the  name
Darkkarkari  and  over  the  years  some  of  them  migrated  to  Katsina,  while  some
migrated toward Dukku (hills) in Kebbi State from Katsina. This stateme nt is in line
with what I was told six years ago and repeatedly over the years by elderly men in
the course of my research work.

There see ms to  be a preponderance  of evide nce that  the  Lelna people lived in a multi  ethnic  environment  around  Katsina,  perhaps  the  languages  and  tribes
within  the  geographical  area  of  Zamfara,  Kebbi  and  Niger  States.  In  fact,  their
migration  and  movement  can  be  discribed  as  a slow  process,  like  waves  on  the
high  sea,  moving in  an orbital path  like  rulers  in  a  conveyor  belt,  and broke  into
sections  and  units  (languages  and  tribes)  towards  different  directions.  They  are
belie ved to have migrated internally through Katsina and spread in their numbers
to various locations.
One is not surprised therefore, that Ibrahim Badakkare, a k’lela man whose name was  bastardize d for Badankari  ruled Katsina around  the 16th  century.  That  is  to
say, before  he was  confirmed  a  king, his  pare nt must have  lived in that area  for
hundreds of years. In  fact, one  would not be wrong to say  the ruling class of the
Katsinawa  are  of  Lelna  extract,  since  the  chronicle  of  succession  is  hereditary.
Note here that Badankari is  not C’lela language, because, it has  no meaning. The
name  Badankari  is  re placed  for  Badakkare  in  Hausa  to  mean  K’lela.  In  fact,  the
Maguzawas and  Lelna most  likely share  the same cultural affinities in common. I
am afraid the indigenous tribes ma y even be genetically related to Lelna.
Little wonder, some consonants in C’lela alphabet are borrowed from  maguzawa people. Perhaps, a DNA test will tell us better in the nearest future weather Lelna
people are genetically related to Maguzawa  people  in Katsina or not. Honestly, if
the claim for the Lelna we re traced to Ibrahim Badankari, since some of the Lelna
migrated  from  Katsina,  it  would  have  made  more  sense  than  associating  the
origin  of  Lelna  (Dakkarkari)  people  to  somebody  from  Kano  or  Zamfara,  whose
reason for migration to zuru was as a result of economic attraction.
According  to  oral  tradition,  some  groups  of  people ,  Lelna  among  others,  were presumed  to  have  migrated  towards  Dukku   in  Kebbi State from  Katsina. Hence
the name Dukawa who are direct  extraction of Proto-Lelna  people. From Katsina
some of them spread in their numbers  towards karishen, otherwise called Sakba
to  Zuru.  They  were  all farming  and  hunting and  later  found  those areas suitable
for settlement. According to Mr. Sam Umaru, Katsina and Karishen were more or
less  the   distribution  point  of  various  languages  and  tribes,  eg  Nupe,  Ashingini,
Gbagi,  A’dara  and  Lelna.  According  to  legend,  the  movement  of  some  of  these
languages  was  from  Katsina  through  Zur u  to  their  present  areas  of  domicile.  It
was  further  said  that  a  fraction  of  Gbagi,  Ashingini,  Nupe  and  Adara  people
moved in conveyor with the Lelna and started splitting from around Karishe n area
towards  Zuru,  Kebbi,  and  some  exte nded  their  journey  towards  Minna  in  N iger

state.    Some  journeyed  w ith  the  Lelna  people  through  Gwiimi,  presently  called Gummi. The pe riod is not certain, but oral history suggested the 14th through the
17th Century It is practically clear that the Gbagi ’dara and Lelna people
maintains co-existence correlation of character, traditions and customs from time
immoral, that is why Gbagi people are briefly discussed here.
According  to  legend,  a fraction of  the  Gbagi tribe  were said  to have moved  and migrated from Katsina towards  the  South-East and called their brother to “come
and rest” in their language “Zagbayi” hence popularly known as Zaria The Gbagi
people are also widely  spread around Kadunaka, since the  Hausa  man could not
pronounce “Kadunaka” in C’lela language he nce “Kaduna” and “Zagbayi” in
Gbagi  language  this  we  shall  discuss  latter.  The  Gbagi  people  are  also  spread
around  Abuja,  Niger  and  Nasarawa  state,  in  Nigeria,  where  it  is  presumed  they
The movement of all these groups was in waves, sections and  units according to their  tribes  and  clans.  They  broke  into  sections  and  units,  and  spontaneously
spread  in  phases.  None  of  these  groups  could  claim  they  migrated  first  from
either  Katsina  or  anyw here  they  may  have  come  from  to  their  present  area  of
location.  Above  all,  going  by  the  prehistoric  and  historic  movement  of  these
groups  especially  the  Kainji  group  of  languages,  linguistic  evidence  suggests
Katsina origin via kebbi for the proto-Lelna: their extract,  Nupe, Ashingini, A’dara
Achifawa and the Gbagi tribes.
If  the  hypothesis  of  their  western  migration  is  considerably  factual  and  indeed they  migrated  through  Katsina,  it  is  certainly  not  far  from  our  neighbouring
countries. In the course of migration they spread to different direc tions and kept
on  migrating  over  the  years  until  they  found  where  they  could  either  hunt  or
farm.  Howeve r, intertribal wars  and  chieftaincy  disagreements    are    very  strong
factors that informed migration.
Those who migrated from Katsina to Dukku hills deforeste d the area. According to Captain Danbaba Rtd, after some years in Dukku hills, the chief of Ar’gungu, one
faithful day, went to see the chief of Dukku, who was K’lela  man, and reported to
him about the misunderstanding between him, sarkin Doso and the plan to stage
war  against  him. He humbly requeste d that  the  chief of Dukku should assist him

with his men to enable him fight the war against sarkin Doso. The chief of Dukku agreed and they fixed a date as to where they would meet.
On  that  day, the  Lelna  people,  kingawa,  laid  an ambush against  the Zapremawa people  west  of    Dukku  hills  between  the  town  of  Tarasa  and  Arewan  Dandi,  as
instructed by the chief of Dukku. Another group of Lelna called the Kingakwe laid
an ambush at   North-west of Argungu. While they were laying ambush, they saw
people  passing  by  a  few  meters  from  where  they  whe re  positioned.  In  their
Language of C’lela they said “Got to bo na na!” the Kabawa peo ple  that  were
with the Lelna on hearing “Got to bo na na” could not pronounce it Instead they
said “Gotomo” Hence the present day Gotomo town whic h is close to lwasa
Capt.  Dambaba  Rtd.  further  said  it  is  also  important  to  note  here  that  Kingawa and  kingakwe  people  are  the  off-shoots  of  the  Lelna  people,  but  by  reason  of
migration  the Kingawa  people  are  separated  and  are  now in  Doso in  Niger. The
reason w hy the Lelna assisted sarkin Argungu was to protect the area from being
captured by the Zabarmawa  people.  However,  the foregoing  view, Danbaba said
is his personal deduction from oral story told by elde rs past, some of whom may
be living  today.  This elders themselves  had  no  documented materials  to support
their story, obviously suggesting that the story were like batons that a member of
a team in a  relay  race  passes  to the  next  in  the same wa y as I am  here  passing
them on.
According  to  legend,  Over  the  years  of  war,  from  Dukku  hills,  some  of  them migrated towards the town of Kebbi (Kabobi) while some migrated towards Borgu
and Dukku in Sabongarin Ushe in A’lela (zuru) land. Those who migrated to Kebbi
(Kbobi) were the Lelna who fought the then Kanta wars.
One  ve rsion of  the  oral tradition  holds  that Kanta  was  said  to  have  hailed from Katsina. Mr  Sam  Umaru the u’gamba of u’daba is of the view that Kanta came
from ’lela land and migrated to Kebbi though his timing of migration was not
clear. According to oral tradition, he met Lelna people, among other tribes, whose
pre-occupation  was hunting and farming in  the area. He claimed  supremacy and
dominance  over  these  groups  of  people.  According  to  PG  Harrison,  the  Lelna
became part  of Kanta’s infantry soldiers (Dakaru), because  the  Lelna were  brave,
strong and fearless.

During the conquest of the Hausa states by the Askia of Songhai,  Kanta suddenly revolted  and  decided  to  fight  against  the   Songhai  dominance.  So,  he  hired  the
Lelna people to help him fight the war to actualize his expansionist and rebellious
militant  ambition,  to  capture  Kebbi  among  other  states.  These  are  some  of  the
reasons that informed the idea of the war.
According to Alhaji Isah Tahinta the war lasted for forty years. During the war, the Lelna  people  were  tired.  As  a  result,  they  started  migrating  from  Kebbi  in  their
numbers, looking for  a  place to  enable  them  settle  down to  farm  and  hunt  wild
animals. Kanta observed that the strength of his soldiers was reducing by the day.
So,  he  asked  some  of  the  elderly  men  whether  the  people  were  running  away.
The elderly men  told him that no body  ran  away, that, the people only  went to
the  bush in  search of  where  they  could  hunt  and  farm.  So,  Kanta  belie ved  what
the  old  men  told  him  that  actually  they  were  really  migrating  to  a  place  where
they could have peace.
Meanwhile, Kanta had already built for himself a canoe and had horses which he used  during  his  inspection  tours,  in  the  rainy  and dry  season. During  one  of  his
inspection  tours  with  his  lieutenants  while  on  a  horse,  he  ran  into  a  cluste r  of
Lelna  people  whose  military  strength  he  relied  on.  They  were  migrating  from
place  to place in search of a better  place to  live. So that they could settle  down
after  fighting  series  of  wars  for  years.  Oral  tradition  said  as  soon  as  he  sighted
them he exclaimed in Hausa “ r! Gasu sunyi gungu!” Meaning “ Oh!  Look  at
them they have formed a cluster ” nd later this became the name of the t own
presently known as Argungu.
The claim by bdullahi Ndagi in his book Titled “How all the Tribes originate d from Nupe” that Kanta was a Nupe is controversial This c lai m  could  not  have
been  possibly  correct.  There  are  romantic  guesses  about  his  origin  and  exodus.
Some schools of thought had it that he was a Hausa man; according to Mr Samuel
Depte in his thesis, he said Kanta is K’lela man. In the neighbourhood of truth, the
claim  that  he  is  a  K’lela  man  has  some  element  of  truth  because  of  the
circumstance  that  surrounded  his  existence  based  on  oral  traditions.  Such
circumstances  include:
1.  That he haile d from Katsina in a convoy of some Lelna,   although  he  met other Lelna people who had since lived in   that area.
2.  At his arrival, he identified and formed alliance with them.

3.  And that if he was an Hausa man, he could not have started    war  against his brothers, the Song hai and Asbinawa.
4.  Those who fought the  Kanta war obviously were the Lelna   who  were the foot soldiers of the militant rebel, Kanta     Kantaw  and  that  he  was
called Kanta because he uses the   left hand to fight.
  “Kanta” means left hand in  C’lela  language  and  Kanta-  kantaw  means someone who uses left hand to shoot bow and   arrow. kanta is what the Hausa
man says because he could not pronounce  kantaw.  However,  if  pronounced,  it
simply means “Left” or somebody who uses left hand or  an expert in  the  use of
bow and arrow.
5.  There were no facts written that the Nupe people fought or   took  part  in the war. So it could not have  been possible for   him  as  a  Nupe  man  to  lead
hundreds of Lelna warriors.
I differ to disagree with Ndagi bdullahi in his book title d “Nupe the origin ” How all the tribes of  Nige ria originated from N upe where  he said in pages: 47  No 421
and 422 respectively and I quote P47 no 421 “The name rgungu one of the
regional capitals of Kebbi Kingdom was originally Gungu in the days Of kanta. But
Gungu is also the name  of Kin N upe In former times ”
P47 No 422  “Gungu is in effect a dialectical form of Dunguru
(Zungeru) Guangara or Ata Gara which is the Name of the Nupe Empire in present times”
In my vie w, Ndagi Abdullahi’s stateme nt holds no  water. Gungu  is the short form of “ r! Gungu” ccording to oral tradition the name Gungu or r!gungu was
informed, when Lelna people were migrating during the then Kanta, Kantaw war,
looking  for  a place  where  they  could settle.  In  his choice  of  words he  exclaimed
“ r! Gasu sun yi Gungu” is referring to the Lelna people. Hence gungu as derived
from the exclamation “ r! Gungu” Based on this one will be convinced that the
present Argungu as one of  the regional capitals of Kebbi kingdom as it were, was
named after the Lelna people.
Therefore, our sense of  intuition   should  inform  us that Gungu is  the  shortened form of “ r! Gungu” Ndagi did not consider what informe d the name rgungu or
Gungu.  He  was  only  interested  in the  meaning  of  the  word  and  disre garding  its
linguistic genesis.  Gungu could mean something in any language, like he claimed,

but  literally,  Ar!  is  simply  an  exclamation  and  Gungu  means  cluster  as  in  Ar! Gungu which is an Hausa exclamation. In effect, the Lelna people could have been
possibly labelled as “ r! Gungu ” He nce they were t he reason behind the name;
just like they were labelled  Dakaru  or Badakkare by  the Hausa  man.  Honestly,  If
the claim is true that Kanta, Kantaw is K’Lela man, what stops one from be lieving
that what he might have said was “ r Gasu a D’kungu” or “got na na Ed’kungu”
But  when the Hausa man was to  pronounce it or put it on paper, he said (Ar! Ga
su sunyi gungu Hence Argungu).
During the  war,  the group of  young  men who  were  initially left to  find  out  how they  could  move  from  that  area  finally  got  the  routes  as  to  how  they  could
migrate. Some of them went back and  left some in the thick  forest  by  the  shrub
called  C’lali  /C’lela,  to  inform  their  parents  and  brothers  as  to  how  they  could
locate them in the forest by C’lali/C’lela shrubs. So, they kept migrating in clusters
in search of a better place  to farm and  hunt, C’lali or C’lela is as old as the Lelna
people from antiquity.
C’lali shrubs served as a sort of  defense for the Lelna, in case of any outburst of war,  because  of  its  poisonous  and clustered  nature,  such  that,  if  an  enemy  saw
the  C’lela  shrubs  from  a  far  distance,  they would be  scared,  thinking  that there
were so many people. So, that was how they starte d migrating from one forest to
the other, locating themselves by the C’lali / C’le la shrubs towards Argungu, Alero,
Gwandu  and  Gwiimi  (Gummi),  to  their  present  location  which  they  deforested
after  forty  years  of  war.  Following the train of migration we shall discuss C’lali
and C’lela in the context of a people and a language of t he  people   in the  next
Alhaji  Isah  Tahinta  on  october.  5,  1989    explaine d  further  that  according  to  his father,  Lelna  left  Gwandu  and  migrated  to  discover  a  forested  area  that  was
inhabited  by  animals.  They  lived  in  a  cluster  by  dead  dry  tree  called  k’guwami,
k’kungu. During the dry or cool season they used part of the wood to make a fire
to  warm  themselves  against  the  cool.  The  forest  was  inhabited  by  Gwiimni
leopards.  K’kungu  means  log  of  wood  and  Gwiimi  means  Leopard.  He  said  the
present  Gummi  was originally called  Gwiimni because the area  was inhabited by
leopards,  until  it  was  deforested  by  the  Dakkarkari  hunters,  Lelna  people.  The
case here is synonymous to ’zugru or ’zurannu
The account  believes that the migration of Lelna  is in phases and each  time they inform the ir brother they left behind where they were in C’lela they say “Got na

co vannan Gwiimni re ne” “Meet us in the place where leopards (Gwiimni) are” The Hausa man on hearing G wiimni could not pronounce Gwiimni. In an attempt
to pronounce Gwiimni he said “Gummi” hence the present Gummi tow n in
Zamfara  state.  Although,  another  version  had  it  that  the   present  Gummi  was
deforested  by  a  K’lela  man  calle d  Gwiimi,  which ever  way,  what  is  important  is
that the Lelna people deforested the area and their old settlement are  still found
in the  area today.
There are traces  of  settlements  that  suggest Lelna  people had lived  or  migrated across these towns mentioned. The Lelna who migrated from these areas through
Gwandu  towards  the  present  Gummi  town  were  the   people  who  deforested
these areas. Just like we have read, oral tradition reported that the king makers in
Gummi town today are the Lelna people who lost their identity to the influence of
the Hausa people who came and met them there In fact they are “Hausanized ”
but  they  know  it  right  within  them  that  they  are  not  Hausas  but  aboriginals  of
Zuru  people  in  Copuna’Lela.  Meanwhile,  a  fraction  of  the  group  of  Lelna  had
already  migrated  from  Ke bbi  (Dukku)  hills  towards  Borgu  and  moved  southeast
toward zuru/copuna’lena.
The  period  of  their  migration  and  e xodus  from  Kebbi,  Alero,  Argungu,  Gummi, and  Borgu  towards  Zur u is not clear to us; but  oral tradition suggested  the 15th
century during and after the then Kanta kantaw war that lasted forty years. Their
migration to Zuru was cased by these wars before the advent of the Jihad in 1804.
Danbaba  Bawa  further  shared  with  me  that  one  K’lela  hunter  migrate d  from Gwandu,  the ir old  settlement,  as  a result of  hunting expedition and settled in a
place.  Over  the  years  he  began  to  receive  visitors.  In  the  language  of  C’lela  he
would tell his younger brother “Ne o D’bo Kotk kad nama which means give him
a potion  of  meat from the animal that was  killed. The  Hausa people  got  used to
the statement “Ne o d’bo” Each time they want to go to visit the K’lela they will
say let us go to Bodinga since he could not pronounce “ne’ o d’bo or D’boo” this
lead to the  name  of   the  present day Bodinga town D’bo as in Bodinga is twenty
seven kilometers to Sokoto city, the capital of Sokoto State.
One account holds that the Dakarkari, otherwise known as the Lelna people were descendants  of  Dakka.  Dakka  Yunusa  was  claimed  to  be  the  ancestral  father  of
the  Zamfarawa. In  other  words,  it suggests that Lelna  people  are  descendant  of

the Ac hifawa. The account asserts that the Lelna people are descendant of Bogaji from Bukkuyum. In  fact,  recent  finding have established and revealed  that these
claims  is  not  true  of  the  Le lna  people.  According  to  legend,  Lelna  people  had
migrated  through  Gusau  from  Gwandu  and  Gummi  after  the  war,  towar ds
Kotorkoshi,  Bukuyum  and  met  with  other  Lelna  who  originally  migrated  from
Katisna  with  other  tribes.  Among  others,  were  the  Nupe,  A’dara,  Gbagi  and
kambari  who  ke pt  on  migrating  toward  Sakaba  and  Copun  a’lela  etc.  Some  of
these  villages  were  rule d  by  the   Hausa,  reason  being  that  Lelna  people  look  at
ruling as a lazy man’s work; instead, they were engaged in far ming and hunting.
According  to Alhaji Isha Tahinta, he  believes and shared  with me,  that there was misunderstanding  between  the  Chief  of  Bukuyum  in  the  person  of  Danjibo  and
one  of  his  worke rs  named  Bogaji,  over  the  issue  of  traditional  chieftaincy.  So
Bogaji now left and migrated with a few of his people who did not consent to the
leadership of Danjibo. Bogaji migrated across a river called river Ka and eve ntually
founded  Zugu and ruled  in  the  domain  for  some years. Bogaji  is  from  Achifawa
language.  So  when  the  chief  of  Bukuyum  heard  that  Bogaji  had  settled  in  Zugu
and  that he had  a lot of followers, emphasizing that he  is  the Chief of Zugu, the
Chief  of  Bukuyum  ordered  for  Bogaji’s  arrest  eithe r  dead  or  alive.  So,  his
lieutenants  went  for  Bogaji.  From  a  reliable  informant,  Bogaji  heard  about  the
plan against him. So, he fled from Zugu town to the chief of Sindi on his horse. As
days, months  and years we nt  by, the chief  accepted him and in fact trusted him.
Hence,  he  became  more  of  an  errand  boy  for  the  chief  of  Sindi,  taking  and
recovering messages from the neighboring villages to and from various chiefs.
ccording to kaka Nenge Pasali in U’shindi on 18th November 2013 he said and
quoting  his  Father  that,  the  kingship  institution  in  U’shindi  and  U’daba  was founded  by  two  brothers.  He  claimed  that  the  elder   brother  established  the
Kingship institution in U’shindi and the younger brother also founded the kingship
institution in U’daba whose name was not mention to me. But according to Kaka
Audu  Zoma  K’shindi  on  the  same  date  said  it  was  the  son  of  Gamu  Gomo  who
established  the  kingship  institution  in  U’daba.  But  he  has  not  told  me  we ther
Gamu  Gomo  was  the  first  king  in  u’shindi  and the  claimed son’s  name  was  also
not mention. From the account deducted from Alhaji Isha Tahinta and Kaka Audu
Zoma it therefore means that, Bogaji actually met Le lna People in U’daba who had
long lived before the 17th century.

