Tula is a tribe in Kaltungo Local Government Area of Gombe State. It is located at about 96km from Gombe, the State capital. Lying near longitude 10° East and latitude 11° North of the equator. Tula Chiefdom shares boundaries with Kaltungo, Ture and Kamo-Awak to the West, Panda (in Akko Local Government) to the north, Waja to the East and Dadiya, ‘cham to the South and Southeast respectively. Tula Chiefdom is an area in the centre of Gombe South Senatorial Zone with a high altitude that constitutes part of the vast expanse of land that is known in geographical terms as the Plateau. It occupies an area of about 455sq kilometers. According to 2006 census, Tula Chiefdom has a total population of over 250,000 people.
The geographical anatomy of the gigantic rocks introduces symphony with valleys here and there inducing one for exploration from one hilltop to the other. Tula Plateau ranges from 300metres to over 700meters above sea level. The highland is composed of volcanic rocks and it is not easily washed away by erosion. The weather at any season of the year is equally friendly which can only be compared to that of Mambila Plateau of Taraba State and Jos of Plateau State. The environment is friendly. During the rainy season which is from May – October of every year, Tula experience frequent and heavy downpour. The dry season is from November – April. No mosquitoes.
Tula land is fertile. The hilly rocky areas are suitable for crops prepared by terracing, while the village are suitable for Orchards and gardens and lands for irrigation on the plains. The common trees found in the Chiefdom includes Baobab, fig, locust bean, gum, Arabic Date palm, the famous Goron Tula and palm oil. Because of the friendly nature of the climate, a host of fruits like guava, mangoes, oranges, pineapple, plantain, banana, pear are in commercial quantities. Besides this, the Chiefdom main crops are millet, guinea-corn, maize, yam, groundnut, cocoyam, beniseed, rice, beans, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, cotton, vegetables and a host of minor ones. Domestic animals like goats, sheep, cattle, dogs, donkeys, horses, poultry birds etc are reared in Tula Chiefdom. Tula Chiefdom is well endowed with minerals like iron ore, limestone, fine clay, uranium basalt, barite, kaolin, Torpez, aquamarine and other minerals that are available in commercial quantities that are yet to be exploited by investors.
THE ORIGIN OF TULA PEOPLE
According to oral tales tradition in which the African history is characterize confirmed by uncontestable source of a documentary
evidence of Kanem
Borno Empire, the origin of Tula people was traced to the middle East from a place called Yemen in the 1st century A.D. They have travelled southeast ward through Egypt and Sudan and settled at Ngazargamu Borno in the
present North-Eastern part of Nigeria. They journeyed under the leadership of one Jauro through Gujba-Nafada to the foot of Bima mountain. Their presence caused panic to the people of Tera but they were assured of peace. From Bima they went through different routes to the present settlements in the middle of 17th Century A.D.
KUTULE OR TULA WANGE
The Kutule under the leadership of one Kaito Bwayam were the first to depart the Bima hills through Gelengu and arrived the place they named Wange. Five clans Bwayam, Bilada, Bilanuke, Bulange and Balake arrived together. Later eight clans sprung Bwabwi, Kutube, Kulasine, Bilang, Bwikam, Bilasuwe, Bujam and Kwansale making a total of 13 clans of Wange Tula. The 13 clans heads became members of a tribal council under the senior Tebirine of Bwayam. “Tebinne” means father of the town until the advent of the British administration in Tula about 1904-1905 the pattern of leadership was changed to ‘Maiship’ when Mai Kala Bwayam was
made the 1st Mai of Wange Tula.
YIRBU OR TULA YIRI
The Yirbu (Yiri) left the foot of Bima mountain to Kata-Shelleng a place in the present day Adamawa State and after a stay there, they moved fully and settled at the present location and named it Yili and later changed to Yiri. The first to arrive were the Kulaku and Kilai clans who got their fire seed corn and corn rite (Kuram festival from Kutule). Then came the clans of Kwarsu,
Kwen, Bwane, Dadiye Warfun and Fura making 8 clans that formed the elders tribal council under Tebel of Kulaku. When the British forces first came, the Tebel of Kulaku hid and the Tebel Kwarsu clan surfaced and was made the 1st Mai Tayilin Buni in 1905 of Yiri Tula.
Tula Baule under the leadership of Jauro Wumne continued with the journey southward to the mountains and so-journed near a village called Panda where they stayed for a while and established good relationship with the Panda people. They departed to the hills and settled on the mountains they named Laduke, Lokirange, Twangbu, Kirane, Bansuwang, Dilankinin and Dalange. These mountains and plains were good for protection. Then they moved and settled at the places they named Tatube, Bwatai, Bakwe, Kwayim Bussam, Tela later to Lobwe, Loture, Belure or Kwake Lofure, Taule and Suki-Bilakwale. Seven clans sprung; Biladira, Kwalam, Bilatwale, Bilakwate, Kanse, Bilafure/Bujem, Bilalima/Kebu making 15 clans in all. Clan heads formed the Mai’s council under Jauro of Tatube. The proper organization for the Baule is government by Mai and council. The direct descendants of Jauro have always been the Chief (Mai) of the tribe.
