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Discover Nigeria: Sokoto- Seat of the Caliphate

Spoiling for an adventure to the remote parts of Northern Nigeria? Sokoto State is the first place that actually comes to mind because of its popularity as the seat of the caliphate. This thriving caliphate dates as far back as 1804 where a grounded and conspicuous system of governance was instituted by Uthman Dan Fodio. Over the years, the city has preserved its air of royalty and this legacy is being carried forward by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, who is the custodian of culture and the spiritual leader of Muslims.

Another thing that stands Sokoto out is the Sahara desert. Laid bare for the eyes to see is an unfiltered display of how the people have survived desert encroachment for decades. All these combined have resulted in an enviable way of life, an evergreen culture, and a resilient caliphate that wields so much influence.

Sokoto is among the earliest states created in Nigeria on February 3, 1976. It has an estimated population of 4,244,399 and a total of 23 local governments. One can fly into the Sadiq Abubakar 111 International Airport in Sokoto from any airport in Nigeria.

Top three sites include:

1. Sultan of Sokoto Palace
The magnificent and imposing palace of the Sultan of Sokoto is located in the center of the city. The Palace has gone beyond a mere edifice to become a place for taking political decisions and making religious pronunciations. In addition, it is a cultural and traditional haven where you will see relics of the different Sultans of Sokoto like regalia, robes as well as turbans. The Sultan’s Palace has also become a tourists attractions welcoming quite a substantial number daily.

2. Surame Cultural Landscapeunnamed (11)
The Surame Cultural Landscape is on the tentative list of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. It was enrolled on this list on the 8th of October 2007. The ancient kingdom existed in the 15th and 16th centuries according to the World Heritage Site reviews. Despite the seeming extinction of its ancient tombs, you will still see clear signs of the place being inhabited for decades. This is a clear indication of Hausa civilization.

3. Sokoto Museum
This is a museum that holds artifacts and monuments of the ancient Sokoto Caliphate. The museum revolves around the supposed founder of the city – Uthman Dan Fodio. The museum displays some of his private belongings like his throne, regalia, sword and map amongst others.

Ready to tour? Urban development if far from the contemporary atmosphere in developed cities in Nigeria. However, there are quite a number of hotels domiciled in Sokoto some of which include Shukuru Coral HotelGrand Ibro Hotel, and Golden View Hotel. Restaurants include Sayala Restaurant Limited, Majaddas Restaurant and Snacks, and Abusi Do Maslaha and Hajia Rukayat restaurants.

The Sokoto Caliphate is one of the most powerful traditional institutions in Nigeria. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar leads thousands of Muslim adherents in the country and he is a first class traditional ruler. In addition, he is the 20th Sultan of Sokoto.

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Adeniyi is a freelance writer and journalist, radio freak, news junkie and budding photographer. He writes on tech, tips and travel for Jovago. Connect with him via Twitter @sleeksavvy.

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