Alhaji Isah further said, in the process of delivering messages, the Lelna people in Zuru  (U’daba)  soundly  trusted  him  and  decided  to  give him  their  daughter (late
Ladi) a K’lela  woman for a wife. He then  married her.  So Bogaji married  her with
the consent of  the  Chief  of  Sindi who gave his approval. In appreciation of  what
the Lelna people had given him, as in the ir daughte r for a wife , Bogaji decided to
settle  down  in  U’daba  and  had  offspring’s  by  the  K’lela  woman.  Yet  another
reason was to build up the tr ust between him and the Lelna.
Before  Bogaji  chose to  settle in  U’daba,  there  was an  existing  Gomo “King” who was  then Gonvanme nke  Chief  rain  maker  who  ran  the  affairs  of Lelna  people  in
“U’daba”. But when Bogaji finally  settled in Dabai, the  Lelna  people allowed  him
to run the  village  administration  because  he could  speak Hausa language. Bogaji
was fronting for the  Lelna. But anything  that had to  do  with the tradition of the
land, it was strictly handle d by Gonvan menke and other traditional rulers. But he
was trusted to run the social and political matters associated with Le lna of U’daba
as long as it had nothing to do with the tradition of the land.
Until his death, around 1803, Bogaji played his game well and eventually became the  chief  of  Dabai,  approximately  in  1795.  He  was  not  yet  confirmed  and
coronated  in  accordance  with  the tradition.  Even  though he  was  not  confirmed,
Lelna could  not refuse, bec ause it  was evident that Bogaji had been running the
administrative matters of U’daba.
Having  been  accepted  by  the  Lelna  people,  Bogaji  sent  a  message  to  the   then Chief  of  Sindi, Malam  Ali, whose  wife  was a  k’lela,  (he r  name  is  not certain)  but
later  changed  to  ‘Umma’.The  chief  of  Sindi  acknowledged  the  receipt  of  the
message and gave his consent to them to anoint him. That was how Bogaji began
to  rule. He  ruled approximately  1795  –  1803,  although  this  is  not  certain.  Chief,
Zadna Gomo, ruled  from  1809  –  1809.  And  Chief  Yage  Gomo  ruled  from  1858  –
189l. Also Nenge Gomo ruled from 1893 – 1907.
The  statement  that  Lelna  people  are descendants  of  Zamfarawa is  certainly  not factual.  Only  a  fraction  of  Lelna  people  in  U’daba  could  trace  their  origin  from
Bogaji “ lthough is true that Bogaji got married to a K’lela woman by whom he
had children who could rightly claim descendant from him, that does not make it
equally true that all Lelna people in totality descended from Bogaji as some of our
historical chronicle claim ” “The fact that one is born in a car park does not make
him a mechanic or a driver” fter all Bogaji met Lelna people in U’daba to have
married K’lela woman There fore,  the  insinuation  that  Lelna  people  are

descendants  of  Achifawa  can  not  be  true.  The  Lelna  people  in  U’daba,  whose ancestral father is Bogaji, may be called Dab-Kogno, kog-dabna or kog-lelna if you
ask me. This is the dividend of inte rmarriage.

Zuru, Copu Na’lela
Zuru is one word that has suffered untold scorn and abnegations in the hands of the non Zuru people “This attitude of looking down on the name has continued
unabate d to the present” and one wonder  why.  In  my  opinion,  it  is  simply
knowledge and communication decay The “status quo ” has been adopted by
non-indigenous people as a better option. This has forme d a stigma that misled a
lot  of  people  at  home  and  in  the  diaspora,  the reby  giving  room  for  the
enthronement  of  its  exact  opposite;  Zuru  man  or  Dan  Zuru  as  against  K’lela  or
However,  the  etymological  synthesis  of  the  variables  is  discussed  in  the  next chapter.  I  will  be  using  these  words:  Zuru, zurannu,  and A’lela,  proto-lelna,  and
Copu na’lela interchangeably. The idea is to get rid of some words that are in use,
which are very insulting to the personality of K’lela or Lelna people.
The word Zuru which is dialec tically written as ZURU is derived from C’lela and not from the  Queen’s  English.  It is  best  pronounced  and  written as zuru  zurannu  or
A’zugr u.  Zuru  is  adopted  as  a  name  of  a  town  and  a  Local  Government  area
located  in  South  East  of  Kebbi  State,  in  North-western  Nigeria.  The  people  of
A’lela  are  hospitable  and  friendly.  The  people,  otherwise  legitimately  call  Lelna,
speak proto-C’le la and C’lela as a regional language.
Zuru is not a name of a person; neither is it a name of a language of a people , as people will always say “Dan Zuru” or “Zuru man” to mean the language and the
people.  This mistake of identity has been  lingering for  decades. The one general
language is C’lela with various dialects The man or woman is K’le la as in K’gaari
k’hunu, k’paku and K’wipsi, to mention but a few. These are the extractions of the
proto-Lelna,  speaking  the  dialects  of  proto  C’lela  of  Sencne,  Mangna,  Dabna,
Zugarnu, Rebna and Panni,  among  others.  The  languages and tribes are found  in
Zuru (Copun na’lela) in the five chief doms: U”daba, Fakai, Donko, U’hya agu, and
Sakba. The people  are predominately farmers, hunters and warriors.

The present A’lela or (Zuru land) is situated and located in the South East of Kebbi State in North Weste rn Nige ria, between latitude 110N & 120 45N and longitude
40  31  and  60E.  It  shares  boundaries  with  N iger  state/Darangi.  Zuru  land  has
natural geographical steep sided  hills  which  are of  quartzite rock in nature,  with
little  or  no  soil  on  the  hills.  The  height  of  the  hills  is  estimated  to  the  range  of
(200-400) feet from the Northern to southern part. The tribes of  the Lelna people
who  are living on  or by  these hills are the Mangna, Panni, Sencne,  Denkarne and
Dabna,  to  mention but a  few. Over  the  years,  some  of  them later  moved down
wards as a result of economic attraction to the forested area k’zugu to either farm
or hunt.
According  to  elders  opinion  among  others,  the  sumdoro  13th  Mallam  Adamu, Baba  Sule,  late  Kaka  mani  who  is  about  103  years  of  age  shared  with  me   and
quoting their parents “that the present Zuru town was a pristine uninhabite d
forest land  mass  as  far  back  as  the  14th-15th  Ce nturies.  It  was  the habitant  for
wild animals, with lion’s (Zurannu) pre -dominating. Over the years, the tribes and
clans of Passno, Umnu,  Denkare ne among  others  were  living on the hills around
the swampy forest and they used to come down to the swampy forest to hunt. in
their language of C’lela they said “Can havan k’zug a zurannu an hobo” Please
what did you say? In Clela it simply means “We are going to the swampy forest
where  Lions are to  hunt. That was  how they started hunting  in  the forest calle d
K’zugu.  Over  the  years  they  gradually  deforested  the  land  and  began  to  settle
down there. They were killing these wild animals for meals.
The fact that the Lelna people deforested the area kille d and drove away  some of the  lions    informed  the  name  for  the  people  Zugarnu,  from  A’zugru  in  A’lela.
Frankly, w hen Rev. Joe Olaiya saw the C’lela calender, he was very right  when he
said “The Zuru people conqured the lions and took over their land ” In effect a
Zuru  person    refe rs  to  the  people  of  A’le la    as  to  the  tribe  that  deforested  the
area.  In  addition,  their  expertise  in  the   use  of  bows  and  arrows  in  hunting
expeditions,  earned  them  the  name  warriors.  Lions  (Zurannu)  inhabite d  the
forest So the Lelna people called the place “ ‘zugru” or “ ‘zurannu” which
means swampy forest where lions are living.  Nevertheless, the Hausa Fulani man
could not call “K’zug a zurannu” let alone “ ‘zugru” He pronounced it the way he
could as “Zuru” as a matter of fact the K’zugu forest was also an ad vantage for
the Lelna people during wars.
Also  around  the  18th  century,  the  name  was  bastardized  by  the  then  British colonial  administrators  where  the y  Omitted  letter  (a,  n,  and  n)  as  against

Zurannu. (Lions) and omitted letter (A), apostrophe  (‘) and  letter (G) ’zugru and called it “Zuru” to mean the town The use of the lette r ( ) the postrophe (‘) and
the le tter (G) as  in  A’  Zugru to  mean forest  of  lion,  hence the  town  of  the Lelna
people and letter (a, n, n) as in zurannu to mean lions were  dropped therefore it
is meaningless, despite the omissions of the word Zuru, Zuru still has Meaning in
the language of the people. Therefore, the right way to write and pronounce it in
C’lela language is “ ‘zurannu” meaning place where lions are living and “Zuru” as
in Zuru means Lion.
There was no historical fact or  evidence that our ancestral fathers told the white men that Zurannu or A’zugru existed as a reference to the domain. They we re not
educated  to  that  extent.  But,  one  could  easily  understand  or  conclude  that  the
Lelna people may not have told the white men that the word zuru was actually a
bastardization of the  word A’zugru by the  Hausa Fulani man simply because they
could  not  pronounce  the  name  as  in  K’zug  a  zurannu,  let  alone  A’zugru.  Since
then, the white man adopted the name ZURU at the expe nse of ’zugru at least
to  suit  their purpose  because  it was  difficult  to w rite  and  pronounce  the  names
dialectically correct as Zuru ’zurannu or Zug kan Zurannu
The  name  Zurannu  in  C’lela  language  was  as  a  result  of  the  fact  that  lions inhabited  the  forest  in  part  of  that  region  of  A’lela,  Zuru,  hence  Zurannu  or
A’Zugru.  Just like  a  popular  case about the Gwari  people  indige nously known  as
Gbagi,  Zabgyi,  presently  called  Zaria,  Kadunaka  called  Kaduna,  Jaba  as  ag ainst
Ham, and Jes called Jos and Kembeyi as in come back, as kambari and Tadurga as
against Tadroga Meaning “they will came back” and Chinoko against Conoko?
Conoko bo? “Meaning can we come?” Senchi against Na swenchihi /Sence in
C’lela language.
In the case of Kaduna, on 8 August, 2012, I was sited in a bush bar in company of Mr Danjuma Kondo, a lab scientist and a lecturers in college of Agriculture Zuru.
According to him he said some group of hunte rs Lelna from Zuru went for hunting
expedition  around  Kaduna,  and  they  ran  into  a  hostile  crocodile  and  strange
things happe ned. So,  the y could  not hunt that day. On their  way  back,  they me t
another group of hunte rs and reported that, kadunaka he nce the name Kaduna.
In the case of Zuru, if the Hausa man and  the  white man were told that the Lelna people pronounced the word as Zurannu, Zurnu,  A’zugru, then, they have written
and pronounced Zuru as against Zurannu,  A’zugru or Zuru in error. However, one
would  have  every  reason  to  believe  that  the y  were  not  told  how  it  should  be

written since our forefathers were not formally educated The word “ zuru” with or without the letter (n) and (a) as in “Zurannu” or “ ‘zugru” is certainly not an
English word Rather it is C’lela language meaning lion as in “Zuru” and lions as
in “Zurannu” or Zurnu
What  makes  me  happy  is  that  those  non  Lelna  people  pronounced  Zuru dialectically  correct  as  if  they  know  the  meaning and studied  it.  If you  are  K’lela
reading this book,  try  to confirm  it;  call a non  K’lela certainly  not a Yoruba man,
then, ask him or her  to  pronounce this word Zuru  or  Zurannu, do  that  now  and
liste n to his or her pronunciation, you will discover that the sound of the word (s)
is  pronounced  in  C’lela  language  correctly  as  if,  the   person  is  K’lela,  especially
somebody  who  is  not  familiar  with  that  word.  It  is  also  very  important  to  note
that the right way of wr iting “Zuru” or “Zurannu” is by the use of grave
descending intonation as Zuru/Zurannu “ rather then” grave ascending as in (Zuru
/ Zurannu). According to Professor Samuel P. Ango.
Infact, you can’t believe it, during my interview as a guest  speaker on Capital TV, Kaduna with a journalist Hajiya Hadiza Bayaro she pronounced these words “pe
etsa D’lela” and “ ‘zugru” dialecticaly correct as if she were K’lela woman My
friend Ogechi Okoro, a student of Kaduna State polythecnic also pronunced these
words “Tap kam ta caa da” and “S’kwere” as if she were also K’lela In fact I am
Deductive Summary
Let’s judge the book by its cover page as it reflects the content. Stop reading now. Before going to the next chapter, pause a w hile, then turn back to the cover page
of  this  book.  Open  the   third  page,  see  and  study    the  pic tures  carefully,  if  you
have done that I am please d to inform you that the clause K’zug a zurannu is
where the word zuru is derived from. In which case,
1.  K’zug a Zurannu—means Swampy forest where lions are  living.
2.  ‘A’ in this context as above– means position ”on” land as in
3.  ‘A’ zurannu whic h means place where lions are.
4.  A’ zugru is the short form of writing K’zug a zurannu, which   also  means
Lions living on swampy forest or  forest land

5.  The words “Zuru” and “Zurannu” on the cover page are   not  English  words.
The  British  colonist  mispronuced  it.  The  original word is “Zurannu” or “zurnu ” meaning lions in C’lela language.  But  the  Whiteman  could  not
pronounce   and write it as “Zurannu” Rather they wrote Zuru as we  have
seen above , to mean the town. Either way, it still   has  meaning  in  C’lela.
Hence, lion or lions. Zuru is the  singular for Zurnu or Zurannu and A’zugru is
the town of  the people of zugarnu in some cases written as Zugurnu
6.  Zugarnu or k’Zugu –  means people living on swampy forest of Lions
7.  Zugurnu  –  simply  refers  to to  the  various  tribes  and  clans  that constitutes
the people, hence, Zugurnu
8.  The  lion  and  lioness  you  are  seeing  on  this page are called “Zurnu” or
“ ‘zugru” where the word Zuru is derived   from.
9.  The thick forest as seen on the land is calle d K’Zugu.
10.  K’Zugu means (forest) swampy forest
11.  K’Zugaru -someone from A’zugru town (zuru)
12.  Lelna  are the people.
13.  K’lela  is the woman or man.
14.  D’lela-is the culture of the Lelna people.
15.  Copu na’lela is the geographical land of le lna people
16.  Copu  A’lela/  A’lela  is  the  region  of  Lelna  people.  For  example  Sence,
U’manga, U’reba, U’daba,Sakba u’rogo    area.
17.  From the above explanation, you can see that the word   Zuru simply means
lion and does not also refer to a people.   In fact,  when Panam  Pasy Paul visited Zuru he said “He will  prefer  the  men  to  bear  the name ZURU ”
Little   did  he  know  he  was  right  that  there  are  people  called  Zugarnu  or
Zugurnu  who actually deforested the area that was inhabited by the  lions.

Deforestation of ’zugru Zuru
As we have  just read,  note  here that the true nomenc lature  of  the word Zuru  is derived  from  K’zug  Azurannu    or  Zug  Kan  Zurannu.  Which  also  informed  the
derivation of words like ’zugru K’zugu Zugarnu and Zugur nu Having known
this, it is also very impor tant to know the area called ’Zugru / K’Zugu when and
by who and how the area was deforested We don’t know who discovered water
but we are sure is not the fish. If the last years when our ancestors lived were  to
be the coming year, today would have bee n history authentic.
However the area ’Zugru / K’Zugu is between an unfriendly valley in the present day village of Umu Passo Darklo Semc’lali Donbo gomo Denkare Waak na
Zugru (Zango) otherwise called K’Zugu (Swampy Forest) The camp of the lions
extended towards sinia and Gen Gramache. These areas used to be a thick forest
(K’Zugu) in habited by wild animals lions Zurnu as the majority he nce the name
’zugru ’Zurannu or Zug’kan Zurannu Which simply means swamp forest where
lions were as we have initially read.
In effect the names ’Zugru and ’Zurannu do not refer to the region of Zuru land in it’s totality rathe r it should be seen within the contest of the area or
towns  mentioned  above.  The  tribes  living  by  these  unfriendly  thick  forest  a re
ide ntified and name d with their respective settlements as mentioned, the people
almost  lost their tribal  identity, and  are  by  description called Semne,  Ak  Zugu  or
Zugarnu. They are further classified into two categories (1) Zuru West {Zug garnan
seme} (2) Zuru East {Zugar nak waa}
In  the  context  of  this  work,  the  people  called  semne   are  people  we  have  just mentioned in the likes of U’mnu Passno Darkelno Semcilalini and Denkarne to
mention but  a few. Seme  or se mne simply means people living by or on  the hills
as earlier discussed, who migrated from their old historical city. (Lia sempansi, lia
Neene lia semu Goso lia cepk’c ’gomo and lia Depci)
ZURU WEST (Zugarnan seme)
The Lelna people  living on and by  the  side of the  hills in  the  Western part of the area called ’Zugru are by description calle d k’zugu Zugarnu or generally known
as  semne.  In  effect,  the  Semne  people   were  the  first  settlers  in  the  area.
According to le gend, it was said that there are three hunters  who deforested the

area in orde r of their migration to the area. Mallam Abubakar Danladi village head of Umu in the presences of David Gramache (K’comtav Gomo) and Damana
Na’alla who also contributed in the discussion on 17th February 2013 said that
their grand  parents  told  them,  that,  one  Deklo who was a great  hunter  was  the
first hunter who lived by the hills and deforested the area following U’mnu who
were originally  known as (rusumnu) and  Denkarne.  Note  here  that,  Denkarne  is
not a tribe or a clan of a people, rather, a name of a per son. Denkarne is derive d
from  the  name  Denke  who  was  a  hunter  and  of  Dungnu  extraction  by  clan,  he
founded  the  present  day  Denkarne.  Denke  is  their  ancestors.  Over  the  years  of
war  one  of  his  son  whose  name  or  nick  name  according  to  Mama  Dorcas  Ezra
Dikki who married one of their sons said “his name is Gwanta” Gwanta Brigam
Lade  migrate d  to  Lia  sance  and  established  himself  there  hence,  his  offsprings
Denkarne who are  originally the extraction of Dungnu clan from  Zugarnan seme,
Ak Zugu or better still Zugarnu locate d in West of ’zugru
ZURU EAST (Zugarnak waa)
The  people  in  waakna  Zugru  are  originally  semne  people  from  the  hills,  their dialect and clans that constitute  the population are extractions of the indigenous
clans of either U’mnu Denkarne Passno,  Dekelno  with  their  respective  clans  in
units of  the  major  clan,  from seme or  semne in Zuru  West. These clan  migrated
towards Bedi.
Legend has also revealed that the othe r group of settlers in these areas of Rwahin Zuru  (waak  na  zugru)  migrated  from  Seme,  hence  Semne.  Oral  tradition  reveals
that  they  were  the  first  tribes  found  in  this  area.  In  fact,  the  timing  of  their
migration and the deforestation of the area (waak na zugru)  by  the Semne tribe
was  not  clear  to  people  and  cannot  be  substantiate d  because  it  is  oiled  with
romantic  guesses.  However,  oral  tradition  in  the  neighbourhood  of  truth  about
their migration and deforestation of the  area suggested 14th century. There is still
evidence  of  the  old  settlements  of  the  Semne  (Sundorno)  tribe  as  the  first  to
settle  in  the  area.  Following  their  migration  during  and  after  Nagwamatse  war
from Katsina were the Hausas hence palana.
The  Palana  clan  and  the  Semne  (Sundorno)  tribe,  like  any  other  tribe  who migrated from Katsina via Karishen, as we  have seen in our pre vious chapter, are
those who during and after the  war migrated and spread in their respective clans
and  tribes through Alero,Argungu,Gwandu,  Gummi  into  the region of  A’lela  and
deforested   most of  the towns  in  the    four walls of Zuru,  namely, Sence Dogno,

U’daba,  Pani,  U’Manga,    Fakia  S’gogo  and  Kele  towns,  among  others.  The migration of these groups was instigated  by  the then Kanta. Kan  tawa  war, yet
another factor was hunting expedition.
Little   Wonder,  all  these  tribes  and  their  respective  clans  have  the ir  old settlements in the same axes on the hills located in the Western part of Zuru land.
Before and after  the then Nagwamatse  war,  most of these  tribes  migrated  from
the  hills,  their old  settlements  towards  the  area of  Zuru  as  a  result  of economic
attraction,  which include d farming  and  hunting  expeditions.  They  migrated from
the hills and  later spead again around the  region of A’lela to  deforest  and found
most  of  the  towns  that  constituted  the  population  of  Zuru  land  or  A´lela  e.g.
Conoko,  Ureba,  Wage Tadroga lamawa Bedi D’kooto Donko Kanya Diri
Gwazawa to mention but a few These towns were farm lands (C’bella)
It  is  therefore  clear  that  the people  that  deforested  Zuru  land or  A´lela  are  the tribes  and their respective  clans me ntione d above, who migrated originally  from
their old settle ments from west of Zuru (apala) for a greener pasture “We don’t
know who discovered water in Zuru, but w e are now convinced that it is the Lelna
from the hills located in their respective old settlements that first deforeste d the
land and inhabited the water certainly not the fish”
As a matter of fact, the  area called Rwahin Zuru (waak na  Zugru) was said to  be deforested by semne (sundrono) until the coming of  the Hausa hunters. One may
wish to  know  where and  how  they  migrated  to the  area  and  who  were actually
the first to migrate that deforested the  area. Let us therefore  discuss the semne
people and those groups of tribes that migrated  to A’le la  region from Katsina to
the area calle d Rawhin Zuru, in Zuru South-west. Wa ak na zugru
According to Capt. Danbaba Wage Rtd., the district head of Wage.  Said, one clan, or  a group  of Hausa  hunte rs,  were originally  from  Katsina and  later  migrated  to
Semri,  now  in  Zamfara  State,  close  to Kogo.  From  Kogo,  Semri  is  located  north-
west,  and from  Magami  Maitroko  Semri is  southeast,  and  from  Paskari  Se mri  is
south  west. The  Semri  people  were  under the  leadership of  one  Kogo  Bohogan
Gulbi.  At a point during the  era  of  slave  trade, Kogo used  to capture  the people
and  sold  them  to  slave  merchants.  When  the  people  discovered  that  Kogo
continued  his  habit  of  capturing  people  and  giving  them  to  slave  traders,  they
decide d to migrate away from Semri to Dan U’maru.

