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Reforms in Katsina and the Kano Government Crisis of 1908

P Afeadie


This paper examines the success of colonial government reforms in the Katsina division in 1908, and the failure of the reforms in the neighbouring division of Kano within the same province. These developments, the study explores within the context of indigenous cooperation to colonial rule involving the concept of clientage and its attribute of pretended cooperation, taqiyya. The crisis of local government in Kano during 1908 derived from colonial consolidation such as reforms in territorial organization and tax administration, which met with resistance from indigenous rulers, contrary to the success of the reforms in Katsina. There, colonial reforms developed with capable and responsive indigenous clients, and astute management of relations between the colonial patron and clients. The reforms in Kano experienced some cooperation but passive resistance from the ruling emir. Efforts to control the emir's opposition led to a crisis in administration and slackening of the reform movement. The Kano crisis and the contemporary reforms in Katsina epitomize the relationship of cooperation and opposition between colonizer and the colonized in the determination and implementation of colonial policies. Considering the inter-dependent nature of colonial rule, the attitudes and values of colonial clients would influence colonial ideology and practice.

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eISSN: 0855-4412
print ISSN: 0855-4412