Muhammadu Junaidu

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Muhammadu Junaidu (born 1906) was a Nigerian historian, writer and one of the foremost scholars on Fulani history and the Sokoto Caliphate. He was also a vizier or Waziri of Sokoto and was noted as a prolific writer.


He was born into an elite family, the Gidado family of Sokoto, which had produced a large number of viziers for the caliphate. As a youth, he was tutored by Islamic scholars and was gradually introduced to his family's advisory tradition. However, Junaidu was not tamed by the Sokoto environment and education, he wanted to learn more about other Islamic countries in Africa. He traveled to Sudan, Senegal, Saudi Arabia and a few other countries to study amongst other things their legal codes. After returning to Nigeria, he took to reading and writing, he wrote over 30 books, and over time was appointed Head of the Kadi School in 1942, a member of the Sultan's council from 1948, and a legal adviser to the Northern house of Chiefs after Nigeria;'s independence.

He is remembered today as a respected guardian of materials on the Sokoto caliphate and having one of the largest archives of pre-twentieth century West African correspondence. He was both reformer and believer in culture. He tried to present a suitable bridge between change and tradition through critical analysis of past norms and values and placing beneficial values in concord with mainstream or reformist education.

External Links


  • M. G. Smith; Government in Kano, 1350-1950
  • Citation of Muhammadu Junaidu, Nigerian National Merit Award