When the colonial masters heard it, they came to Kogo and ordered the arrest of the  Chief  of  Kogo.  His  praise  singe r  requested  the  colonists  to  please allow  him
sing for his master. They gave him audience and he sang for  him in the following
words “Kogo bahagan gulbi inda re zamu gana in babu re ko too sai wata rana”
and  he  simply  ran into  tears  in  sympathy  of  his master  as  the  colonist  took him
away to an unknown destination.
Shortly  after,  the  people  started  migrating  in  their  numbers  towards  A’lela (A’zugru)  and  the  thick  forest,  (wa  ak  na  zugru).  When  they  arrived,  they  met
Lelna  people  (semne)  who  were  also  referred  to  as  Zugarnu.  So,  they  settled
“ pala -pala” by the thick forest “ pala -pala” simply means a position located
neither west nor east. That is where the name and clan was derived and that also
earned  them the name “palana” by reason of description One important
question to ask  is where  do we classify these  Hausa hunters  who are referred to
today  as  palana.  The  semne  people  have  over  the  years  already  taken  care  of
that, but if you allow me I will call  them “kog-Lelna” Let’s see what and how the
semne called and classified them.
Over the years they socialized with the Lelna people, the semne in particular, who are  also  called  sundorno,  because  they  could  speak  Hausa,  so  they  took
advantage  of  it  and  began  to  lead  (as  sarki),  while  the  semne  were  left  to  face
their traditional Chieftaincy as (Gonvan D’kaba) till date. The palana became part
of  the  Lelna  simply  because  they  have  lost  their  Identity  and  as  such  are  now
called “ondab nan K’dada” But one beau tiful  thing  I  did  notice  was  their  tribal
marks and race what Le lna call “M’hune” gave them the identity of Katsinawa
people and is quite  different  from  the se mne clan  and othe r  Lelna people in the
area and in “copu na’lela” infact I was convinced that  they were actually Hausas
who lost their identity to the Lelna people over long years of social inte raction.
nother way of ide ntifying them easily is by their tribal marks that look like a “u”
sharp caving up from the side of their face through their che eks that actually gave them the identity of Hausa people who originate d from either Katsina or Zamfara.
This mark is also found in a group  of clans  in u’daba. U nfortunately, for some of
the Lelna people,  they were lured to doing  the same facial  marks as  the Palana.
The  idea  was  to  corrupt  the  original  C’le la  facial  mark  so  that  they  could  take
cover to gain acceptance in A’lela. In the nearest future. Little did they know that,
a Gorilla is different from a monkey.

The fact of the migration of this people from Katsina was also confirmed by Baba Gano in wa ak na zugru who also told me that he is K’pala “My recent interview
with  him  on  1/May/2012,  in  the  presence  of  Mallam  Garba  and  Mallam  Musa
Mohammed is presented verbatim below ”
Amos What tribe are you?
Baba  I am k`pala from Zuru tow n, here, and I belong to zugarnu tribe.
Amos Where did the palana people actually come from?
Baba  The palana people  came from katsina. They are called Kastinawan Laka.
Amos What about the sundorno?
Baba  The sundorno am not sure
Amos Were they Achifawa or they  migrated from Zamfara
Baba  Honestly, I don`t know.
Amos Were you people Lelna from Katsina or you were Lelna
  when you came here.
Baba  No, we came here as Lelna from Katsina.
Amos So, how did you migrate to A`le la and why did you
  Migrate, from where ever you came?
Baba  Our forefathers were hunters so they migrated to
  A`Lela as a result of hunting expedition; and be informed
  that one of our ancestors founde d wasagu (U`yhaagu)

The people  referred to  as Sundoro are originally Semne people  who migrated to K’zugu (swampy forest) Therefore the question is what is sundoro and does the
word sundorno  actually  mean  clan or tribe  of a  people?  One  version  has it  that
the  sundorno  people  actually  migrated  from  Zamfara  in  Bukkuyum  to  A’lela  in

waak na Zugru, and that they are Zamfarawa people. However, not enough of the claim convinced me. But let’s see the version that seems to hold water.
In my interview on 15th April, 2013with Mallam Doga sarkin  Gabas of Rafin Zuru, Baba  Noma  and  Mallam  M usa  B.  Mohammed,  who  shared  in  the  same  view
expressed that, there was a K’lela man who is K’seme by tribe and named Kamba,
whose daughter was captured  by Slave raiders during the Slave era and taken to
Bukkuyum. On inquiring of the where about of his daughter, he was told that his
daughter had been taken to Bukkuyum and probably, had been killed.
He summoned  courage  and  went  to  Bukkuyum.  On  his  arrival,  he told the  Chief what brought him. Shortly afte r; he saw his daughter and re quested  the  Chief of
Bakkuyum to hand over  his  daughter to  him. The Chief refused and ordered that
Kamba  should  be  taken  away  from  his  palace.  His  guards  took  him  away.  But
Kamba  appeared  again  to  the  chief  unexpectedly.  The  chief  exclaimed,  and
shoute d to his guards “I asked you to take this man away from here! Why is he
here again? Now take him away and go and kill him ” They mache tted him and
threw him inside  a  well. Before they  could get  to the palace,  the K’lela  man was
already  in  the  front  of  the  Chief.  So,  the  Chief  was  afraid  and  was  forced  to
release Kamba’s daughter to him He said “Yes I am convinced you are a man in
deed a Zuru man Go back to Zuru and rule your people” So the Chief of
Bukkuyum gave him the traditional out fit Chieftainc y regalia,  which included the
skin of a leopard (Gwimi), a red cap and a walking stick.
When  Kamba  came  back,  he  went  to  the  Chief  of  Rafin  Zuru  and  narrate d  his experience  with  the  Chief  of  Bukkuyum  and  along  side  of  his  explanation;  he
handed  over  the  Chieftaincy  regalia  to  the  Chief of  Rwahin  Zuru.  The  Chief  was
happy  and  immediately  gave  him  a  title  as  sundoro  of  Rafin  Zuru  which  simply
means a fighter. So that was how the name sundoro as a title came about and the
semne  people  identified  with  their  son  and  father,  hence  the y  are  called
sundorno. That is to say  the people called sundorno are not Clans per se; it is true
because  sundoro  is  a  title.  However,  they  are    mistake nly  calle d  sundorno  as  a
tribe or a people and are referred to also as zugarnu. What is in the neighborhood
of truth, as compared to orient from Zamfara, is that, the man Kamba is K’lela and
K’seme.  He  is  an  extraction  of  one of  the  tribes  of  Zugarunu  probably  from  the
extraction  of  Denkarne,  Umnu,  Dekelno  or  Passno,  as  the  case  maybe,  who
migrated downwards to K’zugu; waak na Zugru, as a result of economic attraction,
as  in  hunting.  Hence,  the  people  semne  or  better  still,  zugarnu,  by  description,

were said to be one of the first settle rs in waak na Zugru who deforested the area until the coming of the Katsinawa hunters.
According  to  Adamu  the somdoro the  13, he  said, and  associated  his statement with Capt. I. Danbaba that, the first migrants who discovered and deforested the
area K’zugu (waak na Zugru) are the semne tribes and their respective clans who
left the  hills from the  western part to  the area  of  Dankare,  umu,  dekelno,  passo
etc  to  hunt.    There  is  still  evidence  to  substantiate  this  claim  of  their  old
settlements  in  the  area  (D’kebe).  The  d’kabe  is  still  there  where  most  of  their
traditional activities are done  until date.
Over  the  years,  the  Hausa  hunters  migrated  towards  that  area  and  met  the Semne  people.  On  their  arrival  they  settled  Apala -pala.  And  socialized  with  the
Lelna  people,  and  each  time  the  semne  people  wanted  to  describe  the m,  they
called them “ nupala” (Hence “Palana” or pala -nak-k’dada) as the case may be
Mallam  Adamu  Sondoro  the  13th,  said  the  title  of  Sondoro  and  Kamba  Gomo whose nick name he added “Kam bad koso” confirmed the story to be v ery true
because,  Kamba  is  his  great  grand  father.  He e mphasised that  sondoro  is  not a
tribe, a people or a clan that it is a title of bravery gotten from the Hausa land by
their ancestors Kamba, K’se me. In effect, sondoro simply means  warrior. Mallam
adamu was the sondoro the 13 after 25 years of being on the throne. Below is the
Chronological chain of succession of the (Gom cad sondoro.) Title holders.
–  Kamba    Gomo   1st
–  K’rihi       Gomo  2nd
–  Maiyaki    Gomo 3rd
–  K’shi         Gomo 4th
–  Kwali       Gomo 5th
–  Gwandi    Gomo 6th
–  Bende       Gomo 7th
–  Kopto       Gomo 8th
–  Ganta       Gomo 9th
–  Gimba      Gomo 10th

–  Zuntu       Gomo 11th
–  Kari         Gomo  12th
–  Adamu somdoro Gomo 13th
–  Namge      Gomo  14th
Having  read  about  these  tribes  and  clans  in  A’zugr u  or  K’zugu,  I  mean  the  are a called Rwawhin  zuru (Waak Na Zugru), and the people  called zugar  nak waa  and
zugarnan semne, I  wish therefore, to classify them in order of their geographical
That  is  to  say,  depe nding  on  where  one  is  standing,  zugar  nan  seme  could  call semne  as  zugar  nak  waa  and  zugar  nan  seme  as  palana.  Rebna,  Bedi  Conkno,
Gwazawana  people by their location may  also call zugarnan seme  and zugar  nak
waa as palana. Note here that pala na, Ak’zugu, zugarnu, zugar nak waa and zugar
nan  seme  is  rather  descriptive  to  the  names  Passno,Denkarne,  umnu,  semc’lali
and katsinawan laka as the case may be. The  people  called by these names have
their tribal identity and clans in order of their class ification as we  shall  be seeing
later in the next chapter in the origin of C’lela as a language of a people, Lelna. In
the context of this paragraph, one will not be wrong therefore to classify and call
the semne and palana in waak na zugru as Lelna south-west and on the westhern
part of the hills,  pasno,  umnu,  Dombo Gomo semc’lali Semne and Denkarene  as
Lelna in the west.

From what we have read so far, it is clear that many traditions exist with romantic guesses and various suggested  routes of the  moveme nt of the Lelna  people, and
various  languages  and  tribes  migrated    to  their  present  location,  in  A’lela  and
across.  It  is  certain  that  people  migrate d  to  A’lela  region  and  there  was  no
historical fact or evidence as to the period of these stages of  migrations. But me n
who may  have passed on by now suggested 14th  and  15th   centuries  and  these
migrations  were  initiated  by  reasons  of  war,    misunderstanding  arising  from
traditional chieftaincy or hunting expeditions, to the area Zuru land.

The version that claims that Lelna are desc endants of one Bogaji from Bukkuyum, who  founded the town of U’daba, is not  true.  Even w hen he came to U’daba  he
met Lelna people the re. How could he have been the ir ancestor, or was it because
he married K’lela woman? Le gend assert that, he may  not be  K’lela, let alone be
their ancestor. Anyway, the people of U’daba know be tter. However, a particular
family may claim him, certainly not all the Lelna people.
Another version  believes that  some  people migrated from Kebbi to the area and these  people  are  called  Dakkarkari  or  Dakaru  by  Kanta  of  Kebbi,  which  simply
means  foot-soldiers, and the  name  was  informed  by  reason of  the  fact that the
people were war lords  who  fought the then Kanta war around  the  15th century.
These  tribes  are  indigenously  referred  to  as  Lelna.  The  migration  of  their
offshoots  to  the  region  was  necessitated  by  war  and  quest  for  economic
attractions like hunting and farming.
The third version holds that, the migration and peopling in the area zuru (waa na Zugru) originated from katsina. I for one,  I am associating  myself  with the  claim
that  the  Lelna  people  originated  from  Katsina  via  Kebbi  (Dukku  hills).  The  claim
that Lelna people are the descendants of Dakka Yunusa from Zamfara is not true,
by  reason  of  the  fact  that  he  is  a  Hausa  man.  Moderately,  however,  empirical
information  suggested  Katsina  and  asserts  the  origin  of  the  people  (Lelna)  to
Ibrahim  Badankari,  who  rule d  Katsina  around 16th century.  Infact,  one  may  not
be wrong to say Ibrahim Badarkare is the ancestor of Lelna people, and not Dakka
Yunusa or Bogaji, as claimed and insinuated.
I am of the opinion that the Hausa language was the dominating language spoken during  the  war.  Hence,  it  was  commonly  used  for  communication.  As  a  result,
somebody  must  lead  a  troop.  It  could possibly  be  that  during  the  war  between
the Zamfarawa in alliance with Lelna against Gobarawa in 1762, according to Mr
Sam  Umaru in his Theses, one of these suggeste d hunters, Dakka Yunusa, might
have identified himself w ith the Lelna warriors  and formed alliance with them to
As a  leader,  he  gained  recognition,  which  was  misinterpreted  by  historians  that Lelna were his descendants. Lelna people, in terms of culture and language, have
no  connection  whatsoever  with  Pseudo-Hausa  as  described  by  Barrister  Scott.
Besides,  who  is  the  Hausa  man,  and  who  are  the  original  Hausa  people?  The
answer is not far of course, the Maguzawa from Katsina are the pure and original
Hausa speakers, whose culture is very similar to the Lelna people  most likely, the

Lalna people must have lived and socialized together with one of the native  tribes of the Masuzawa people.
In fact, there is a strong reason to substantiate the claim that Lelna have close, if not  genetic,  relationships  with  the  Maguzawa  people  of  Katsina,  by  reason  of
their cultural practices and facial tribal marks that we re  either  inherited by Lelna
or  Maguzawa  people  over  long  years  of  social  interaction.  These  claims  can
further  be  buttressed.  The  Lelna  e lderly  men  who  were  left  behind  around  the
region of Argungu and Alero after the war by reason of old age and long years of
socialization almost lost their tribal identity as in “U” shape d facial marks to these
people.  Little  wonder, you can trace some of the  Lelna with these  tribal or facial
marks in U’daba and waak na zugru which is common among the palana tribe and
part of Semne and the Hausa migrants Gobarawa in Isgogo who turned out to be
Lelna. Such  marks give  them  the  identity  of  Hausas  from  Argungu,  Zamfara  and
One  question some  of  the Lelna  people  from  Isgogo, U’daba  and  waak  na  zugru (Rwahin zuru) could not reconcile is the origin of this identical “U” shaped facial
marks.  However,  emphasis  about  the  root  and  origin  of  these  facial  marks  is
pointing  to  Katsina.  In  the  neighborhood  of  truth,  these  marks  seems  to  be
inherite d  from  the  Maguzawa  and  Gobarawa  people  over  hundreds  of  years  of
social interraction and the years of migration. The people identified and socialized
themselves  with other tribes,  which gave them conflicting identity of  tribal facial
marks, since they lived and socialize d in multi-ethnic environment with the Lelna,
Gobarawara and Zamfarawa  people ,  Nupe  and  the Katsinawa  people.  This claim
is,  howeve r, very convincing  going  by the  fact that almost all  the  languages and
tribes  within  this  region  and  across  major  states  who  migrated  through  Katsina
State have adopted these marks However this is not to say that the “u” shape d
marks  is  tradition  to  the  Lelna.  The  mark  only  came  about  after  long  years  of
social interaction with the Hausas (Maguzawa).
Some  of  the  tribes,  who  may  or  not    have  migrated  with  Lelna,  and  their offshoots, aligned with  the Lelna and over the years,  they lost their  identity and
were  swallowed  by  the  culture  of  the   Lelna  people,  as  a  result,  became
indigenised  as  Le lna  practicing  the  socio-cultural  activities  of  Lelna  people  like;
Ditti Uhola and traditional marriages contract “Golmo” In fact the present
generation found in same of the tribe in Alela, until otherwise told; most of them
don’t know the ir origin and that they are Lelna by acceptance and assimilation. By

the  morphology  of  their  names  it  should  be  clear  that  some  of  them  were  not originally Lelna.
A clear case  in  hand, apart from the Katsinawa and  Zamfarawa  migrants,  le t  me use  the  hunnu  in  panni  to  conve y  my  massage  even  though  they  are  the  off
shoots of Lelna.  They migrated to Pani Area during the war, when they got there,
they  sought  to take  cover  from  bidno  people  in  pani. On acceptance,  the y were
shown  a place  cove red with  shr ubs  called pazaza.  They deforested  the area and
live d  there.  That informed  the  name  for  them  as  Pazaza.  Over  a  long period of
time,  the  people  lost  their  identity  as  Hunnu/Pazaza  to  Pani  People.  Although
today,  they  are  now  referred  to  as  pass-  panni  or  pan  dam  passo  by  the  pani
There are other groups not mentioned in some of our villages. As a Matter of fact, it  was  very  easy  for  these  groups  to  gain  acceptability  by  Lelna  people  simply
because they were originally the offshoots of the  proto-Lelna; just like the case of
Hunnu/Pazazana who took cover by their masters over the years. The influence of
the  majority  tribes  in  this  case  swallowed  these  small  units  or  dialects.  Hence,
they identified with the majority and preferred to be called as pass-panni and not
Hunnu or pazazana as it we re.
It  is  very  true  that  a  lot  of  people  migrated  to  zuru  and  lost  their  origin  and ide ntitity to Lelna people. For instance one truth that was not told even though it
is a known fact, is the people  that we re captured as slaves during the slave era in
the  18th  century  from  Katsina,  zamfara,  the  Kambarawa  and  kamukawa.  Their
captors  Lelna  kept  some  of  them  in  their  respective  houses,  if  they  had  good
manners, to serve them. Some were taken to the slave market in Isgogo and some
were taken to koko market for exchange for red salt. (M’gumu). Those who were
kept  in  their  master’s  houses  socialized  and  eventually  became  Lelna  and  had
children  by  the m,  who  grew  up  in A’lela (Zuru) and  were  never  told  where their
parents originated from.
If you claim to be K’le la it is therefore very important to note questions like this
1.  When in your kind opinion did people start migration to  the  area  A’lela
2.  Who we re the migrants that migrated to the area (copuA’lela) as a result of
economic attraction?

3.  Who were the people or families that were captured as   slaves, having gain
acceptance by Lelna, who later lost their identity to them?
4.  Who are the people, having known their history pe digree, who still claim to
originate from A’lela whe n indeed they are    not?
Nevertheless the people in question we earlier talked about who migrate d to the region of A’le la  were  Hausas or  Fulani’s  who  were  also swallowed by the culture
of  Lelna  people  and  are  by  acceptance  now  called  or  referred  to  as  Lelna.
Honestly, I have no material fact to substantiate the claim or allegations that the
palana or pala nak k’dada are not  Lelna people, let alone draw a c onclusion that
Lelna  people  are  the  descendants  of  Achifawa  and  Katsina  as  claimed  by  other
historians.  However,  in  marrying  my  research  and  my  intervie w  with  Capt
Danbaba rtd and Baba Gano, I am made to understand that their claims expanded
the reasons to five possible hypothetical questions that should form a soft landing
for anybody w ho is a Historian and may wish to find out in the nearest future.
These questions includes:
1.   Are the Anu pala, (palana) as the name implies, originally Lelna and zugarnu
as claime d or Hausa Hunters?
2.   Were  the  palana  originally  Lelna  from  Katsina  or  they  migrated  through
these routes to the ir prese nt location as claimed?
3.  Why  are  the  tribal  marks  of  most  elderly  men  in  U’daba  and  zugaru  nak
waa, ide ntical? Did the palana tribal marks   actually  give  them  the  ide ntity of Katsinawa and   Zamfarawa people or better still Hausas?
4.   Could the two groups/clans be the reason why some historical scholars said
Lelna  are  the  descendant  of  Achifawa  and Katsinawa people  by reason  of their marks?
5.   And if the  palana  are  Lelna, whe re  could  they  have  possibly  originate and
migrate from?
An  attempt  to  answer  these  questions,  may  amount  to  pouring  oil  on  troubled waters. Let me therefore hold back from discussing them and allow you to ponder
them  over.    In  my  conclusion  therefore,  the  Lelna  people  may  have  originally
come from Senegal, Katsina, and some migrated to Kebbi and routed from Kebbi
to  their  present  area  in  Zuru.  And  these  were  the  Lelna  who  fought  the  then

Kanta war and later migrated while some routed via Katsina and Karishe n to Zuru in the  westhern par t of Zuru, as we have just read.
The suggestions, that they migrated from Kano is also not holistic. By cultural and linguistic differentiation, it is clear that the Lelna do not have anything to do with
the claims that the hunters, who were Hausa men from Kano, Katsina or Zamfara,
are  the ir  descendants. Rather, one would  associate with the claim  that the Lelna
people  migrated  originally  from  Katsina  to  Kebbi  and  to  their  pre sent  area  of
domicile.  This  is  most  likely  true  because  of  the  evidences  that  surround  their
migration from Kebbi to Zuru.  Such evide nces include the following:
1.  That Kanta aligned with his brothers the Lelna people to he lp him fight the
war that lasted for forty years.
2.  During  the  dry  season  Kanta  in  one  of  his  inspection  tours,  ran  into  the
Lelna people who had migrated toward the East of Kebbi and said “ r! Gasu sunyi gungu”or “ rgot na ne an D’kungu” and that was the origin of the
word or name of the present day Argungu.
3.  P.G.  Harrison,  in  his view said the Dakarkari people  were  the foot soldiers
of the then Kanta.Foot soldiers in effect means infantry soldiers.
4.  There was evidence to show that Lelna pe ople migrated  through  Alero,
Argungu,  Guwandu  and  Gwiimi  (Gummi)  to  their  present  location. Therefore,  the  claim  that  Lelna  people  migrated  from  Katsina  through
Kebbi Gwandu, Gummi to their present location is more reliable than other
developed hypothesis.
Two  basic factors  were  responsible  for  the  migration  of  the  people.  One is  war and the other is economic attraction like hunting and farming. Be that as  it  may,
we do  not know  who  discovered water, but Lelna are pre tty sure  it was  not the
fish because they have it as part of their history and in figures of the movement of
non  Lelna  to  the ir  region,  who  later  indigenised  and  their  smaller  dialects  were
swallowed up by C’lela language over a long period of time.
Permit me here, therefore, to say on the strength of these fact that, the problem of Zuru, as in copu A’lela, at large with it’s peopling into the area is the problem of
history. I mean, lack of authentic and reliable history of migration to the area. Yet,
another  is  ethnicity  and  religion,  what  in  my  view  informed  the  reason  why  I
contextualized  this  book  as  (An  Attempt  in  Authenticating Issues  Relating  to the

History of  Zuru People). Until we start asking ourselves  questions we will not get answers.
Stop reading  this  book  and  pause  a while, enter  your  room  or  look  around  you and  get settled. Pick up a pen or  a  pencil from your table or  ask  a  friend to give
you  one.  Remember  to  also  get  a  piece   of  paper.  Then    read  through  these
questions first. Have you  done that? Okey! Answer these  questions one after the
other. You have an option of using a plain pape r or answer the questions directly
on this  book  if it  is   yours and  if  it is  not yours;  go  get  one  for yourself  and  do
same; you may need it one day. Remember also that your response  will form part
of  your  history  pedigree,  in  fact  your  children  may  make  reference  to  it.
Therefore, be honest with your responses.

