Having known that, the Gwandara people are one of the over 250 ethnic group in Nigeria. They are mostly found in North Central part of Nigeria with their population cut across major states like:
- Federal Capital Territory – Abuja
- Nasarawa State
- Niger State
- Kaduna State, and Kano State – Nigeria. Other related states with Gwandara settlements according to findings but not confirmed are Kogi and Taraba state.
Though, the list of the Gwandara towns and villages is by no means exhaustive as more names will be captured in the addendum or subsequent articles. There is no uniform pattern in the presentation of the history of town and villages as this finding is limited to the research work of Professor Abdullahi Smith in his journal of “Historical society of Nigeria” Vol.v No 1A. And his Royal Highness Dr. Silvester O. Ayih, the late Abaga of Toni and Sarkin Garaku in his journal “Gwandara Book of Fame” (2003).
It is generally believed that Gwandara people came from Kano. They migrated at about 1476 to escaped religious persecution or force conversion to Islam. So they left Kano under their leader whose father was a king and they first settled at Karshin-Daji (Fadan-Karshi) in the present day Kaduna state and subsequently Gwandara became their name. The original and full appellation being “Gwandarawa-da-Sallah” meaning rather dance to prayers. However, from Fadan-Karshi, Gwandara people spread to other chiefdom within and outside Kaduna state. They have town and villages numbering to over 150 across the five States mentioned above and apart from other Small settlements among other ethnic group in towns and villages which are not principally Gwandara.
Written by: Sani Musa Sarkinpada – Karshi (B.Sc Psychology – Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nasarawa state).