The Balake clan migrated to Mwona Cham, Gelengu and Balanga and Fura clan migrated to Dadiya in the present Balanga Local Government Area for misunderstanding with other clans in Wange and Yiri respectively. The Twangbu and Kirane clans were forced to migrate to Tungo North of Ture because they usually raided the people of Tatube, Bakwe and Bwotai at their farms at Limlime and Wir.
Tula people are known warriors, it is evident that Tula were in a battle with the people of Misau Emirate in the present day Bauchi State, a Jihad led by the Emir of Misau Mai Sale who was not only defeated but had his head cut off in the battle. His remains was buried at Sukube Baule in 1887. Also, during the reign of Mai Baule Wumne, Tula people happened to be the only people from Ngazargamu who fought a commander of the Sokoto Caliphate and defeated the Caliphate army. During the pre-colonial periods of inter-tribal wars, they fought as a single army force varying in degrees, the nature of the war, size, direction and strength of the perceived enemy force. The people’s strong militancy earned them the popular adages “Tula maza ba tsoro” (Tula men are fearless) and “Tula bata rabu da carlyle ba” (Tula is yet to part with Carlyle) is an upshot from the consistent “Tula maza ba tsoro”
militant superiority against the European invasion in the early 1900’s. Mr. F. Carlyle was one of the first colonial political officers that led the European troops to invade Tula in 1907.
Tula language is spoken by Baule, Wange and Yiri with differences in words, sound pattern and grammatical structure. Tula language is undergoing a development with the appointment of Tula Literacy committee that are working round the clock to see that Tula dialect is written and spoken by Tulas which will confirm that agitation of including it in the primary schools curriculum in Tula Chiefdom.
Tula language is closely related to that of their neighbours; Kamo, Yebu (Awak), Dadiya, Waja, Cham and Burak. One Van. H. Jungraith Mayor in her studies of classes of languages of Tangale-Waja Districts in 1968 claimed that Tula Language has close affinity with that of Akan in Ghana, Bantu in Congo, Anyi and Baule in Ivory-coast.
TULA FARMLANDS IN WHAT IT IS TODAY
Before the advent of the Europeans in Tula, Tula have scattered farmlands based on Kinship. When the British Colonial administrators encouraged the tribal groups living on mountain tops to settle down the plains for easy accessibility and advancement, Tula people like their counterparts took advantage of the invitation and settled down where they were farming since they were assured of the security of lives and properties. In Tula Chiefdom settlements in the plains started around 1920 by Esso Kebu at Sweli, Kandugu Tatube at Takubin, Bekukwade (Sabon Layi Awak), Yabde, Galadima Yiri at Banduwa (Bambam), Gunda Gwaza a Waja man at Bwina tube (Lafiya) then to Lungure, Musa Ibrahim at Kwang, Balamusa then to Sabon Layi Awak back to Kwang for farming and hunting.
Other settlements that followed are Subusi or Bankuwe / Kaltin, Bundubunde, Sunwe (Sabongarin), Yoriyo, Kisuble (Jalingo), Kunini, Lungure, Mararraba Tula, Lakwama (Lakweme), Bayunse, Kwatir, Nahuta, Yanswale, Kutirakwa (Pindiga) Silawangin, Babeli, Labalanga (Yalwa), Betibali (Bilkintama) Bwele 1, Bwele II, Balisi, Surkwam, Bayili, Fantamin, Bule, Bekuntin, Bwakang, Kwale, Galadima Bako Bambam, Kundali, Tudun wada, Maikarfi,. Tasha, Wakili, Bako Maikudi, Haske, Dandaso, Saban layi, Kullitin (Dogonruwa) Late (Karari) Tiratake (Kwalbi) Garin Waziri, Jauro Audi, Kibwiri (Jonguri) Waibalfun (Daga Salle), Ilori, Lafiya, Wir, Twiyi, Kitushe, Beyane, Bwitile, Kukulbang, Gadantaba, Yakku, Chinne, Lakele, Falang,
Lobwsi, Lu’u, Wure Kukula, Birnin Bako, Kwale, Kul, Mamman Sale, Dalahe, Kursale,
Urshalima, Tarabae Tiye, Befrange, Dindisbin, Bulange, Tantan, Bekwalime, Kidilang etc.
THE PAST ATTEMPTS TO GET A UNIFIED TULA CHIEFDOM
The British colonial administration merged Tula with Kaltungo East Tangale District strictly for administrative convenience, alas the action deprived Tula having a chiefdom and as a result led to a travesty of status for Tula. Though it remained the administrative headquarters of the Native Authority from early 1930s to 1970 before the headquarters was moved to Billiri. The people of Tula have yearned for chiefdom like their neighboring tribes but to no avail. Records showed that the demand for creation of Tula chiefdom started as far back as 1935. Several attempts were made in applying for possible independence for Tula. Albeit the native Authority recommended this independence in 1935 and 1971 to the North-Eastern state Government, those recommendations received no action. Also, at the creation of Bauchi state the Tangale-Waja Local Government Council in 1978, forwarded to the state Government on the creation of Tula chiefdom but the government kept mute on the issue.