1.   Who am I ————————————————————-?
2.   What tribe are you—————————————————?
3.   Who is K’lela——————————————————— ?
4.   Who is a Zuru man—————————————————?
5.   Who are my parents————————————————-?
6.   Where are my parents from—————————————–?
7.   Where is my home town———————————————?
8.   Where is my ancestral home (ilee)———————————?
9.   What language do I speak——————————————?
10. What tribe do I belong to——————————————–?
11. What clan (iguti) do I belong to————————————?
12. What was my fathers first religion before he became a
     Christian or a M uslim———————————————–?
13. Was my father initiated into the traditional or religious cult —-?
14. What is the name of my grandfather and  grandmother———?

15.What is the name of my great grandfather and mother ———–?
16.Where did they actually come from——————————–?
Attention! If you are K’lela from North western state  le t me simplify and lead you into answering these questions with ease by defining who is K’lela.
K’lela is that person  who speaks the language of C’lela and  both parents must be legitimately  Le lna  by  origin  whose  ancestry  can  be  trace d  back  to  their  parents
from  their  old  historical  city  or  settlements(ile)  and  the  father  must  have  been
cultured to pass through the Lelna training school or better still the Lelna religious
cult. He or she must also hold the cultural values and norms of the land in highest
Study this definition  carefully, I am sure you w ill discover that  the definition w ill or  has  already  served  as  a  guide  for  you  to  fill  in  these  blank  spaces  to  the
questions above. Any  thing less than this, you  may have  conflict  or questionable
ide ntity of origin. That is why I did say be honest and where you are in doubt, ask
questions about yourself from your lineage. Otherwise, I am afraid you have  lost
your identity If you are K’lela or you claim to be one from ‘lela and you can’t
trace your route /origin to your old historical city(ilee) you have lost your identity.
If you claim to come from ’Zugru/ ’lela after reading this book in my candid opinion,  you  cannot  trace  or  identify  your  historical  root  or  origin  to  your  old
historical city (Ile) am afraid you are not K’le la Your ancestors may be either
slaves (Cokno) (These dominate slaves that were kept as servants in buc’lelna) or
those migrants  who migrated to Zuru as  a result of economic attraction. Find out
your route.

The People of ’lela Land
Proto Lelna
The proto-Lelna are found in Copu na’lela. Copu na’lela is the regional se ttlement of the Lelna people in North Western Nigeria; and is locate d in the southern part
of  Kebbi  State.  Zuru,  Sence,  Donko,  U’hya  agu,  U’daba,  U’reba,  Conko,  Pani,
U’manga Sakba D’jau Kanyana Rambno Fakia Derin Daji Isgogo Kosin kere
Sabongari U’rogo Magajiya and ‘Zugru are all in Copu na’lela “S ome of these
towns are recent settlements  and are separated  by  reason of creation  of  States.
An act of Government that the Le lna people frowned against, seeing it as the ac t
of  destabilizing and throwing away our people out of their domain.
The  people,  proto Lelna  and their  offshoots claimed their  origin from Dudu  and Zegro.  These  claims  seem  the  most  attractive,  there  are  various  reasons  put
forward.  However,  some say  their origin is Gele this is particular to the offshoots
of Lelna.  This view , they say, is suggested by the fact that such names as Gelawa
and Fakai or   Fakkawa are names of Lelna tribes whose ancestors called by these
names were believed to be hunters. But, not one of these sources told us that the
proto-Lelna  originated  from  either  of  those  suggested  hunters,  nor  have
challenged  the  already  well  established  view  that  Lelna  came  from  Dudu  and
Zegro.  Zuru,  otherwise,  indige nously  called  Zurannu  or  A’zugru,  as  we  have
already read, is the mother of the local Govt Areas in copuna’lela. These  areas are
predominately  occupie d  by  the  proto-Lelna  and  Lelna,  with  settlers  in  the
categories of the Hausas Igbos and the Yorubas “We don’t know who discovered
water but we are pretty sure it is not the fish”
The Dakkarkari people are ironically called by this  name  to mean Lelna people of North  -West from ‘lela Or “Badakare” is the nick-name  given  to  the  Lelna
people. Howeve r, Dakkakari is used here to mean proto-lelna and their offshoots.
Let  us,  the refore,  see  why  the Hausas call  this  great people, Dakkarkari, Dakare,
Dakakari, Dakaru or Okaru as used in one of the dialects of proto  C’lela. The name
Dakaru,  according  to  P.G.  Harris,  was  the  name  Kanta  used  to  call  the  Lelna
people  who  helped  him  fight  his  wars.  Dakaru  or  Dakare  is  ambiguous  in  its
definition.  Dakaru  simply  mean infantry-foot soldiers, and Dakare /Dakaru  simply

means  warriors  or  war  lords.  Dakkarkari;  therefore,  means  infantry  soldiers. Dakakari is an rabic word which means “idol worshippers” Be it the rabic
definition of the word Dakakari or Dakaru, Dakare or Dakkarkari  the people were
named for what they were known for from time  immemorial. As a matter of fact,
either  words  or  phrase  used  as  above  best  describes  the  Lelna  people.  These
names  are  used  to designate the indigenous languages and  tribes in kebbi South
of North Western Nigeria, (Copuna’lela) with the exception of the settlers.
According  to  Sgt.  Musa  Anjelo  a  soldier  he  said,  this  is  also  applicable  to  the Hausas  in  Kastina  who  were  originally  idols  worshiper  before  the  advent  of
Christianity  and  Islam.  They  were  worshipers  of  idols  called  Guje  and  its
worshipe rs called Bamaguje  hence the name Maguzawa. Now they converted the
prefers the name  Hausa to  Bamaguje  or Maguzawa.  In  effect,  Maguzawa  means
unbelievers and does not refers to the converted either Christian or Muslim.
Copuna’lela  has  various  kinds  of  traditional  festivals  celebrated  throughout  the year which includes D’biti U’hola and beledima etc The festival D’biti is
celebrated in the month of pe et van D’biti m’kasi which is ugust or September
depe nding on the dialect,  and U’hola is also celebrated in the month of pe et van
u’hola,  which  comes  up  in  December,  though  the  celebration  of  the   festival
depe nds on the community  or town in A’lela.
D’biti  festival  is  quarterly  transitional  thanks  giving  prayers  to  the  almighty  God with the intermediation of the Chief priest of the god of rain (Gonvan menke) and
the god of the earth (Gomvnu Copo) thanking God for giving them rainfall as they
look forward to seeing the harvest period yet another new year. It is also a period
–  Celebrants  celebrate  graduation  of  seven  years  of  service  in  Golmo
marriage contract and young boys are simultaneously rec ruite d into Golmo marriage contract.
–         It  is  the  period  for  recruitment  and  initiation  of  young  boys  between  the
ages of 14 through fifteen, de pending on the clan into the m’gila cult
–       It Is a festival that is characterize d by a lot of side attractions like:

(1)       Inter village beauty contest
(2)      Inter village local wrestling competition (C’madi)
(3)      Dancing competition etc.
U’hola was derived from the clause u’holka U’holka means “He has stoppe d/prevented” U’hola is the most popular annual traditional festival of the
Lelna  people. It comes up  once in  a year  after  harvest.  It  is  a festival  me ant  to
thank almighty God for protection against evil throughout the year and for giving
a very  good harvest. It is a festival  that celebrates  the  graduation of suitors w ho
have  served  their  respective  in-laws  for  seven  years  in  an  agricultural  marriage
contract (Golmo)  where both the  girls and the  boys  (graduants)  are e xpected to
be presented as yadato. The y are, thus, ready for marrige. Yadato means a virgin,
or  a transition  from  spinsterhood after long  years of  courting,  to  adulthood.  On
the U’hola festival day:
–  The  proposed  girls  (yadato)  virgins  are  presented  to  their  respective
husbands as wives.
–  Display of harveste d farm  products  which  are at the  same time  presented
to M’gila through the chief priest for   blessing.
–  Exchange of gifts to loved ones and admirers.
–  Inter village wrestling competition.
–  Inter village dancing competition.
–  Inter village beauty contest.
It is a celebration  throughout the night. Some clans celebrate  it for  two or three days  while  some  for  seven  days.  Beside  this  popular  U’hola  Festivals,  there  are
other  Festivals  around  the  neighbourhood  in  copu  na’lela.  In  Karishin,  for
instance,  Kaze me  and  Kuyama  festivals  are  also  observed.  See  photohraph  of
u’hola celebrants (Yadato) below


The  people  of Zuru  and  its  surrounding  districts,  (their  offshoots)  belong  to  the warrior  language  of  proto-lelna.  The  Lelna  people  are  one  out  of  hundreds  of
languages and tribes in Nigeria who seems to be independent and self sufficient.
Indeed, they we re able to maintain their self-sufficiency and independence before
and until the coming of the colonial masters.
The Lelna people of  Zuru are undoubtedly war lords;  they were the  people w ho fought  and  prosecuted  the  then  Kanta  war  which  laste d  for  forty  years.  The
execution and  success  of  Kanta in the  war was based  on the military  prowess  of
the  people.  Lelna  people  had  already  formed  their  traditional  Army  that was as
old as the people. Their Golmo institutions and the use of rifles, bows and arrows
for hunting expe ditions  and  war  experienced hundreds  of  years  ago  made them
develop  good  expe rtise that makes the m to  stand  the  test  of  time.  In fact,  they
could be called riflemen.
The  British  colonial  administrators  had  discovered  Lelna  people,  earlier.  On inquiry, they got to know that Lelna people had formed and organised their Army
through  Golmo,  which  is as  old as  the pe ople,  before  the  colonial  era. Golmo  in
effect,  is  an organised  traditional Army,  with a commander and lieutenants. The
Army is constituted for training the k’lela or Lelna youths, preparing them for any

hardship,  discipline,  endurance  of  hardship.  Bravery  is  a  major  character  trait infuse d into Lelna youths. The idea is to make the m politically and   economically
Their  outstanding  qualities  earned  the  Zuru  people  the  privilege  of  automatic admittance  and  recruitment  into  the  WAFF  (West African  frontier  force)  by  the
colonial masters, way back in 1908-1914, to fight in the World War II. Since then,
the Lelna people embraced the military profession as a life carrie r, because , they
already  had  a  paramilitary  training  through  the  initiation  training  school  and
Golmo from childhood.
The  Lelna  military  training  school  called  Golmo  has  influenced  and  inculcated discipline, endurance and bravery in them. Indiscipline is regarded with contempt
and  it  is  against  the  code  of  conduct  of  the  institution.  The  people  are
independent;  and an average Zuru man K’lela believes in  himself. He or she does
not know how to lobby. Little wonder they are disciplined, faithful, and honest in
their  respective  places  of  work,  including  their  daughters  in  marriage.  These
qualities were established a long time  ago. They took  advantage of this tradition
and excelled in Nigerian Army.
In  fact, the  Lelna  people  have  distinguished  themselves practically,  theoretically and  otherwise  in  various  fields  of  human  endeavour,  especially  in  the  Nigerian
Army. We have in record and figures that in 1914 – 1918 in East Africa, Cameroon
and Burma in 1939  45, these  war lords took part in these wars and did distinguish
themselves. Back home today, the  strength  of the retired officers  and soldiers is
equal to the serving soldiers in Nigerian Army. As a matter of fact, there is hardly
any house in Zuru that you cannot find a  soldier in the Nigerian Millitary serving
or  retired. Zuru local Government Area has soldiers, officers and  Generals in the
Nigerian Army, Police, Nigerian Navy and Air force, either serving or re tired.
Most of the retirees who fought in Burma war during the First World War and the Biafran war saw and kne w the benefit of being educated. Hence, they came back
home after retirement and sent their children to school. Formal education in Zuru
land  is  as old as  the  military  profession, since 1908-19 14  to date.  In  fact, a good
number of Lelna people have acquired professional skills and are certificated in all
aspects  of education  and  are  well  represente d  in  the three  arms  of  the  military
and civil service, at home and in the diaspora.

Lelna  people  are  schooled and most of them  are  educate d people. They are the academic  pe destal  of  the  states  in  North  Western  region;  Sokoto,  Kebbi  and
Zamfara states.  They are also represented in the Federal   civil service of Nigeria.
Two  basic  reasons  can  be  give n  as  to  why  they  are  highly  educate d  within  this
region; the ir early exposure to the missionaries and recruitment into the Nigerian
Army.  In  fact,  within  the  geography  of  the  caliphate  region  in  the  North  West,
Lelna  people  were  privileged  to  accept  t he  British  colonialists  and  the
missionaries. In fact, the Zuru people had received earlier education by the British
colonialists and missionaries, espec ially the people from Sence and, very recently,
Zuru and Dabai. The y formed the bed rock of education in these states and had to
be trusted  to occupy sensitive positions in the civil service within the region, and
that earned them credibility even in the diaspora.
In  the  Ministry  of  Education  alone,  hypothetical  evidence  revealed  that  about 60%  of  the  work  forces  are  Lelna  people  as  teachers  and  lecturers  with  little
wage/salaries to  keep body and soul toge the r. We  do not need a  prophet to tell
us that it is a clear politics and “poli-tricks” to frustrate and reduce Lelna people
to  servitude.  Yet  another  worrisome  issue  is  the  ratio  of  recruitment  and
employment  in the  Federal  and State  Ministries,  for  the Lelna  people, is quite  a
negligible number. The non-qualified are recruited and professionals do the work
and non-professionals benefit from it.

The Language
The  English  dictionary  defines  a  language  as  a  system  of  communication  which consists of a set of sounds and writte n symbols whic h are used by the people of a
particular country or region for talking or writing .These  probably evolved by two
or  more  people   coming  together  to  agree  on  a  word  and  its  meaning.  The
question of interest  therefore is, where  is the origin of C’le la as a language? And
how did words and their meanings come about? In view of this, we shall cast back
to  the  generations  of  Adam  and  Noah.  Let  me  therefore  prepare  our  minds
towards answering this question, as we read through the next paragraphs.
Before God destroyed the generation of N oah, it could possibly be that Noah and his family were speaking that language that God used  to communicate  to Adam.
When  God  destroyed  the  generation,  the  people  may  have  pe rished  with  that
language  they  were  speaking.  Otherwise,  one  would  have  said,  the  origin  of
language is from the Garden of Eden, although, Noah and his family were  spared.
This may sound theological but consider it as a mat to prepare your mind.
One  question  unanswered  is,  what  is  the  name  of  that  language  Noah  and  his family spoke as at then? Or like my friend Tonia in Calabar asked “Was the tower
of Babel  the origin or the spreading point of all languages?” Should you ask me
one  could  simply  say  Noah  and  his  family  were  speaking  the  language  they
inherite d from Adam and Eve before the flood. By implication, it therefore means
that  they  we re  speaking  the  language  of  Adam  and  Eve  before  they  attempted
building the tower of Babel, and that seemed to be the one general language the
people were speaking.
Robert Schuler in his book “Interpretation of the Bible” page 1 7 and 8 is of the view that Noah’s ark landed on Aghri dagh, otherwise popularly known as Mount
Ararat, what the Muslims also call Mount Arafat, locate d in North of Lake Van  in
Turkey. By empirical knowledge, we could say, they may have settled around that
area where the ark berth about 500 meters from t he sea.
As years passed by, they migrated towards the east and found a plain land around shiner, a proximity to Babel where they settled. Since there was no archaeological
report that bones were exhumed or DNA  tests were carried out on bones, wood
etc,  to  determine  how  long  the  ark  lasted  and  to  what  direction  Noah  and  his

three children  migrated to, historians and archaeologists  are  in a  better position to tell us the period as to how  long the ark berthed until sited in Turkey in 1840.
The direction Noah and his family went was not clear to us but we are aware that
they lived in east of Shiner, a proximity to Babel. They multiplied in thousands and
were all speaking one general unknown language.
One  day, they decided to build up a tower simply because they were speaking one language;  then  God  set  confusion  to  their  tongues  into  speaking  various
languages. So, they no longer communicated with the language of Babel again. It
is at this stage one could say the nucleuses of all the languages in the world were
formed; the y still made efforts to build up the tower but unfortunately, they had
mis-understanding  in  the  course  of  communicating  to  each  other.  Hence,  they
could not speak one gene ral language any longer.
The  working  tools  at  their  disposal  were  named  in  the  language  each  was speaking.  Each  time  they  wanted  a  partic ular working  tool or  the other,  should
they  send  any  one  to  get  it,  for  instance,  one  can  imagine  that  instead  of  a
Hamme r, the person sent would  bring a shovel, because it was difficult for them
to  now  communicate  in  their  new  languages.  So  there  were  disagreements
between the m and that was what informe d the idea of breaking up and migrating
from  place  to  place  in  their  hundreds,  and  spreading  into  sections  and  units,
speaking separate languages, and dialects.
After  God  had  set  confusion  among  the  people ,  they  no  longer  spoke  and understood  the  same  language.  The  tribes  spread  out  into  the  world  by  their
languages, dialects, clans, and ethnic groups. Every family and tribal unit migrated
away from Babel to place s of their choice. They kept migrating in their small units
from place to place. They were either farming or  hunting, as the case may  be. In
the process of migration, they de veloped distinctive types of culture , customs and
traditional  be lief  system  (religion)  to  suit  their  own  purposes  as  inherited  from
The  migration  and  the  geographical  locations  where  people  found  themselves have  in  one  way  or  the other  influenced  them.  Hence,  each  group  developed  a
distinctive  biological  and  physical  characteristics;  in  colour  of  skin    and  facial
features.  The  biological  features  made  it  easy  to  sometimes  trace  a  particular
people,  tribe,  clan,  or  a  language.  Each  of  these  ethnic  groups  could  only
communicate within the ir families, tribe and language. They could  hardly give out

