Kebbi State, known as the ‘Land of Equity’ is located in the North-West geopolitical zone of Nigeria with surrounding states like Sokoto, Zamfara and the Niger Republic. It was carved out of the old Sokoto State on August 27, 1991 by the General Ibrahim Babangida administration. The capital of Kebbi State is Birnin Kebbi and it has an estimated population of 3.1 million people.
The state has 21 Local Government Areas: Birnin Kebbi, Yauri, Sukaba, Wasugu, Danko, Zuru, Koko-Besse, Bagudo, Dandi, Suru, Maiyama, Jega, Bunza, Arewa, Gwandu, Argungu, Aliero, Augie, Fakai, Shanga and Kalgo.
Politically, Kebbi State has four Emirates; Gwandu Emirate, Argungu Emirate, Yauri Emirate, and Zuru Emirate. What then are the natural attractions or travel destinations in Kebbi State?
1. Argungu International Fishing Festival
The Argungu international fishing festival is both a natural attraction in Kebbi State and a travel destination. The yearly event attracts people from all over Nigeria and beyond, and it is a four-day cultural event that comes to a head with the fishing festival in the Matan Fada river where any fisherman that catches the biggest fish is rewarded. The fishermen are given only one hour to come up with the biggest catch of the season, and nearly a thousand men jump into the river with their gourds and nets to fish after the gun signal. The annual event apart from the fishing festival also features musical, cultural, and sporting events.
2. Uhola Festival
This is another tourist attraction and visitors destination in the state. The Uhola festival holds every year within the Zuru Emirate. It usually holds around December/January and it is a 2-3 day colorful event of cultural relevance. During the annual celebrations, matured boys are initiated into manhood and matured girls are initiated into womanhood. There are lots of dances, wrestling, art exhibitions, music, and craft displays in Zuru villages during this period and it is something everybody looks forward to.
3. Karishi Traditional Settlement
The traditional settlements in Karishi are always a delight to behold during visits. Karishi is located in Sakaba local government area of the state. The settlement is very hilly and the people remain largely very traditional. The hill-dwelling people rarely come down for anything and their king or ruler is never seen except once within a year during a particular festival. The settlements are fenced round and watchmen are always on guard to keep the settlements against invaders.
4. Tomb of Abdullahi Fodio
Abdullahi Fodio was the brother of Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio, the great jihadist of the 9th century. At his death, Abdullahi was buried in Gwandu, in Gwandu LGA, and his tomb remains a tourist attraction for centuries since then. Abdullahi also participated in the jihad fought by his brother, and he ruled the Gwandu Empire which he helped establish until his death in the 19th century. His descendants continue to rule the town till today.
5. Kanta Museum, Argungu
The Kanta Museum is located in Argungu and is situated close to the main market. It was the Emir’s palace from around 1831 to about 1942, but it was converted to a museum in 1958. The museum showcases the history of Argungu and its environs and peoples, and it portrays the ways of life of the people through arts and crafts among other artefacts.
6. Girmache Shrine, Zuru
The Girmache shrine is located in Zuru, Zuru local government area of Kebbi State. The shrine is more or less a grove because thick trees and water inhabited by crocodiles dominate the area, and local people come around to worship and offer sacrifices to the gods of the shrine and present gifts to the crocodiles.
Other places that you might want also check out when next you visit Kebbi State are the Alwasa battlefield in Argungu where Fulani jihadists and Kabawa warriors fought in 1807, Yelwa Museum of Archaeology, the moving rock at Akinkya in Ngaski and the museum in Zuru.