This struggle lingered for long, leading to the marginalization of the land of Tula and depriving it of the development that commensurate with its status in the Tangale-Waja Area. That was the position of Tula until the fourth republic when suddenly light appeared at the end of the tunnel. In July 2000, the civilian
administration of Governor Abubakar Habu Hashidu (Matawallen Dukku) the first Executive Governor of Gombe State approved the creation of Tula chiefdom and appointed HRH Dr. Kokiya Atare Buba as the first Mai of Tula on 7th December, 2001 and was presented with a staff of office in March 2003 at Kaltin Tula. This marked the new dawn in Tula after struggle for over 60 years for a chiefdom. The State Government created 13 District for Tula Chiefdom in 2002 and appointed District Heads. The newly created 13 districts were short lived as it was dissolved by the administration of Governor Muhammed Danjuma Goje (Sarkin Yakin Gombe) in 2004, only 3-disticts of Tula Baule, Wange and Yiri along with their District Heads were left till date. The light shined brighter about a year after Tula was given chiefdom, the community was granted the privilege of becoming a Local Government Area. What a joy for the land; Tula Local Government was a reality bringing development to the door step of Tula as Wange was made the Headquarters. But as fate would have it, the Local Government was short lived and the hope of the people was dashed when on 20th January, 2004 the newly created local government was dissolved which marked yet another set back to the development of the chiefdom. With the demise of the First Mai Tula Late Dr. Kokiya Atare Buba in December, 2009 his son Alh. Abubakar K.A Buba II succeeded him to the throne.
He was appointed by the Gombe State Government on the 21st December, 2009 as the Mai Tula. With the appointment of His Royal Highness Alh. Dr. Abubakar Atare Buba II, the chiefdom has witnessed unprecedented development in human relations and restructuring of the traditional institution to a viable state. It is worthy of note that as a result of the purposeful leadership to his community, the state and the nation at large that he was bestowed with the Honorary Doctorate Degree in International Relations and Installation by the Chancellor ESPAM Formation University Cotonou, Benin Republic in June, 2016
CULTURE AND TRADITION
Tula people have cultures and traditions that make them unique among many people as these can be seen through their beliefs, way of life, arts and craft, music and dances, architecture among other things.
OTHER TRIBES IN TULA CHIEFDOM
Tula chiefdom housed different tribes in strategic locations of the chiefdom which among others are the Sakkwatawa, Zamfarawa, Katsinawa, Barebari, Tangale, Waja, Awak in the axis of Dagon ruwa, Karari, Garin waziri, Bilkintama, Jauro Audi, Balamusa, Jomguri. Also, Tangale at Mararraban Tula, Fantamin. Dadiya, Waja, Fulani, Hausawa, at Bambam Tula. At the eastern part of the chiefdom, the Waja, Jukun at Bwitile
Balanga Dam, Lungure, Lafiya and Jalingo. All the various tribes co-habit with Tula people and they even inter-marry for peaceful co-existence.
TO THE GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT POTENTIALS
Tula was the 1st Headquarters of the defunct Tangale Waja Native Authority which gave birth to present day Kaltungo, Billiri, Balanga and Shongom Local Government Areas known as Gombe South. We have heard of Jos Plateau, Obudu Ranch, Yankari Game Reserve and other notable tourist attractions in the nation, the development of Tula Plateau will add one more feather to the cap of Nigeria as regards tourism. Tula is a potential tourist attraction capable of generating income to affect the nation’s economy positively in the North eastern zone of the country. Any amount invested by any of the three tiers of government towards the development of Tula is indeed not a waste but an investment that will definitely yield dividends in the nearest future. Apart from tourism, the exploration, mining and exploitation of the mineral resources like Barite, Iron ore, Kaolin, Torpez, Aquamarine, fine clay, Uranium, Basalt and a host of unexploited minerals in the land is another potential source of income as well as employment, capable of improving the nation’s economy.
NAME OF RULER
1. Mai Jauro (leader of migration)
Founder of Baule
2. Mai Wumne
leader of migrated
3. Mai Silangani
4. 4. Mai Buba Mele
6. 5. Mai Aizagana Kudal
6. Mai Atare Buba
7. Mai Hassan Bwamade Musa
8. Mai Ibrahim Hassan
1. Mai Kala (First colonial chief)
2. Mai Biligim
3. Mai Jatau Talaka
4. Mai Lumbe
5. Mai Bwayili
6. Mai Aliyu Tille Shamaki
7. Mai Abduallahi Aska Shamakai
1969- to date
1. Mai Tayilin Buni (First colonial chief)
2. Mai Buka Yero
3. Mai Mairiga Buba
4. Mai Adamu Kala
5. Mai Yerima Biyan Doma
1994- to date