to  or  marry  from  a  different  clan  or  tribe,  owing  to  variations  in  culture  and traditions. They could not  practice the same customs or traditions.
Over  hundreds of  years of  migration,  the  languages  they  were speaking  marked the different  cultures.  The language  served as a  tool  for  transmission  of cultural
values and tradition of a particular tribal group of people from one generation to
the  other.  Proximity  necessitated  similarities  in  cultural  values  and  traditional
practices.  People  began to  adopt  cultural  values, dress  code,,  morals norms and
religious  belief  systems,  which  were  achieved  either  through  imposition  by  an
influential  or  stronger  language  or  simply  by  diffusion.  Yet,  another  factor  in
recent times could also be traced to inter-marriages and cross- over-migration, as
we shall be seeing later.
There is no  doubt that people, whether of the same myth of origin or  not, come together in a place. Hence, they marry the mselves irrespective of race or myth of
origin.  They  share  ideas,  cultural  views  and  belief  systems.  Yet  they  develop
different relationships  between  them as they  migrate from  place to  place. Their
beliefs,  norms,  traditions, languages  and  culture  built  up  ove r  the  years  change
over  a  long  period  of  migration.  Should  they  come  together  again  in  an
environment, they would discover little or more  changes in  their cultural values,
traditions,  and  belief  systems,  even  if  they  were  of  the  same  myth  of  origin.
Distortion  or  modification  of  the  built  traditional  institutions  from  time
immemorial may change because they had acquired different experience in life in
the course of migration.
The  dynamic  effect  of  these  was  bound  to  create  an  extraction  of  new  ethno – lingua  ide ntities  of a  people,  tribe  or  dialect  from  the  original  language. A  clear
case  in  hand    is  the  offshoot  of  the  Proto  Lelna.  They  all  have  a  gene tic
relationship  between  the m.  It  should  be  note d  here  that  languages,  cultural
values  and  traditional  belief  syste ms  develop  and  change  over  a  long  period  of
migration from place to place.
Throughout    pre-history and  historic  times,  it  is  evidenced  from  our  holy  books that, all the people on earth in their  tribe s and clans traced  their origin from the
three  sons  of  Noah,  although,  the  theologians  may  have  their  own  beliefs.  In
which case, the  same cultural relationship  was and  is  maintained from antiquity
with  little  variation  in  culture  and  traditional  beliefs.  There  were  no  historical
records  in  words  and  in  figures  to  tell  us  about  the  period  of  peopling  and
migration from the Middle East to their present area of location after God had set

confusion  among  them.  But history  tells  us that people  migrated  towards  North Easter n  and  Western  parts  of  the  world  (from  the  Middle  East).  Note  that,
religions were formed and reformed in the course of migration.
It  is certain  in  history  that  people  from  different  backgrounds  or  varying origins are  brought  together  in  the  course of migration, not necessarily  by  design.  Over
time,  they  are  likely  to  develop  cells  of  relationship  that  may  create  various
traditional  institutions or schools of thought  to accommodate  their customs  and
belief, systems over the years of migration, their culture may be modified and the
language  corrupted.  Infact,  their  newly  adopted  tradition  are  diffused  and
regulated amongst them resulting to loss of identity.
In  that  case,  their  traditional  institutions  like  their  customs,  belief  systems, languages and c ulture are subject to change. The modifications of these nurtured
institutions  we re  based  on  long  periods  of  migration  and  relationship  that  co-
existed  be tween  them;  and  of  course,  new  communities  and  identities  were
formed,  reforme d  and  re -reformed  overtime.  People  desire d  new  identities  or
wanted  to  identify  with a  particular  group  that  formed  the  majority.  It  is  in  the
light of this fact that Mr Samuel Umaru said “the offshoots of the Lelna people
may have carved out their identity around the second century”
From empirical e vidence, sometimes  the majority  language tends to swallow the minorities;  C’Lela,  for  instance ,  is  as  old  as  Lelna  people.  But  English  and Hausa
languages is threatening  to swallow C’Lela language.  Now proto  Lelna and Lelna
people have carved out their  identity  as Lelna, against Dakkarkari or  dakkarawa,
due to their awareness of the threat, by writing rele vant literatures to sustain and
distinguish  the mselves  from  other  Languages  and  their respective cultures. Very
unfortunately,  the  extracts  of  the  proto  Lelna  have  c hosen  to  carve  out  and
ide ntify themselves as Hunnu, Paknu, Gyaane, Kamuku and Daknu to mention but
a few. But outside Zuru land, the y identify and claim alliance with the people and
the language proto-C’lela as their one general language
In  the  classification  of  African  languages,  especially  those  of  West  Africa, according to Mr Samuel Umaru, in his thesis, his research reveals that most of the
Nigerian  languages,  including  Lelna  people,  be long  to  the  Kainji  group,  a  sub
branch of the platoid groups of the Benue Congo languges whic h includes most of
the  African  languages Little wonder one discovers that “ham” (Jaba) Goworok
and Kutab people belong to the Niger -congo group of languages. The proto-lelna,
Tiv, Birom, Adamawa (bachama), Jukun, Ngas, Adara, Gbagi and others most likely

belong  to  the  same  language  group.  In  the  course   of  migration,  some  of  these languages  may  have  migrate d  in  waves,  sections  or  units  and  spread  westward
and  northward  into  the  four  corners  of  Nigeria.  However ,  regardless  of  the
systems  of  migration  and  move ment,  historical  facts  have  it  that  the  general
direction of  movement  of  these  groups  seemed  to be  in  waves,  sections  and  in
My Recent research work has confirmed Mr Samuel umaru’s work to be true that, the proto-C’Lela as a language and Lelna as a people belong to the sub branch of
the platoid groups of Kainji speakers. In which case, Le lna in this context is used in
a large linguistic sense  to accommodate and amplify Dukkawa, fakawa; Bangawa,
Gelawa and Kelawa among others. These belong to the proto Lelna branch of the
Benue- Congo. Just like Mummuye and Lunguda, among othe rs, belonging to the
Adamawa branch of Niger- Congo. In which case, it is now left for these tribes and
languages  to  identify  among  others  their  kissing  cousins.  Hence  they  belong  to
one language family, just as the proto-Lelna identify their brothers.
Interestingly  I  had  an  intervie w  with  one  Sgt  Patrick  Kadiaye na,  a  military  man serving  in  103  Battalion  Enugu.  In  the  course  of  my  discussion  with  him,  he
identified with me he said “that the people called Bassange are offshoots of the
Nupe people who originate from Niger state. Over the years of migration to kogi,
their  language  Basange  was  corrupted  and  they  had  to  start  borrowing  words
unconsciously from Kaba people to build their language ” The question is is
Basange  referring to  a  people or a  language  of  a  people;  or  a language cluster?
Not that I know of. If indeed they are the offshoots of the Nupes, then the y speak
the dialect of the Nupes.
However,  I  am  interested  in  discussing  the  proto-Lelna,  and  probably  those languages which  are  either  directly  or  indirectly sharing  same affinities  with the
proto-Lelna.  Findings  confirme d  that  the  proto-Lelna,  their  off-shoots,  seem  to
belong  to  the   hermetic  group  of  language.  The  Lelna  and  their  off-shoots  may
trace  their  tradition  from  the  sub-group  of  the  hermetic  group  of  languages
whose pre-occupation is farming and hunting. Therefore, by implication, it simply
suggests  that  these  languages or  tribes  were hermetic  in  origin  or  perhaps  have
gotten or deducted their cultural values, customs and language from the her metic
group of people.
The proto-lelna,  Gbagi, A’dara, Ashingini  (Kamberi), and Maguzawa people,  until in  recent  times,  use d  to  have  a  strong  genetic  relationship  that  seems  to  be

restricted among them. Perhaps they enjoyed  the  privilege of migrating together in waves and sections. The Lelna and their off-shoots still maintain their linguistic
relationship  and  their  traditional  institutions,  except  Gbagi,  kamuknu,  kambari
and  A’dara,  who  are  geographically  and  politically  separated  from  their  kind.
However,  that  is  not  to  say  they  are  not  of  the  same  origin.  Despite  the
separation,  these  tribes  share  the  same  geographical  compatibility  and  social
institutions,  such  as  priesthood  chieftaincy  institution,  c ultural  homogeneity,
agricultural  rituals,  traditional  re ligion,  and  traditional  festivals  with  little  or  no
difference. The  same  cultural  relationships were  maintained  from antiquity  as it
was in pre-colonial times, even though it’ is still practice d among the conservative
families today.
To drive the point home, it is therefore certain that Babel was not the origin of all languages. Rather, Babel should be viewed as a theory of linguistic diversity; one
theory  out  of  many. However,  new  ethno lingua  franca,  ethnic  units,  tribes and
dialects may have been created from the proto-language of Noah in the days after
dam and Eve On account of “pouring oil on trouble d waters” they were
confused and started speaking  various languages. So, Babel was certainly not the origin of all languages.
In other words, It is possible that the nucleus of all the languages were forme d in their respective  classifications in Babel.  Individuals  and groups  began  to  identify
themselves, based on linguistic and cultural affinities. Ove r the years of migration,
Languages and c ultural  values  began to change  and  ne w  identities  were  carved
out from the original as people migrated to various places. As time went on, they
might  trace  their  roots  or  align  with  a  group  based  on  their  morphological
meanings in the language or dialect spoke n.
New dialects may be acquired and developed from the original dialec t.  Meanings of things are created against the original, as  people migrate from place to place.
This,  of  course,  leads  to  the  formation  of  new  languages,  tribes  and  dialects.
However, the distorted language may still maintain the same linguistic similarities
as  in  the  morphology  of  the  original language.  Little  wonder  Mr  P.Umaru  in  his
thesis expresses his view that the off shoots of Lelna people may have carve d out
their identity around the second century as earlier mentione d. Their separation to
Niger State and Zamfara State over the years is mere political and does not affect
their  origin  in anyway.  Besides,  they still  maintain  their  linguistic  decorum  as  in
speaking C’le la as one general language within Kebbi Nige r and Zamfara State
Hence, they are all Zuru people or bette r still, Lelna people.

Until now,  no historical record or claim has been able to tell us that this was the language  that  was  spoke n  or  that  one  language  was  carved  out  from  another
language. Neither was it named  C’lela G bagi, A’dara,  Spanish, Ham, Dutch, Ngas,
Yoruba, Igbo or Urhobo. Rather, it was brilliant men who used their sixth sense of
intuition to  carve  out  their ide ntity by   giving  names to  wild  animals, trees, and
other objects or events from experience  to form languages of a people. If studied
properly, all the language in the world carved out their indigenous names from a
plant, wild animal or  historical event, etc.
Over  the  years  of  migration,  most  likely,  languages  may  have  broke  up  into sections  and  units.  In  the  process,  one  language  begot  anothe r,  w ith  groups
claiming  to  be  the  proto  of  that  languages  or  dialect  spoken.  Migration,  inter –
tribal  marriages  and  inter-tribal  wars  arising  from  disagreements  are  strong
factors  of  distortion, development  and  reconstruction  of  languages.  As a  result,
languages  are  modified  and  formed  from  others.    Tribal  groups  either  align  or
develop  instincts  to  carve  out  an  identity  to  stand  out.  He nce,  they  name
themselves  from  animals,  trees  other  objects,  or  historical  eve nts  based  on
experience. The y may wish to ide ntify themselves with the  names of their leaders
as in Gele, Fakai, e tc, It is, therefore, on this note we shall be  discussing.
1)  The origin of the word “C’lela”
2)a.  C’lela in the context of a language of the Lelna people
   b.   Whether C’Lela is a language or a dialect cluster
3.  Diminishing strength of C’lele language

The Origin of C’lela
The  origin  of  C’lela  language  is  an  interesting  issue,  though  the  origin  is characterized by romantic assumptions by various people. Some say the origin  is
from  Babel,  and  some  say  it  is  from  the  Garden  of  Eden.  Considering  the
circumstance  and  factors  that  laid  to  the  formation  and  reformation  like
migration,  inter-tribal  wars  and  marriages,  that  may  have  distorte d  the  route
origin it is therefore against this background we shall ask the question “Where
was  the origin of  C’lela  as a  language of  a people?” One may say that the word
C’lela  may  have  involved  our  ancestral  fathers.  The  development  of  this  word
C’lela  as  a  language  over  time  and  until  now  has  not  been  discussed  by  any
historical  scholar.  Our  ancestral  fathers  were  not  educate d  to  write  the  wor d
C’lela  and  its  original  meaning.  Now, Lelna  people are left  to shop for the  origin
and  its  original  meaning  in  their  word  bank  or  in  the  Pandora’s  Box  of  C’lela
However,  before  the  advent  and  development  of  writing,  people  dre w  pictures out  of  imagination  just to  convey  messages to  other persons. The pictures  were
also supposed to serve as a reminder for one thing or the other. Ce rtainly, it was
not  writing  per  se,  it  was  an  imagination  that  begot  ideas  and  the  ideas  we re
represented in  drawings  on  a  stone  or  ordinary  ground.  Over  the  years,  writing
came about whe n the traditional or cultural words that stand for some things or
ideas  were  put  down  on  paper  or  clay,  using  alphabets  to  convey  their  original
meanings. Hence, the meanings of words  were known. The meanings of pictures
and  words  could  be  questioned  by  the  observer.  In  view  of  this,  our  ancestral
fathers must have sat down before hand and  agree d on word(s); the meanings of
things like trees,  animals etc,  using their  language  to name  or  call  it. Otherwise,
how would I have known as a K’lela that cup is called ‘Ikoklo’ or “v’ moklo” is nail
in C’lela! It was because somebody had told me that cup and nail in English means
“Ikoklo” and “avmokko” respectively in C’lela
All things on earth have their traditional or local names but our four fathers were not  educated  e nough  to  write  or  itemize  and  name  the m  accordingly.  As  suc h,
these names began to die naturally. Now Lelna scholars are beginning to shop for
words  and  their  meaning.  Some  words  that  existed  which  had  meanings  during
our  fore  fathers  time  are  gone.    Lelna  elites  are  now  making  efforts  to  create

meaning to things or words that were either forgotten or not discovered, and that were  produced  during  the  time  of  our  ancestors.  To  take  care  of  this,  Mr.  Ben
Dikki in his recent book titled ‘Em rigan C’lela’ gave names to things and
developed meanings for them in C’Lela which made sense.
For instance, he said:
1.   E-mail            –  Molin coma
2.   Voting Machine  –  K’Dageo
3.   Fax Machine    –  K’Comtk’vaa
4.   Decoder             –  D’apaska
5.   Amplifier              –  K’logososgodo
6.   Bank               –  K’Kincu
7.   Coded Message  –  Comzeske
8.   Electricity    –  Hwelanad’gyan
9.   Politics             –  C’leemse
10.  Policies             –  Seepsec esaskai
11.  Telegraph    –  K’Dakcoma
12.  Theory             –  giiras’napa
13.  TV Channels     –  C’henco
Below  are  some  of  the  words  I  ponde red  over  and  create d  meanings  to,  giving them  names also, just like Dikki did, with a view to incorporating the m into C’Lela
language. I am associating myself with Mr. Ben Dikki because they are commonly
used  in  our  day-to-day  communication,  and    the  meanings  and  usages  are
common proble ms to our Youths.

1.  School    –  Baa dan laa si
2.  Chalk      –  Lobu S’geno

3.  Teacher    –  Kan Laa sam na
4.  Student    –  Kan laasi
5.  Examination   –  Maakan laasi
6.  Result Sheet/Card   –  Vaak nu kwesam’la a
7.  Graduation    –  Rwaaman laasi
8.  He has Graduated  –  U’riwaaske laasi
9.  Certificate    –  Vaak nu rwau man laasi
10.  Store Keeper  –  Kad’kinnbu
11.  Etymology    –         Takbod ‘gomo
12.  Birth Certificate  –         Vaak nu’maco
13.  Draft/Manuscript  –  S’geno/gens na koma
14.  Affidavit    –        Vaakan conko
15.  Award    –         Neem na k’gamba / K’gamba
16.  Clan      –         I’guti, k’daabe
17.  My Village    –        Bek’ri
18.  Native of    –         kad’le la
19.  Radio     –   K’ganco, k’gancom’en
20.  Fridge
   –  K’tudcu
21.  Mir ror    –  K’mataakaci
22.  Keys      –  V’abasa
23.  Computer    –  K’ogamco, k’laske,molinlaasi
24.  Padlock    –  D’bagco
25.  Telephone     –  D’pogco

26.  Handset    –  Pamad pogco
27.  Fan      –  K’emk co,k’wirki
28.  Bucket    –  K’cidi
29.  Letter     –  Vakan pastman coma
30.  Television    –  K’goc’ad m’en/K’gogco
31.  Calculator    –  D’ogamco
32.  Electrical Calculator-  K’ogamco
33.  Units, Airtime   –  Daav s’pos nam’en
34.  Toothpaste    –   Toman guzman nina
35.  Report Card   –  Vaakan kwesaman laasi
36.  Hand Fan    –  K’peke
37.  Whistle    –  V’hwiri
38.  Scroll                         –   u’pese
39.  Scroll through my phone  –  Pesam pamadri.
40.  Cid / spire     –  Camtavvs’vere
I know you will agree with me that during the days of our ancestral fathers, there were nothing like handsets, fans, e-mail etc. Then, how did we come about these
names.  Of  course,  the  sixth  senses  centered  on  the  ability  to  conceive  an  idea,
store, imagine  and inte rpret  it.  If  you  care to  study  the names created,  you  will
discover  that  the  names  are  either  describing  the  object,  as  in  the  noun  or
describing the ac tion of the noun, or carving an identity as in giving it a name that
best describes the noun or idea. See the two words in C’lela below for refere nce
D’ogamco  –  Describes the noun as in calculator
D’ogmo  –        the process of counting As a doing verb of the noun calculator
K’tudcu  –  as in fridge or freezer
Tudtudni  –  Describing the state of being frozen or Coldness

Tudktup  –  Degree of coldness as in frozen into block form.
The  creation  of  meaning  for  these  words  is  certainly  not  far  from  what  our ancestral fathers did agree on during their time. It is on the strength of these facts
that  C’lela  evolve d  just  like  any  other  name  in  the  world,  irrespective  of  the
language.  Just  imagine  drawing  C’lali  and  C’lela  shrubs  on  the  grand  and  in  an
attempt to describe it or showing it to the observer, telling him or her that; this is
C’lali or  C’lela  shrubs. That the  reason why it is C’lela, is because of its  clustered
nature. this means, the origin of C’lela as a language can be traced to man, which
we shall be discussing in this chapter.
That could also mean that, proto-Lelna and C’lela as a language with its dialectical variance no doubt  suggests  or  predates the  languages from Babel that broke  up
into sections  and  units and migrated in  their  small  numbers  and  spread. So, the
word “C’lela” most likely is the ideographic reflections of imagination which was
named  among  other  things  by  our  intelle ctual  ancestral  fathers  who  used  their
sense of intuition.  Hence, the  shrubs called C’lali/C’lela.   Over hundreds  of  years
of migration, people became aware of it, as information were passed on.
It  is  also  possible   that  C’le la  gained  recognition  by  picto-ideographic  or ideographic  imagination,  in  remembrance  of  what  their  ancestral  parents  told
them.  Those  who  were  privileged  to  know  that  the  name  of  those  shrubs  is
C’lali/C’lela, may have also  centuries  ago  passed the knowledge to  their younger
generation about the meaning and the importance of the shrub, in terms of war.
Based on this information, the name C’lali/C’lela took precedence and did survive. Thus, the people took possession of the name. The clustered nature of the C’lali is
called  C’lela (many),  K’lali  the  segment  of  the  C’lela  shrubs,  as  the  person  K’lela
and  Lelna  as  the  people.  Note  that  the  name  C’lela  was  derived  from  C’lali  in
effect  C’lela  means  many,  hence  the  language  of  the  people.  Therefore,  to
buttress this  further,  the antiquity  and originality  of  the word C’lela is  discussed
here within the context of the exodus of the Lelna people to their present area of
domicile and how the shrubs C’lela were known.
Oral  tradition  has  it  that  during  the  the n  Kanta,  Kantaw  war,  around  the  15 century,  it  was  said  that  kanta  hired  the  Lelna  people  to  help  him  actualize  his
rebellious  militant  ambition  to  fight  against  invaders.  The  war  lasted  for  forty
years. The  Lelna  people  were tired  and  they  needed  to relocate  to  enable  them
hunt  and  farm.  So  they  started  migrating  in  clusters  to  relocate.  Any  time  they

were  to  move  from  point  to  point,  they  would  tell  their  fellows  that  anywhere they  see  C’lali/C’lela  shrubs,  they  had  taken  cover  there  and  they  were  looking
forward to seeing them.
During  the  pe riod  of  the  war,  Lelna  people  liked  walking  in  clusters  and  taking cover in the C’lela shrubs. The  name in C’ Lela was used to describe  the nature of
their cluster. The clusters helped them  to take cover   and anybody  who was  not
familiar with these shrubs, on seeing them from a far distance would assume that
there were so many people who had formed a cluster even  when they were few.
They also liked taking cover by the shrub because of it’s economic value.
As Lelna people began to migrate from one point to another point to locate their brothers who had taken cover in C’lela shrubs the shrubs starte d gaining
recognition as  C’lela  over  the  year of experience based on migration. Literally, it
therefore means that C’lela was a protec tive shrub for the people during war, and
C’lela became the name of the language of the people.
Let  us  consider  yet  another  version  in  oral  tradition  about  the  concept  of  the word  C’lela.  A negligible number  of  Lelna in the  region of  copuna’lela  are  of the
view that “C’lela” or “Lelna” was derived from an old Iron tool called Ilela My
findings within this  re gion  has  revealed  that the  idea  or the  concept  of C’lela as
derived from Ilela (blade) is a tradition of Dabai people and it’s belief seems to be
restricted within their clans.

