Buba Yero

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Buba Yero was the first emir of Gombe emirate and held the tile of Modibbo Gombe.


Yero was born to a family of mixed heritage, his mother was of Kanakuru heritage while his father, Usman was a kitije Fulani. His paternal grandfather, Aliyu Ukuba was an Islamic scholar who was wedded to a wealthy family. Yero's father was also a mallam or Islamic scholar and preached Islam in Lakumna, Shellen where he had settled. He was married to the daughter of the Chief of Shellen and she bore him a son, Abubakar who was called Buba Yero by his grandfather. Yero's parents died when he was still a child and was left as an orphan. One day, he decided to leave Shellen for Bornu to study but on the way, he ran out of luck and was captured and made a slave for 3 years in Potiskum. After gaining freedom, he continued on his quest to study, this time, he chose Gobir and the Islamic teacher, Uthman Dan Fodio as his teacher, while studying, he befriended Ahmadu Gora. After spending between 7-15 years at Gobir and Degel with Dan Fodio, he returned to Shellen but this time, his maternal father, the chief of Shellen was uncomfortable with the Islamic fervor among the Kanakuru and drove him out of town. Yero then wandered first to the Numan area where he built a mosque and to a town called Furakayo before proceeding to Gombe and Song in Adamawa province. When he heard about the Dan Fodio jihad, he decided to proceed to Gobir, on the way, he married Hawa and Zulai and befriended Yakubu of Bauch who recommended him to Dan Fodio. On meeting with Dan Fodio, he was given a flag. While returning from Gobir, he became friends with an Ako chief and later persuaded the Ako Fulani to join in the Jihad. In his first campaign, he was joined by Ahmadu Gora, however, it is believed by many that this move was contrary to instructions given by Dan Fodio for the jihadist to wait in Gombe on further instructions. The first campaign was against the settlement of Pindiga which had been under Jukun authority. The settlement along with Kalam controlled the areas east of Gongola and much of what later became the Gombe emirate. He later went into the territory of his cousins, Bolewa country where he established himself at old Gombe in a Fulani land. He later took his campaign south once crossing the Benue. However, his campaign West of Gongola was opposed by Yakubu of Bauchi who repulsed Yero at Beriberi. His expansion to the South was met with opposition among the Muri Fulani who had been under his control, the conflict led to the killing of Haruna the Muri Chief. Haruna's son pleaded his case in Sokoto and was made the Chief of Muri. Though, he had conquered large areas of Adamawa and desiring to control much of the conquered land, his power was reduced by Sokoto who gave him administration over Gombe. Yero died in 1841 and was succeeded as emir of Gombe by his son.