Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, is called the home of peace. Situated in the northeastern part of Nigeria, it is home to a population of about eight hundred and twenty-two people and its inhabitants include the Kanuri, Shuwa Arabs, Hausa Bura, Fulani and a handful of southerners.
It is also close to the Ngadda river. The locals of the city refer to Maiduguri as ‘Yerwa,’ which is derived from the Kanuri word ‘Herwa,’ which means “the blessed land.” The capital’s name was formed by combining two Kanuri words, ‘Mai’ and ‘Duwuri,’ which when joined together means ‘a thousand kings.”
Three Horsemen in front of the city gate, Maiduguri

Car at the city gate, Maiduguri

This name came into existence during the pre-colonial era because outsiders who visited the city were shocked at the common man wearing a very expensive gown that was worn by only kings in the neighbouring cities, thus the naming of the city. Maiduguri lies astride the famous historic pilgrim route from Senegal to Mecca. It is the terminus for the main railway line linking northeastern Nigeria to Port Harcourt.
It is also known for being the trading hub of the northeastern part of Nigeria. The locals of Maiduguri refer to it as a home for all. The people are known for their commercial activities, which include the trading of livestock, finished leather products, and gum Arabic, which serves as the chief export for the capital. Locally they trade rice and groundnut and engage in poultry farming as a source of income.
The area is also home to three booming markets which include the popular Monday market, known for its spectacular view, alongside Kasuwan Shanu Cattle Market and Jagwal market. The University of Maiduguri and the Ramât Polytechnic of Maiduguri serve as centres for learning. Maiduguri has been known for its cultural practices since the pre-colonial era.

You can read all about the history of Maiduguri in our magazine here.

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