In the course  of  my  research,  I  was able  to establish  that  the  black smith within the region of ‘lela specially designed a sharp iron tool called “Ilela” for the
purpose of cutting, barbing and shaving  one’s  hair.  One  primary  reason for that
sharp  tool  is  to  be  used  for  body  Sacrifition  as  in  decorating  one’s  body  for
ide ntification with a view to distinguishing one from a partic ular language, tribe or
clan In fact the name of this sharp iron blade “Ilela” gives th e  K’lela  man  the
identity of his or her culture as reveale d in the name “LELN OR K’LEL ” By
implication,  Lelna  existed  before  Ilela  as  the  Iron  tools  hence,    named  by  the
The  sharp blade  was  designed  by  the  blacksmiths  and  is used  for  shaving one’s hair  and  decorating  bodies  of  either  the  K’lela  man  or  the  woman  to  gain
attraction  by  opposite  sex.  Little  wonde r,  Mr.  Samuel  Umaru  belongs  to  the
school  of  thought  which  opines  that  K’lela  should  be  seen  in  the  light  of  the

developme nt  of  this  tool.  But,  Mr  Umaru    forgot  that,  since  Ilela  was  made  by K’lela man that means C’lela, K’lela and Lelna are Older than the iron tool. It is also
possible that the name Ilela was borrowed from the original word “C’lela” and
K’lela hence Ilela the tool which has  a measurable characteristics with  the  origin
words C’lela / K’lela
The two versions above seem to  hold water but one  may associate himself with the idea within the context of the agreement of our forefathers who named  and
called  the  shrubs  C’lali/C’lela  which  is  simply  a  birth  reflection  of  ideographic
imagination of the word and culture hence “C’lela” as the language of the people
Lelna.  See  photograph  below  of  C’lali,  C’lela,  from  where  the  language  of  the
people was derived.

Photographs Of C’lali and C’lela Shrubs
C’l li

The above shrub was  the  shrubs the Lelna people used  to take cover during the war.  One  of  the  advantages  is  that  it  has  a  poisonous  liquid;  and  the  clustered
nature of the shrubs is yet another advantage  against their enemies. If an enemy
sees it from a distance, the y will think there are many people  by it because of its
clustered  nature.  Below  is  proof  of  the  root  origin  of  the   word  C’lela  as  the
language of the people The shrubs are c alled “C’lali” and “C’lela” respectively
Below is the simplified analysis as the  proof of the claims.
K’lali     — shrub (Singular) segme nt
C’lali     — shrubs (more than one) plural
K’lela    — Person from A’lela (singular)
Lelna    — Plural of people of A’lela
C’lela     — Many shrubs, hence the language of Lelna
D’lela    — The culture of Lelna
A’lela    — The land or region of Le lna people

A’d’Lela — Belonging to Alela land, or belonging to the Lelna religion or custom
M’lali    — poisonous milk or liquid
Ilele —– an iron tool.
Singular                    plural
K’lali               –          C’lali
K’lali               –          K’le la
C’lali               –          C’lela
A’lela               –          Lelna
A’lela               –         A’d’Lela
These words above are derived from “C’lela” by deduc tive reasoning “ ” in C’lela language simply means position “on” In effect it means position of the shrub(s)
C’lela, Lelna, A’lela or A’d’Lela was derived from the word C’lela as the langua ge of
the people. Howeve r, different  people see and understand language as an innate
faculty  largely  genetically  encoded  and  decoded  by  the  same  traits  of  language
class.  Yet  another  school of  thought  sees it  as  a system  culturally based,  that  is
developed and  learned  through  social  interaction. In  fact,  that  reminds  me  of a
statement and I quote “Language grows out of life out of its need and
experiences nne Sullivan (1866 1936)” this was a speech to the mericans to
promote the teaching of language and speech Fanon expresses the view that “
language is to take on a word a culture ” (Frantz Fanon 1925 1961 physician and
Though,  this  has  been  said  earlier.  By  reason  of  deduction,  language  in  the context  of  C’lela is  as  old as Lelna  people  and  the language  was  developed  and
learned  through  social  interaction  and  expe rie nce,  as  people  began  to
communicate with a par ticular tongue or dialect encoded over time. By reason of
migration, language  began to  be  distorted and  new  languages were  for med and
developed  from  the  original  language.  However,  one  could  say  that  the  word
C’lela as the language of the people can be best described as an identity of name
tied to word and culture.

Therefore, the ambiguity of the word C’lela informed the other names as we have seen  above.  Ilela  is  rather  descriptive  to  a  name  K’lela  hence  it  gives  the  K’lela
man  the  identity  of  Lelna  people.  In  my  candid  opinion,  the  derivation  in  the
meaning  of  K’lela  from  Ilela,  as  claimed  by  Mr  Samuel  Umaru  in  his  thesis  and
Traditione d to some group, is not holistic and does not hold water.
Honestly,  I  am  of  the  vie w  that  the  allegory  of  C’lela  as  a  language  no  doubt, represents the development of ideas in individual’s consciousness. There is hardly
any idea in one’s mind without having the form of mental picture of what the idea
looks  like.  This  is  sometimes  imagined  and  interpreted  in  written  form.  The
revelation  is also clothed upon substance and life. The latter is the conclusion by
the observer to give that thing a name status.
The name C’lela among others was informed on the stre ngth of coordinate d intelligence by our forefathers. Infact, divine inte lligence has revealed not just the
names of the shrubs, animals and trees in their language but perfect ideas about
it as the bases of its existence, and Lelna people had reason to take advantage of
it to appropriate  knowledge and thought of good and evil from the shr ubs, called
C’lela,  and  adopted  the  name,  as  named  by  the  observers  (our  forefathers).  In
fact,  C’lali/C’lela  shrubs  has  a  great  significance  in  the  belief  and  culture  of  the
Zuru   (Lelna) people.

 “ the only way to keep authentic track history and origin of a particular tribe
clan or it’s dialect is by knowing an appointing a tribe or a clan head”

C’lela in the Context of a Language of the People Lelna
Writing  on the  Lelna people , their offshoots  and their  language,  are  unreported. As  such,  they  are  ironically  and  generally  known  as  Zur u  people  to  mean  the
language and  the people. The people are also called Dakkarkari. This mistake has
affected  other  people  across  the  nation.  For  instance,  Gwari  are  called  against
Gbagi;  Ham  against  Jaba;  A’dara  against  kadara;  and  kambe ri  against  Ashingini.
Most of these languages and dialects  have  been  miss- pronounced by either  the
Hausa man or the British colonialist.
The  Le lna  are  running  into  millions,  with  various  dialectical    units.  Although, efforts have  not  been  made to  write  and  amplify these languages, and  if indeed
there was any, it was within the academic circles, and this has its limitations. But
very recently, HRH the Emir of Zuru among others are doing a very good  work to
tell the  world  that Zuru  people even  though  they  have heard  about them. Many
people who are not indige nous to Ke bbi state call the k’lela man “Dan Zuru” or
“Zuru people” to mean his or their language and people Unfortunately Zuru is
not a language. Rather, it is a slogan to mean a man from A’lela. Zuru, as we have
already read is a  Local Government  Area in Kebbi state in  North Weste rn part of
Nigeria. On the strength of this fact, let us, therefore, define proto C’lela
C’lela  is  a  general  Language  of  Lelna  people  in  Copu  na’lela  or  A’lela,  and  the proto-C’le la  is the  distinctive  original  C’lela  language of  the Lelna  people spoken
by the proto-lelna. A’lela  is home to a fascinating mixture of   dialects and e thnic
units in clusters extracted from proto-C’le la. Hence the people  speak C’lela as one
general  language,  but  with  regional  tribal  and  dialectral  variables  in  spoken,
written expression and pronunciation by cultural groups or clans of that particular
tribe in Copu na’lela; e.g Sence, Dabna, Mangna, Zugarnu, Kotoono Panni, Conkn o
among  others,  but  other  dialec ts  with  various  clans.  eg  Hunnu,
Daknu,Paknu,Gyaane among others.
It is very important  to point out  here that  proto- Lelna  and their offshoots claim close  affinities  with  the Gbagi,  A’dara,  Achifawa,  Kambari, Nupe,  Maguzawa  and
some languages around the geography of Burgu by reasons of cultural similarities
as  in  traditional  institutions  like  agricultural  rituals,  marriage  institution,  and

traditional  religion  etc.  It  is  also  obvious  that  they  enjoyed  the  benefit  of migrating toge ther. They spread in units to various locations using Copu na’lela as
a cross over to their present area of domicile. Little wonder therefore, that these
languages are playmate to A’lela or Zuru people.
The Gbagi, A’dara, Kambari Achifawa and the Maguzawa share good relationships with  the  Lelna  people,  which  is  more  cultural  than  biological,  and  the  affinities
between  proto-Lelna  and  their  offshoots  is  rather  genetic.  They  are  culturally,
linguistically  and  homogeneously  related.  One  section  or  dialect  was  carved out
from the original  language at one time  of their  migration.  They  shared  common
historical experiences from antiquity  in the sense  of myths of origin. After a long
period  of  separation  these  small  units  began  to  identify  themselves  with  a
particular name.
The proto-Lelna and these languages mentioned belong to the branch of the great kainji speakers; a sub group of the platoid group of the Benue -Congo. The Hunnu,
Paknu, Gyaane, Daknu, Karni, Wipsni, Gwam Hyonno and Kamuknu are  offshoots
of  the  proto-Lelna.  These  languages  co-existed  in clusters  especially  the  Hunnu,
Kambari, Gbagi A’dara and Nupe, presently in Niger state. We were separated by
virtue of migration and the creation of ne w States. Now , as it is, we have Lelna of
Niger, Lelna of Ke bbi, Hunnu of Kebbi and hunnu of Niger, Ashingini of Kebbi and
Niger States, who have dual state-ship.
Linguistic evidence has revealed that the proto-Lelna is not different people from their fellow extracted Lelna: Hunnu, and  their  likes,  but are  merely t wo different
tribes  of  the  same  parental  language  of  proto-C’lela  irrespective  of  their
dialectical and ethnic differences. As a result, the offshoots may not be named or
considered  as  a  language  because  they  are  extracted  from  the  proto-Lelna.  In
effect,  their  offshoots  belong  to  the  proto-Lelna  branch  of  the  Benue-Congo,  a
sub-group of Niger-Congo family of the Kanji language family speaking a dialect of
C’lela and C’lela as a general language derived from proto C’lela. Based on this, we
shall now answer the  question whether C’lela is a language or a dialec t cluster?
C’lela/proto  C’lela,  as  we  have  already  seen,  is  the  language  of  the   people  of Copuna’lela.  The  language  is  characterise d  by  a  dialectical  variables  and  ethnic
units  in  Cluster  as  in  the  use  of  vowels  and  constant  C’lela  language  no  doubt,
suggests the Kanji origin. The sounds of the vowe ls and consonants are distinctive
ways  by  which  communication  is  effective  since  the  extract  from  the  parent
language of proto-lelna speak C’le la as a dialect of proto C’lela. Therefore, C’lela is

a  language  characterized  by  distinctive  dialects  within  the  re gion  of  A’lela.  It  is thus a  language and certainly not  a dialect cluster. However, the offshoots  speak
regional  dialects  of  proto  C’lela and  not  a  language  as  they  claimed.  The  proto-
lelna and their offshoots are cousins and genetically related.
Having read and know n what is C`Lela and the origin of C`Lela as a language with its respective dialects, it is also necessary to know how many dialects we  have in
copu Na`Lela. These dialects are 29 with three hundred and nineteen clans (319).
Below, therefore, are the  29 dialects and off shoots of Proto -Lelna identified and
named  with  their  respective  settleme nt  in  A`Lela.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  each  of
these dialects has about 10 to 12 clans and  knowing the clans in their respective
classifications was a little bit difficult, the only way to kee p authentic track history
and origin  of a particular tribe, clan or it’s dialect is by  knowing and appointing a
tribe and a clan head. And to achieve this, I went to all the 29 traditional old cities
in ’lela land and conducted interviews with old men who may have passed on by
now, in the quest to know all the dialects from the cities.
Below  are  the  twenty  nine  dialect  and  three  hundred  and  nineteen    Clans  of Proto-Lelna, gotten from one on one interview with older me n and women in our
29 historical cities in ’lela This numbers did not include the offshoots and the ir
sub-clans. This research work was informed bec ause there  was no one document
written  on  this  subject  that  told  us  about    the  29  dialects  and  their  respective
clans and offshoots in Zur u land.
Honestly if you are a K’lela reading this book and you can’t trace your route to any  of  this  tribe  or  clans  am  sorry  you are not K’lela You are either a slave
(K’coko) or a migrant It is therefore in the light of this fact I implore parents to
take  their  children  to  their  respective  old  historical  city  (Ilee)  where  their
ancestors originated.
Tribes in Zuruland ( ’lela)
1.  Sencne                                           K’ Sence
2.  Dabna                                             K`daba
3.  Mangna        K`manga
4.  Panni         K’pani
5.  Kootno        K’kooto

6.  Hyanna        K`yan
7.  Sarna         K`sara
8.  Neene        K`neene
9.  Oono          K`o
10.  Yumnu        K`yumu
11.  Dombno        K`dombo
12.  S’gogo        Ka s`gogo
13.  Dogno         K` Dogo
14.  Romna        K`roma
15.  Sindni         K`sindi
16.  Sevna         K`seva
17.  Kyobno        K`kyobo
18.  Semne        K`seme
19.  Rebna        K`reba
20.  Rambunu        K`rambu
21.  Ryaadone        K`ryaade
22.  Gwazawana       K`gazawa
23.  Conkno        K`conko
24.  Kanyana        K`kanyane
25.  Umnu         K’umu
26.  Dankarne        K’dankar
27.  Passno        K’passo
28.       Semne        K’seme

29.  Semc’lalini        K’semk’leli

1.   Paknu         K`paku
2.   Daknu        K`daku
3.   Gyaarne        K`gyaari
4.   Karni         K’ari
5.   Wipsni        K`wipsi
6.    Gawm Hyonno      K`gam hyon
7.   Kamaknu        K`kamaku
8.   Hunnu        K’hunu
9.   Deerni        K’deere

–  Govgne (Govgnan Gomc’nile or Ak’dada)
–  Sangna:
–  Sangnan’waa
–  Sangnan Boro
–  Karni / Gwerabne
–  Dogno
–  Barna
–  Rumsni:
–  Rumsnan Kona

–  Rumsnan Waa
–  Senc Nam Sune
–  Pass-hunu
–  Denkarne / Dungnu
–  Mangna
–  Hunnu

–  Pannan Gaba
–  Golonak’dada
–  Golonan Cona
–  Sangna
–  Wipsni
–  Rumnu
–  Dogno
–  Tahini

–  Govgne
–  Tahini
–  Hunnu
–  Sangna

–  Yaa’dokno
–  Golono

–  Gungu
–  k’ Bido
–  Kungnu
–  Magenda
–  k’rumu
–  Deerne:
–  k’ Vana (Dere)
–  k’vana Kamberi
–  k’vana
–  k’vana (Zammiara)
–  U’kwakwa

–  Sunsono
–  Hunnu
–  Sangna
–  Golono
–  Yumnu

–  Ad’koko
–  Dwirni
–  Golono
–  Wipsni
–  Yaa  Dokno
–  Hyomno
–  Ondabna

–  Dabnak K,dada
–  Binjosno
–  Mangna
–  Bensno
–  Semne
–  Golono
–  Hok  Salna
–  Tagelno
–  Semi C’wade
–  Gommana
–  Banu Gwene
–  Romna
–  Welpne
–  Taarne

–  Tahini
–  Dogno
–  Dwad  Tudunu
–  Tudunu
–  Passno
–  Binjos Na D’ Koko
–  Binjosna D’ Baro
–  Oona K’waa
–  Oouam Tudu
–  Kwaa  Na/Yaa Doko
–  Ad Hutu

–  Tahini
–  Golono
–  Kwesamne
–  Wipsni
–  Romna
–  Hyakadno
–  Gilacni


–  Komno
–  Romna
–  Passno
–  Tahini
–  Aik’dada
–  Aiskubu
–  Aid’waa
–  Rumk Chankna
–  Swakna
–  Aik Hutu
–  Riktnu
–  Dogno
–  U’tamnu

–  On Dabna
–  Sangna
–  Wipsni
–  Semne
–  Tahini
–  Zinni
–  Takelne
–  Kotk’ Copa

–  Golono

–  Semi C’ Wandene
–  Hyomno
–  Banu Gwene
–  Kwaacni
–  Gilac’ne
–  Dogna D’me nke
–  Yaa Dokna /k’dada
–  Dogna K’dada
–  s’gen
–  s’comgno
–  Rom Dogno

–  Golono
–  Golo Nk’jozane
–  Golo Nk’rimane
–  Golon Ak Rimane
–  Ondabna
–  Sangna

–  Banu Gwene
–  Kogno
–  Tahini

–  Hunnu
–  Banu Gwene
–  Yaa Dokno
–  Mangna
–  Golono
–  Sangna
–  Ondabna
–  Oono

–  Tahini
–  Hunnu
–  Ondabnan Sakawa
–  Ondabnan Gamgamo
–  Hunna Bang Yaage(Aik’dada)
–  Yaa Dokno
–  Mangna

–  Ondabna
–  Idokco

–  Ondaban Rimane
–  Golono
–  Tahini
–  Panni
–  Mangna
–  Gommawana
–  Ondaban Jozane
–  Rebna
–  Yaa’dokno

–  Ugana
–  Golono
–  Golona C’gomo
–  Golona C’magaji
–  Sangna
–  Semne
–  Madingono

–  Semu
–  Golono
–  Anugana
–  Asgagaruwa
–  Sangna Semugyozo/Kubk d’waa
–  Matare-semne, Matare
–  Uyu
–    k’omo
–  Wangara
–  Ad’iti
–  d’waa
–  k’dada
–  Gochsogke
–  k’pondo
–  Hunnu
–  Sagnan Kubk d’waa

–  Den Kane
–  Dungnu
–  Banu Gwene
–  On Dabna
–  Bensno

–  Umnu
–  Govgne
–  Dogno
–  Hunnu

–  Havna:
–  Mamna
–  Havnan Lende
–  Havnan D’bekbe
–  Havnan Kubu
–  Govgne
–  Sevna
–  Ak’dada
–  Semc’lalini
–  Banu Gwene
–  Dakalno
–  Golono

–  Semnan  C’gomo (Sondoro)

–  Ondabna C’gomo/ d’ Gwan
–  Ondabnan D’waa
–  Ondabnan Menke
–  Ondab N’gaga
–  Bensno
–  Golono
–  Banugwe ne
–  Kootna S’ Copa
–  Sem Nak K’ran
–  Semnanu Pala or Palana (Koglelna)
–  Semnak’ Mama
–  Mangna
–  On Dabonam Hoo
–  On Dabnad’ron
–  Sem Nan Kwam Tomo
–  Sem Nan Mendi
–  Sem Nan Magaze
–  Sem Nak Kamk’no

–  U’m Nak’ Dada
–  Govgne
–  Dogno

–  Rusumnu
–  D’wadoko
–  U’mangezane

–  Golono
–  Sawgna
–  Madingono
–  Wangana

–  Govgna C’gomo
–  Govgnan C’ubandawaki
–  Govgnan C’gadema
–  Oonam’ Hoo
–  Oo Na M’ K’pondo
–  Kangana
–  Barna
–  Dakarna
–  Gyaani
–  Hane

–  Tuktnu
–  Garne
–  Golono
–  K’dada

–  A S’gen
–  Bensno
–  Koramno
–  Wipsni
–  Kwaacni
–  S’gen Na D’ Waa
–  Gwerabne
–  Gilacni
–  Dogno
–  Kwaacni
–  Tahini
–  Golona  A D’ono
–  A D’ono

–  Sekanne (a K’ Dada)
–  Semc’wandene
–  Rom Pusnu
–  Wennan  C’hini
–  Kwesamne
–  Rom Copno
–  Gonan Koro
–  Bensno
–  A K’paku

–  Gilacni:
–  Gilac Na’d’ Waa
–  Gilac Nan Seme
–  Yaa Dogno
–  Romcopno
–  Rom Nak K’dada
–  Maagne
–  Sekanne
–  Dogno


–  Romna
–  Gwerabne
–  Dogno
–  Kwaacni
–  Golono
–  Sangna

–  Oonan Seme
–  Ani Kubu
–  Zook Nan Seme
–  Wesps Nan Seme
–  Oona K’ Waa
–  Oonak K’dada
–  Rigt Nu:
–  Rig  Gyozane
–  Rigt An  Gyozane
–  Hyaane

–  Bensno:

–  Bens Na D’kuru
–  Bens Nac’ Gadema
–  An S’pondo
–  Nen Na D’waa
–  A C’gomo
–  A Ni Kubu
–  Conna
–  Pon Na D’ Gaga
–  Pon  Nzoogne

–  Tahini
–  Benzno
–  Thanac Kyopho
–  Golono
–  Yaa Dogno
–  D’gamba
–  Dogno
–  Banu Gwene (zo Ogne)
–  Kubnu


–  Dognane Cong
–  Mangna
–  Dognana Pala
–  Golono
–  Ondabna
–  Del Delni
–  Umnu
–  Benzno
–  Pascongno
–  Karnac’ Koko
–  Karnai Gono
–  Karnad Gaga

–  Tahini
–  ’koko
–  Hyamno
–  Golono
–  Yaa Dokno
–  Wipsni
–  Ondabna
–  Golo Dwirini

The above groups and their off-shoots, speak C’lela and regional dialects of C’lela from  the  parent  language  of  proto  C’le la  with  little  variations  in  pronunciation.
However,  these  variations  have  affected  the  autography  in  writing  and  speech
expression in the region of Alela.  For example,  the  way  somebody in Sence will
pronounce a word   may  be different from  the  way somebody  in  U’Reba,  U’Daba
or  A’zugru  will  pronounce  it,  even    when  such  words  have  the  same  meaning.
Therefore,  see  a  few  of  these  words,  their  meanings  and  how  they  are
pronounced in a few of some of the dialec ts above.

 S ncn
ee Dabna                 Zug rnu
a Koybo
 D’Y N _
D’yan D’yani
Ite gu
_ _

Speaking pro-to C’lela and regional C’lela as a dialect of proto-C’lela

Town s and Villages

I  mentioned  kambari  in  my  opening  paragraph.  However,  my  findings  have established that Kambari/Kambayi is  not  the  original  name  by which  the  people
are  refer red  to.  The   people  are  widely  spread  and  found  in  kebbi,  Niger  and
Nasarawa States. In fact,  it is difficult  for  one to  tell the  original language of the
kambari people and how they may wish or prefer to be addressed since Kambari
is not a language. Let us see what informe d the name kambari.
According  to  legend,  after  the  then  Nagwamatse  war  around  the  17th  century, the people were calling their brothers Kembeyi! Kembeyi! This means come back!
Come back!  In  the  presumed  language but the  Hausa man  could  not  pronounce
the word “Kembeyi” Instead he said “Kembari” ll the same  the word Kambari
as  used  here in  this  chapter  is  an  issue of interest. When somebody told  me the
meaning of Kambari in another language , it will interest you to know that Kambari
means “let us stay here” in Igbo language My finding has established a litt le
linguistic and  cultural connection between the Kambari people in Niger state and
the  Igbo  in  Imo,  Anambra  and  Enugu  states  Particularly  the  Orlu  and  Nnewi
people.  How  the  kambari  people  bury  their  dead  and  how  they  prepare  their
palm wine is not far from what is obtainable in Igbo culture, and the morphology,

that  is  the  pronunciation and  meaning of some words are  almost the same. For instance:
Wrapper                               UkwuOgodo                 Ogodo Water                                    Mmiri                           Mini
Fowl                                      Okuko                          Okuko
Ointment                               Uhei                             Uhei
Beds                                      Nkpowe                       Nkpowe, yedi  Eyedi

Since the  kambari people  and  the  Igbo’s  are classified  into  various tribes, it  may be difficult to marry their linguistic relationships as  to determining which  part of
the kambari people speaks and pronounc es these words like the Igbos. Since it is
not  my  subject  of  research,  I  will  leave  that  to  Kambari  people  to  make  these
findings.  In Niger and  Kebbi  we  have  various  tribes  of  the Kambari  people some
have  even  lost  their  identity  to  Lelna  people.  In  Niger,  the  salka  people  speak
Ashingini,  the  Awana,  speak  Akinba;  Agwara,  speak  Kishingini.  We  also  have
Kambari in Lafiya in Nasarawa state and Kambarin Achifawa and Kambarin Zuru in
Kebbi State.
Although,  the  Kambari  Agaddi  understand  themselves  with  the   Kambarin  Salka with little dialectical variations, the Kambarin Agawara seems to be the majority.
Most likely Kishingini is the general language, while others are the dialect clusters
speaking various dialects  with  distinct  differences in  pronunciation.  In fact,  they
seem not to understand each other. Most likely Kambarin Yawuri and Agwara are
people who have similar linguistic or dialectical relationship with the Igbos in the
eastern States.
The  Kambari  people  and  their  language  is  not  my  subject  of  study,  but,  let  me belie ve I have provoked somebody to embark on researc h to further expatiate on
this subject and claims, with a view to telling us the language of the people called
kambari and what they would preferred to be calle d. One may want to know the
one  ge neral  language  of  the  people,  since  Kambeyi/Kambari  is  not  the  original

language.  Rev.  Bawa  David,  the  Principal  of  U.M.C.A  B ible  College  Tungan Magagiya  and  Rev. Bako  a  lecture r  in the  same  school w ho are salka extractions
from Niger State shared with me in my brief interview with the m that, the people
referred to as kambari are Ashingini and Tishingini is the language. My goodness!
That’s terrific.

Diminishing Strength of C’lela Language
C’lela  language,  as  we  have  seen, is  the  official  language  of  the  people  of  copu na’lela.  My  fear,  however,  is  that  the  language  is  dying  and  losing  its  tribal
essence  because  a  lot  of  Lelna  are  unable  to  effectively  communicate  in  their
language. The reasons are not far-fetched. A few of these reasons are mentioned
in the  previous chapter.
Unfortunately, any elder that dies, carries with him or her to the grave an ancient mother C’lela tongue. As a result, it has created a vent for the Hausa language and
culture to encroach and dominate. Since  then, C’lela as a language has been  and
still is suffering from severe corruption, of communication paralysis and cor rosion
by  the  Hausa  language.  Our  youths  have  been influenced  and  turned  out  to  be
cultural  slave  or better still what I may call suffering from “tragedy of
inbetweenity” The youths cannot speak the tribe or language of their nativity
fluently, let alone write it.
The language has  been reduced in strength and  power. Little wonder, therefore, that  Lelna  youths  seem  to  be  r unning  short  of  words  whenever  they  want  to
communicate  in  C’lela.  Rather,  they  are  left  going  through  mental  struggles  to
shop  for  vocabulary  to  use.  Unfortunately,  not  even  an  anthropologist  or  an
archaeologist  will  exhume  the  bodies  of  their  ancestral  fathers  just  to  get  the
original  lost  words  and  their  meanings.  Academics  and  historians  may  have  to
shop  for  words using  their  intuitive  se nse  to  give  meanings  to  them,  just  like  it
was  in  the  days  of our ancestral  fathers.  This  has  already been  explained in  the
chapter titled “The Origin of C’lela”
In a few  decades to  come, or by the  next generation,  we might have  lost  half of our culture and cultural heritage to Hausa, English language, and western culture
if  care  is  not  taken.  In  fact,  the  footprints  of  loss  are  already  in  our
neighbourhood. Decline  in cultural  heritage and Language is an index of  national
decay. Actually,  elites and  our  parents are  also guilty of  this  decline  and decay.
Apart  from  pare ntal  negligence,  the  question  is;  who  is  to  blame?  The
governme nt of the state is the major culprit, in connivance with re ligious fanatics,
to  frustrate  any  effort  by  the  citizens  to  organize  and  promote  their  culture  by
using  religion  and  Hausa  culture  to  intimidate  the  minorities.  The  idea  is  to
swallow  the  identity  and  culture  of  Lelna  people  to  pave  way  for  a  new  or

different culture, sometimes using other festivals to gain recognition in  the state. A  clear  case  in  hand  is  the  Argungu  Fishing  Festival.  Hence,  every  indigenous
cultural  or  traditional  festival  would  be  grouped  under  the  state  festival  with  a
view to frustrating the culture of the so called minorities and making them to lose
their identity  and cultural heritage.  The elites and the  youth  are  as  guilty  as the
governme nt.  A  clear  case  in  hand  was  the  frustration  of  the  vision  of    Late
Nathaniel Zome  when he  organised  the Traditional U’hola festival in Zuru. Some
of the major factors of decay are discussed  below.
It  is  an  issue  to  worry  about  that  Lelna  people  no  longe r  identify  themselves as Lelna,  let  alone  speak  the  language.  Whether  or  not  they  have  tribal  marks,
parents  do  not  speak  C’lela  to their children  any more.  This  begins at  birth  and
continues until a child reaches adulthood. T his is especially true for those who left
CopunA’lela for neighbouring states or villages as a result of economic attraction.
In  my  own  case,  thank  God  for  my  parents  especially  my  father,  Prince  Wade
Kibiya  Bawa  who  speaks  C’lela  to  us  in  our  household  from  morning  till  the
In  fact,  if  we  have  twenty  parents  in  Zuru  land  like  my  father,  the  language  of C’lela  will  not  die, rather it will survive.  On  this  note, one would  want  to say his
gratitude to Mr Ben Dikki and Baba Bulus Doro, to mention but a few, who  have
been  writing literature and are still  making  efforts to  preserve  and  promote the
language Therefore all literature written so far in C’lela like “Batk sak C’lela Kam
Ete” compiled by Bulus Doro “Em rigan C’lela” Ben Dikki and “Lak San  Sudam
S’vere” Rev Peter Nasoma C’lela calender / a book the history of C’lela by my
humble self the translated Bible Old and New Testament into C’lela language
and  the  hymn  books  should  be  used  in  our  respective  schools  and  households.
This will be applicable for the purpose of preserving and promoting the language
of  proto-C’lela especially for the youths yet unborn bove it all our gratitude
goes to the Emir who saw the  importance of the vision of Late Nathaniel Zomi and
made  a  deaf  ear to  the  culprit,  organise d  and  centralised  the  annual  traditional
festival (U’hola) as it were with a view to unite the Lelna people, that’s good.
This is yet another strange factor that has eaten deep into the fabric of the C’lela language. Our sisters and brothers who are  eventually  married to other tribes or

people from different  language no longer speak or write C’lela by reason  of their marital  status  and  Cross  over  migration  to  yet  another  land.  This  factor  binds
them to the tradition and belief systems of that other land.
Crossover migration may not only be in  terms of marriage, it could be as a result of quest for economic resources to a new land whe re C’lela is hardly spoken. For
example,  Lelna  people  are  far  across    Kaduna,  Minna  and  Kontagora,  some  of
them  are  serving  in  public  service,  the  military,  or  are  retired  and  decided  to
settle down  else-where  and  had  children  who  do not know  where  the ir  parents
came from let alone speak the language C’lela. They only know that the y are from
Zuru  and  they  speak  Zuru  and  not  C’lela  because  they were  never  told  by  their
parents that they speak C’lela. A  lot of them have not even been to Copun a’lela
“Zuru” and this is quite unfortunate The truth is that not only the language will
die , but the tradition also.
Over time, people are bound to come together, as Lelna to reform and recreate a tradition to suit their own purpose; by reasons of migration and inter -marriage as
may  be  influenced by  long  years  of  staying in  a  particular  place.  In the  process,
new languages are formed out of the original language from the particular proto –
In view of this, parents who left their respective villages to the cities for economic attractions especially the soldiers, may once  in a while  bring  the ir  childre n home
quarterly  or  annually  on  vacation  just  to  get  the m  acquainte d  with  their
grandparents,  cousins,  brothers  and  sisters;  to  partake  in  or  witness  their
traditional  festivals  like  U’hola,  D,biti  and  also  witness  how  their  traditional
marriages are  conducted. This will make the children appreciate their culture and
to  respect  their  cultural  values.  As  it  is,  there  are   many  families  w ho,  while  on
service never  came  home on vacation, let alone come  to settle  back home  after
their  re tireme nt from  the  service.  These  people  have  decided  to  settle  in  other
lands  and  have  been  indigenised  to  speak  other  languages  they  found  around
them.  All  they  know  is  that  they  came  from  Zuru  and  they  speak  Zuru.  Their
parents did not tell them the difference between Zuru and C’lela.This reminds me
of  a  growing  boy  (Boss)  in  my  family  friend’s  house  in  Minna,  who  asked  his
mother, if  the  domestic cat in their house is  Zuru Kedy boy! What he is trying to
say is if the domestic cat understands C’le la

Koglelna are Lelna who lost their tribal ide ntity to Englis and Hausa cultures; who speak adulterated C’lela “Kog C’lela” This is not to say I am recognising or
ide ntifying with  them but I am frowning at the extent at  which C’lela language  is
misuse d by the speakers  of this kogC’lela. The term Kog Lelna/ kogC’le la came to
be  in  the  recent  past  and  were  informed  as  a  result  of  those  legitimate  Lelna
people  who  either  by  commission  or  omission  lost  the ir  cultural  and  moral
ide ntity to  the Hausas  or  Hausa  Fulani. In  fact, in another 9  – 10  decades,  if  the
language  of  C’le la  is  not  prope rly propagated and promoted  I  am afraid we  may
have another group of people  creating a  new ethno  –  lingual  identity.  Two basic
factors may  be responsible for the formation of  this new ethno  linguo languages
which are; migration and intertribal marriage.
Just  like  one  Bogaji,  who  was  alleged  to  come  from  Zamfara,  around  the  17th century and married   K’lela woman called  ladi in U’daba and had children by  her.
Such people are very good examples of Koglelna whose offsprings speak Kogc’lela.
This is just one  out of one thousand and one cases. Unfortunately,  if  care  is  not
taken,  the  proto Lelna  may  lose  their  ide ntity  to English  and  Hausa  speakers  as
long  as they give out their  daughters to  them.  The Formation, development  and
spread of this adulterated C’le la is like a wild fire and canker worm  that is eating
deep into the fabric of C’lela. And if not checked, it may swallow and distort C’lela
using English  and  Hausa to  fuel  the  spread. Imagine this adulte rated  kogC’lela  is
even spoken by the elites who are supposed to be the custodians of the language.
Lelna should say no to the encroachment of these languages around them.
Unfortunately, those  who acquired formal education  were  not able to  teach and write literatures of all  kinds in C’lela language having every word in  C’lela and its
meaning in the  language.  If there  were, it could not have been corrupted today.
The  most  elderly  had  since  passe d  on.  That  is  why  their  offsprings  gre w  up  to
adopt  the  available  language  around  the m;  because,  such  languages like  Hausa,
against C’lela, are taught  in  primary and secondary schools, and  this  amounts to
loss of identity. No wonder the  youth cannot  speak or  write  C’le la. As such  they
are going through mental struggle of wanting to know the  meaning of words and
things.  If  our  ancestral  fathe rs,  had  written  literature  in  the  past  their  legacy
would have represented them. That is why all Lelna elites must put their hands on
deck to promote and propagate C’lela lite racy. I agreed  with Prof. Ango when He
said “In the dynamics of Language development every language in the world may

borrow,  adapt  and  adopt  from  other  languages.  All  we  need  is  literacy,  not purity”
The  speakers  of  this  adulterated  C’lela  are  mostly  the  proto-Lelna  and  Lelna; simply because  of their association with others and neglect to speak C’lela. Hence,
they  are  now  Hausanized  and  are  ashamed  to  speak  C’lela  language.  Can  you
imagine! You will see   K’lela man  with tribal marks on his face, should  you speak
C’lela  to him,  he simply will  take  offence and  would not want  to identify  himself
as  k’lela  for  reasons  only  him  could  best  explain.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  if  such
people have their ways, they would erase the tribal marks on their faces.
C’lela  as  a language  has  been  adulterated by these  people  (koglelna) who speak kogc’lela. Over time it may develop to form ye t another dialect from  the  original
language  or  have  C’lela  language  comple tely  corroded  from  the  system.  Let  us
therefore see a number of the corrupted and adulterated C’lela words or phrases
as used by the koglena as against the proto C’lela.

1  M’godke       Ambomko      Am grateful
2  Litafikan Karatuv’ C’lela   Vakan laasam C’lela  Book to learn c’lela
3  M’emk laihi Bad na sila  M’ kotk bad Na sila  I have sin before god
4  E’macho gahara     E’maco d’ Kwisi    Forgive us
5  C’emktuba      C’kon d’wisi                  Let’s repe nt
6  Sila ne na rai a    Silanee na mhookno  God give us long live
7  Yan golmo      Angolmo       Golmo people
8  Sai buku      Hai buku      Till tomorrow
9  Ina dame ko na laga   Ina dame Hi na laga  Should fight or not
10  Kan makaranta    Kan laasi      Student
11  babav’ri       I cetme       He is my father
12  I mamav’rin     I inmi       She is my mother

13  Maala       Kanugoco      Diviner
14  A’vkusa      V’moklo      Nail
15  U’emakam sloye r    U’emkam e’vlucha   He has tract me
16  K’luwuji      K’goscu      Sickle
17  I maalav-ri      I kan laasam ri     He is my teacher
18  D’maclean      Lon man guzam nina   Toothpaste
19  Mi malam      Mi kan laasi      I am a teacher
20  Kasan zuru      Copun A’lela     Geography of le lna
21  Is’gado      I D’ lela      Is  culture
22  Kango       ile         Ancestral home
23  Iye yare wa      Iye rem da,damya    What tribe is he
24  C’ kwalba       C’ kwa      Bottle
25  C’kaya      C’ kusu ,K’kusu    Cloths
26  K’riga       K’tagu,’I’kusu    Shirt
27  K’ondo      Bai ka v’widi     Trouser
28  Ems’ Hunkuri    Gag C’debe       Take heart
29  K’maato      Kom k’saka,k’bimbi  Car
30  K’jirgi       K’bugcu,k’bumbu    Aeroplane
31  Iyea’v  raisaine    Iyea vrobine                 What did you not have
32  Karav’ saba      Ai vet la v da     Don’t get use to it
33  Koya o severe    Laasa o s’vere    Teach or educate him
34  Nuna o      Kwesa o      Show him
35  M’ nak rinin renen chiki  Am napk rinin rein A   I know what is
          na hagcu      happening

36  Tyan Farunni    I yen Ciin vo?          What is wrong with you
37  Uemk karatu    U la ask s’geno  He is dead
38  Av’ ganke      Av’ keske?    Did you understand?
39  M’ ta gane da    M’ta keese da  I did not understand
40  C’gargajiya or C’ Alada   D’lela     Culture
41  Zuru        Zu-ru, A’zugru  Lion/ forest of lions
42  Manga      U’manga    Town of manja people
43  Diri        De ere    Town of Diri people
44  Wasagu      U’hyagu             Burial ground
45  Chinoko      Conko             Town of the conko people
46  Ribah       U’ reba             Town of the re ba people
47  Rikoto      D’ koto             Town of the Rikoto people
48  Peni        Pani               Town of the panni people
49  Badakkarre       K’lela                Someone from the region of
50  Dakkarkari      Lelna      People
51  K’bigla      K’dere /dere   Begul
52  C’ aleehu      C’tohamho    Vegetable
53  Neem Cenji      Nee Seso    Give me  Change
54  Em hankuri Bon C’debe,   Gag c’debe    Be Patie nt
55  Es’duniya      E D’yan, A Cona  Heaven
56  Likita      Kanugoco,Ka C’goce  Doctor
57  M’ta tunada   M’ ta ba kasada    I did not remember
58  I Lele aiki      Ilele s’yomko  How is work

59  Har Abada      Halye emte    For ever and ever
60  S’bincike      D’betko    Investigate
61  I yen faruni      Iyenta kanne   What happened
62  Av lalaan kawka?    Iyen takaine   Are you mad
63  Sila emav albraka        Sila paten c’ gomo   May God bless
64  Ne o girma      Ne o gwin    Give him respect
65  M’ kaaska      M’ta lada    I cannot do it
66  E mam rogowa    Emam dikwisi  Forgive me
67  Sai rinin sela zane    Hi rinin sila zane     Except what God said
68  Hwedan Jajibiri    Hwedan Cabgu  On the eve day
69  Magiro      Yaa’ akwu    Masquerade
70  Kamevri      K’lomo    In-law
71  Makaranta      Baadan laasi   School
72  Ma hungbo c’turen chida   Ma hungbo        I don’t understand English C’kotoroso gada
73  Rihi ilen dam am ri     Rihi cimi        Something is disturbing me
74  Yesu           Yeso       Jesus
75  Dukkawa         Hunnu     A tribe in Niger
76  Bangawa        Daknu     A tribe in Kebbi
77  Gelawa         Gyaarni     A tribe in kebbi
78  Kelawa        Karni
79  Karatu         S’geno    Study/Reading
80       A mam guga c’kaya     Hadam c’kusu  Iron cloth for me
81        E mam s’rubutu      e mam s’geno  write for me

82          Dumidumi      U’ chud chudu  worm, worm
83      Nam handset number rovo,   Nam em pa mad   give me your handset pogcad rovo,         number
84         Bola, K’bola      C’iri        waste bin
85          Op nam lambari    op A mam rege  gist me
86           Wahala      D’koba    trouble
87           K’angulu                   Sakra    vulture
88           makari       Getco                    Destroyer
89           Bad D’anke      Bad eosze    No problem
90           D’engine                  D’na cho                 engine
91    K’rakumi      k’dongomi    camel
92           Ev Biro      ev supi, kgenco  biro/pe ncil
93    Saitan, seetan     akrimu                         Demon/Devil
94    Sai si aduwa     Hai s’cepko    Only prayer
95            Am gogro      kenke   Ogogoro/Local gin/Whisky
96    Bature       An chon c’getchene    white man
97    D’cup       I-koklo                        Cup
98    D’Adda      V’vana                         cutlass
99    Nam layi rovo      Nee m Nomba       give me your phone number
100          K’soja                                K’sose, k’koolo  A soldie
101    K’dan sanda     kad’kyuru                   police
102           barahun                               M’karanzai                  kerosene
103     kulikuli      M’gwenntle   groundnut chips
104    Am kwantele                    amkuli                        groundnut chee ps

105        ambisket      Am kotko, Miskit     Biscuit
106          hura        Gaare     mallet pour age
107    Masa        kakade D’tarr    genie corn/maize or rice cake
108    kwase
     C’kwaasa    beans cake
109    D’gora      D’kwa     Jar
110    D’buta                         D’wa      Jar
111         D’malfa      D’kiki                         hart
112           D’kwado      D’guwda ka, d’bagco  pad lock
113    Al’makashi      Av chep chekne         scissors
114    Cumb       k’sambcu                     comb
115    Amin        Ahnaa                          Ame n
116    Sabuni             lad man c’guz ku  washing soup la dam nu zolo  bathing soup
117    Am a lan situnani             am  lan skekbo            I am thinking
118     C’a’lele                 bozronyala                  Beens pour age
119    U alan c’bommo susai  m’bomk heedi             very grateful
120    Duniya      copun yandahana        Heven/world
121    takosada      ta kogarda (ta soda)    not mature
122    c’tomato      C’tomato      Tomato
123    k’hellani                k’peleto                          Fulani man
124    keke         k’peleto      Bicycle
125    Driver       kan hukum k’bimbi,   Driver
            dokav K’komo
126    S’denki      s’ wan                Kind of fruit leaves

127    D’lariya      Iziktu      sickle/Seive
128    Am hankuri      Gog c’debe     Be patient
129    S’gulma                 M’zomo                   Gossip
130    Mararaba      c’hatan kanna   Junction
131    Jaraba      c’ketamse                Trouble
132    Op I mugu      op ci v’dumu  He is a wicked man
133    Zunubi      C’koto                         Sin
134    U emk lalata               u am bo u’tusu, d’omo     He has committed
135    An sallah      an dam d,cumku    Muslim
136    Av hada kabo sto    Stoo S’kasi               your soup has good taste
137    Gwabro      Dpa, Kan ta gain da    Bachelor
138    U’hada      u’capgu,                       mix
139    k’television      k’goc ‘ad emen,   Television
140    kasuwa      baa s’yopo    market
141    D’handset      Pa mad pogco,       handset
142    k’redio      k’gang kam en,      Radio
            Or k’gang com en
143    D’kararawa      D’pama                  Bell
144    telehon      d’pogco    Telephone
            Or d’pogcad pastmen s’lalko

145         Alkali                            Kan gen man s’lalko  Judge.
146          k’ yrobawa                    k’yala                                   yoruba
147    k’ igbo      k’tegamte      igbo
148    D’fridge/freezer            K’tudcu      fridge/ freezer
149    madubi                         D’ horemco, kamatakaci    mirror
150    Av’mabudi                    V’abasa      Keys
151    D’fan                             k’hwirki      Fan
152    D’bucke t                       K’boket      Bucket
153    D’mafifichi                   K’peke      hand fan
154    zobe                              V’kwanta      ring
155    K’wasika      Vaakan pastman coma  lette r
156    D’kaculator    D’ogma, d’ogamco     Calculator
157    D’electric kac ulato   D’ogamo, d’ogamco  electric calculator
158    D’computer        K’laske or Molinlaasi/K’gamco  Computer
159    D’calma      D’goma/d’gomo    a word
160           D’guga                        K’sako, sakamho
161           K’tukunya                   K’chidi, D’bada     Local clay pot
162          D’welki                       K’bada, U’bada       Animal leather treated
163           D’bladar                    Kwa dambasa      bladder
164           D’mara               D’hebla      Abdomen
165           S’makoki                    S’wa a      Burial ceremonies
166       Gelawa               Paknu Lelna
   off shoots
167        s’zegre               s’regdo               Moringa

Just  imagine  what  the  migrants    has  done to  this  tribes  and  languages in  other states.
The indigenous name               he bastardized name
167       Bajiu               Kaja
168         Atyap                                          kataf
    Tyap (languga)
169       Aegworok            kagoro
170          Ham                                  Jaba
171          sholio                                          marwa
172          Fantwam                                    kafanchan
173          A’dara                                        kadara
174          Gbagyi                                        gwari
175          Ashingini                          kambari
176          Gwong                             kagomo
177          Ngas                                            Angas
178          Zgbia                                                                 zaria
179          kadna                                                                 kaduna
180          A’zugru                                                              zuru
181          Katsina-arena                                                     katsina-ala
182         Nayammiri

A  Blue  Print  on  the  possible  ways  to  promote  and  Check  Hausa  language  and disapprove of K’ogc’Lela. Three years ago I was discussing with Mr. John Mani, the
co-ordinator of C’lela translator that

1.  The C’lela promoters will need to liaise with the government to ensure that
C’lela is taught in primary and   secondary  schools  in  the  local  government in Copuna’le la   as part of the subject of study.
2.  Train more personel in C’lela language to teach the language of C’lela.
3.  Lite ratures  written  previously  may  need  to  be   translated  in  to  C’lela  or
written out of creativity for ease of study.
4.  Religious books may need to be translate d be read and   studiedin churches
and mosques.
5.  All  the Hausa churches  may need to  change  their name  to (C’lela section).
As against Hausa section, or carve out   C’lela section where only C’lela will be used to read the   holy  books  and  the  gospel  preached  in  C’le la
6.  Parents and individuals should develop the habit of communicating in C’lela
language to their children by speaking it.
7.  ll our mosques and churches may need to preac h sermon in C’lela

1.  The missionaries came to Zuru in 1924.
2.  Paul Ummel and his brother trekked one hundred miles   from salka to ope n
a UMS station in Zuru in 1925.
3.  By  1925  Lelna  people  helped  Paul  to  build  a  small  church  and  C’  lela
language was what was used to preach the   gospel for clear understanding. In the same year , he translated some songs into C’lela hymn book.
4.  The three house boys of Paul Ummel were saved because the y received the
Gospel; they were the twins from Rikoto.
5.  By  1938  there  were  many  converts  around  the  neighbouring  villages;
villages around Zuru came to Zuru for Sunday services.
6.  Fetish  traditional  rulers  where  persecuting  the  new  conve rts  at  a  point;
they don’t even give their daughters in marriage to converte d Christians.
7.  In 1926 a mission school started called UMS.
8.  And by 1935. the missionaries got approval by the
Government  to start  the
school properly.
9.  In  1935  the  school  graduated  its  first  class  of  22  and  they  receive d  their
SLC. Senchi people were reported to have   more numbers
10.  The  church  in  Zuru  was  the  Head  of  the  Northern/Regional  confere nce
because it was the largest church among the churches in Zuru and most of the Posters in UMS are Lelna.
11.  In 1946 UMS church was built in yauri.
12.  Christianity came to Udaba in 1933.
13.  In 1943 evangelism got to the m, a church was built and   one  of  the  twins
who were  converted in Zuru was posted  there.
14.  In 1937 a church was built in Bedi.
15.  In 1943 the c hurch in magoro was built by the missionaries.

16.  Daniel Dazi Gomo evangelized in Se nchi in 1937 and the  churc h  in  senchi
was built in 1943.
17.  The Senchi people  embraced education very  early.  It  was   the  village that
first sent their childre n to UMS school in Zuru in 1926 and to  date they are the most educated  within the  region of South West.
18.  The Zuru people are the acade mic pedestal within the   region  in  North
Western Nigeria (Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto   and  Kasina)  and  are  well represented at the federal land.
19.  The church in Ubege was built by the people in 1945.
20.  The Gospel spread from Senchi to Sabongari and   SabonGari  built  their
church in 1947
21.  The massage  of the  Gospel came  from  Ureba  to  Dirin Daji  and  the  churc h
was built in 1947 Pastored by Rev. Na Allah  Dikki from Senchi.
22.  The church in Maga was built in 1956.
23.  In  the  history  of  Nigeria,  two  Generals  amongst  othe rs  were  from  Senchi
from the same womb.
24.  The  gentle man  Major  General  Ishaya  Bamayi,  a  one  time  Chief  of  Army
Staff and his elder brother late Brig. General Musa Bamayi.
25.  In  Nigeria  Zuru  has  the   highest  serving  soldiers  and  officers  in  Nigerian
Army as it were. The re is hardly any   home  in  Zuru  without  a  soldier serving or retired .
26.  Zuru people are warriors (Dakaru) meaning infantry soldiers
27.  Zuru people partook in the war at Burma.
28.  Zuru people, the Lelna, were the people w ho fought the then   kanta    war
that lasted for 40 years.
29.  The  traditional  religion  of  the  lelna  people  practiced  only  by  the
conservatives is M’gila as the religious cult.
30.  The first religion in Zuru was M’gila.

31.  Following suit was the re ligion of Christianity. The   religion,  Islam  was
brought by the Hausa traders from Katsina but was not propagated fully. It was propagated by imposition by the then sardauna in 1963.
32.  Lelna people were recruited by the British colonial  Administrators  in  1908,
1910- 1914 to fight in the First   World War.
33.  The College of Agriculture Zuru was established in 1976.
34.  Zuru became an Emirate in 1979 by politic al reasons.
35.  Paul and Phoe be Ummel left for New York City on   Wednesday  May  15,
1961 saile d for Southampton,   England and arrived Friday May 19,  1961 .
36.  Rev. Paul  Ummel  the popular  missionary in Zuru  passed on six days  before
his 69th birthday. He died at Elkhart General Hospital on Tuesday, March 18, 1969.  He  died  of  aplastic  anemia.  Apparently  a  result  of  the  polycythemia
medication. Phoebe Umme l was aged  65,  die d  of  cancer  on  Thursday,  July
9, 1970 at Elkhart Hospital. Paul and Phoebe were buried beside each-other
at Yellow  Creek Cemeter y Country, Indiana.
37.   The M issionaries in 1925 recorded a population of  57,000(  fifty  seven
thousand) people who converted to   Christianity  and  12,000  (  twelve thousand) out of which   ide ntified themselves as Hunnu (Dukawa) 22 years
latte r   in 1947 UMS was opened in Tungan Magajiya and one   Kir ho  was
the first convert.
38.  UMS school was the first and only school in Zuru as at 1926.
39 .  The first out-station was open in 1936 in Rikoto
40.  The first book written and translated in C’lela in 1924 title d The Gospel of
Mark mongst others are “Litafi Kun Karatuv C’lela” Kum’ete (vaakan la asam C’lela) the   main  discussant  was  Tom  Sakaba  Rikoto  Born  in  1910
and passed on 2nd May 1983.The book was publishe d in 1934.


1.  Dabai Dabai

2.  Chiroman Dabai
3.  Dabai Doruwa
4.  Kwoko Rumu
5.  Kudun Dabai
6.  Dago
7.  Tadurga
8.  Dega
9.  Maikaho
10.  Isgogo
11.  Dutsen Isgogo
12.  Jambo
13.  Chiroman Dago
14.  Rumu
15.  Dutsen Rumu
16.  Yamma

1.  Sence
2.  U’sara
3.  M’sune
4.  T/Rimi
5.  Dod Gomo
6.  Bahago

            NAME OF VILLAGES
1.  Sarkin Gabas
2.  Rafin Rikoto
3.  Zodi
4.  Sabon Gari
5.  Magajin Gari

1.  Magoro
2.  Ifaki
3.  Marafan Manga
4.  Dutse
5.  Rimi

6.  Yamma

             NAMES OF VILLAGES
1.  Rimi
2.  Sandoro
3.  Gun Duman S/Hausawa
4.  Daklo
5.  Bedi
6.  Denkere
7.  Semehilale
8.  Passo
9.  Mafaran Rafin Zuru

1.  Uhyan
2.  Zagne
3.  Wokwebe
4.  Ukambo
5.  Rio Seme
6.  Elembelu/Hausawa
7.  Udun Kudu
8.  Rio

9.  Kukan Usra
1.  Kangon Wasagu
2.  Tamgaram
3.  Mako
4.  Rafin Gandu
5.  Tudun Bichi
6.  Tsitsina
7.  Dadin Kowa
8.  Binoni
9.  Magajin U’hyaagu

1.  Rafin Gora
2.  Gommawa
3.  Gorah
4.  Mainwa
5.  Rambo
6.  Ikra
7.  Kanya
8.  Chediya

9.  Baki
10.  Kumdumku
11.  Gwazawa
12.  Rade
13.  D’pindu
14.  Macheri

1.  Asarara
2.  Jagara
3.  Kangi
4.  Gunabi
5.  Rumfa
6.  Mai-Dangwari
7.  Amiru
8.  Danindo
9.  Garin Tudu
10.  Noma Kawo
11.  Bangu

12.  Fakka Village
13.  Garin Isah
14.  Marafa

            NAMES OF VILLAGE
1.  Tunga Gaya
2.  Yar Kuka
3.  Warkata
4.  Waje
5.  Wadako
6.  Chonoko
7.  Unashi
8.  Ragam                 Mani
9.  Dankade
10.  Morai Kango

1.  Tudun Wada
2.  Uban Dawaki
3.  Mai Arewa B. Malekaci
4.  Tunburku
5.  Mai Rai-Rai
6.  Dan-Makarwa
7.  Dan Ummaru
8.  Unguwar Kibiya
9.  Mahuta Danlayi

10.  Musuru
11.  Ayu
12.  Rakada
13.  Magajin Be na
14.  Marafa Bena
15.  Yar Maitaba
16.  Yaminan Bena
17.  Sikiru Kudu

            NAMES OF VILLAGE
1.  Rafin Kanya
2.  Kofan Fakai
3.  Magajin Fakai
4.  Kulu
5.  Dutse
6.  Kukan Zussun
7.  Urgun
8.  Uchiri
9.  Jan Hawa
10.  Matseri


1.  Susu Machika
2.  Yarati
3.  Yamman Ribah
4.  Kudun Machika
5.  Duhun Ribah
6.  Arewan Ribah
7.  Mangan Ribah
8.  Sabon Garin Hausawa

1.  Mahuta
2.  Doro
3.  Maijar Hulla
4.  Ba’are
5.  Maikende
6.  Fade
7.  Arewa
8.  Bulun Shifkau
9.  Sabongari
10.  Garin Auwal
11.  Bakoshi

            NAMES OF VILLAGE
1.  Penin Amana
2.  Kukkum Maigoro
3.  Kukkum Waziri
4.  Ukuri
5.  Chiroman Bajida
6.  Garin Dantani
7.  Gwade Bawa
8.  Gele
9.  Anai
10.  Farin Ruwa
11.  Penin Gaba
12.  Dikono
13.  Gulbin Kuka

1.  Taro
2.  Masama
3.  T/Gambo
4.  Garin Hausawa
5.  Ilabre

6.  Yamman Danko
7.  Gabas Danko
8.  Uhu
9.  Arewa Danko
10.  Isgane
11.  Kele
12.  Kak-Sapi
13.  Libo
14.  Gwanfi
15.  Lubgu
16.  Isranga

1.  Tudun Wada Boko
2.  Uban Dawaki
3.  Sarkin Yamma
4.  Wuri Gabas
5.  Kandu
6.  Fadan Woro
7.  Dutse
8.  Zalma
9.  Garin Wori
10.  Magajin Walele

11.  Tudun Maga
12.  Iroma

             NAMES OF VILLAGE
1.  Kyabu Gari
2.  Maattai
3.  Uron Chopo(Romna)
4.  Usin Giri Mshigin Yar
5.  Shiddi Gari
6.  Tapki Ukuhun Shindig
7.  K-Lanko
8.  Kuntomo
9.  D.gogo
10.  Cheseme
11.  Yelmo Gari
12.  Donkan Talmo
13.  Uhun Sama
14.  K/Zambu

            NAMES OF VILLAGE
1.  Dirin Gari
2.  Maza-Maza

3.   Shibo
4.  Adai
5.  Pampama
6.  Dunhu
7.  Madu II
8.  Ung. Marafa
9.  Tungar Gauna
10.  Bere
11.  Maee
12.  Dirin Daji S/Hausawa
13.  Aisa Wana
14.  Dirin Daji
15.  Dammo
16.  Dutsen Biri
17.  Rukukuji
18.  Tsohon Birni
19.  Maganda
20.  Kaboji
21.  Madul
22.  Abeme
23.  Doka
24.  Dohoro
25.  Gelwasa
26.  Arose

27.  Dutsen Damo
28.  Ung. Yamma
29.  Rafin Gora
30.  Dutsen Yamma
31.  Kaiwa
32.  Dutsen Marafa
33.  Kagata
            NAMES OF VILLAGE
1.  Mayana
2.  Dokar Kambari
3.  Wangachi
4.  Kwagwanu
5.  Kadadan
6.  Mazarko
7.  Jigawa
8.  Atabilo
9.  Babura
10.  Makuku
11.  Kadanho
12.  Tikawa Arewa
13.  Laraba
14.  Gwanja

15.  Janbirni
16.  Tikawa Kudu
17.  Dankolo
18.  Uzangila
19.  Darangi
20.  Kurgachi
21.  Agali
22.  Matseri
23.  Maiiyaka
24.  Aliero
25.  Ibando
26.  Sangangan
27.  Daura
28.  Kadadan Madi
29.  Sarkin Kasa
30.  Maiyakin Sakaba

A’zugr u          Forest of Lions
Zuru                                          lion
Zurunu                                       lions
A’zugr u          Forest area of lions,
                                                  Forest where lions lived
K’zugu        –  Forest
Copunalela        –  The land of Le lna people
A’lela          –  The land and the Region of lela
Proto                                        –       Original
Proto-lelna                             –         original lelna people speaking proto-c’lela
kogc’lela                                –          adultrate d c’lela
koglelna                                 –          hausa/ lelna who speak adulterated c’lela
Proto c’lela        –  Original C’lela Language
Sencne        –  People from senche (tow n located in South
U’manga        –  The Manga town
Sakba         –  Sakaba town
Kanyana        –  Kanya tow n
Rambno/Rambnu      –  Rambo town
Mahuta/Mahutana    –  Mahuta town
U’daba        –  Dabai town/Dabai Town
Donko U’segu/U’hyaabu    –  Danko wasegu town/U’hyaagu Town
Derne/Dee rne       –  people from Derin Daji town

Isgogo/S’gogo      –  Isgogo town
Ushe          –  Sabongari town
Dudu na zegro      –  Adam and Eve or Ancestral father
Gelne/Geelne      –  Gelawa
Fakna         –  Fakawa
Dakkarkari        –  Infantry soldiers
Dakare        –  Warriors
Dakakari        –  Idol Worshippers
            (Arabic meaning)
D’bitti         –  Quarterly annual festival in August/
Hola          –  Stop
U’holka        –  He has stopped or prevented
U’hola        –  the festival of thanks giving
Goven menke/Gomvanmenke  –  God of rain
Govnu chopo      –  God of the earth
Golmo        –  Agricultural manage contract
Anupala        –  Neither west nor Noth
Yadat/Yaadato                     –  (Virgin) Transition of youths into adulthood
            Hence, presented as wife or husband
Kazeme or kuyama
   –  Traditional festival in Karishine area
WAFF         –  West African Frantic Force
Lelna          –  People of Alela Land
C’lela/C’lali        –  shrubs, hence the language of the people

K’lela/K’lali        –  the individual, man/woman
C’lali          –  Shrubs
Hunnu        –  Dukawa
Geeyne        –  gelawa
Zugarnu        –  People from Zuru
Panni         –  people from Pani
Gwari         –  Gbagi
Kadara        –  A’dara
D’gwu/D’gyou      –  Rijau
Coglelna        –  Lelna people who’s parent got married to
the Hausa’s
Batksak c’lela kam Ete             –          first Lelna dictionary
Em rig an C’lela                –          discuss in C’lela language
Lak San Sudam S’vere        –           Words or speaker that had wisdom or sense
Kacni, netana      –          Non cult members
Dudu na zegro                        –          man and woman (first c ultist)
–          spirit
Kanta                                      –          Left hand
Kantawu        –          expert in shooting bow and arrow
Kambayi                                   –        come back.

Alhaji Isha Tahinta in 1990.
Baba Sule 1990.
Alhaji Audu ZOMA (SHINDI).
Kaka Nenge Pasa li (lia Shindi).
Gweta Bagi (lia SERVNA Kandu).
Zingi Kutugbo (lia kyobno).
Dudu Gwantse Gov d’kebe  (lia kyobno).
Alhede Noma (k’oo) Village head.
Gadema Rrppa (K’nene).
Mama Dorcas Ezra Dikki
Kaka Mami Rumu
Rev. Amos Keta Pani
Mallam Adamu Sondaro the 13th
Alhaji Capt. Dambaba Rtd District Head of Wage
Mallam Garba Jiboh
Kaka Mazuga Somko
Kaka Paseli K’sindi


Em rig an C’lela, Gomc balke page 5  (Ben Dikki)

Nupe the Origin (How all tribes in Nigeria Originated from Nupe by Indagi Abdullahi page 47,421 and 422

Interpre tation of the Bible by Robert Scholar page 5, 7

Studies in the history of the people of zuru emirate by A.R Augi e dited by S U Lawal page 47, 48

What God had wrought page 68, 72

Heathen for thin inheritance edited by Eile en Lager

Incorporation and resistance a study of relationship between A’lela and the sokoto Caliphate to the British occupation C.1804-1910 by Samuel P Umaru un
Published work


1.  Interpre tation of the Bible by Robert Scholar

2.  Kingdoms at war

3.  Challenges  of  the  Sustainable  De mocracy  in  Nigeria  by  Emmanuel  Ojo

Edited  2006  (Democracy  and  paradox  of  Denomination  Politics:  the Caliphate verse the Zuru in Northeasten Nigeria.)

4.  Incoparation and resistance  a study  of relationship between A’lela and the

Sokoto Caliphate to  the  British  occupation  c.1804-1910 Samuel  P.  Umaru, unpublished work.

Zuru socio-economic and political development. By Gen  sani  sami  (rtd)  the  Emir of zuru.