Nupe - Encyclopedia

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NUPE, formerly an independent state of W. Africa, now a. province in the British protectorate of Nigeria. Under Fula rule, Nupe occupied both banks of the Niger for a distance of some 150 m. above the Benue confluence. Only the part of Nupe north of the Niger now constitutes the province; area 6400 sq. m.; estimated pop. about 150,000. It is in many portions highly cultivated, and owing to its admirable water supply is likely to prove particularly valuable as a field for the extensive cultivation of cotton. Bida, the capital, is connected by railway (built 1907-1908) with Baro, a port on the Niger 70 m. above Lokoja. Nupe had an ancient and very interesting constitution of which the leading features were adopted by the Fula when their rule was established about the year 1859. Bida was founded in that year. Nupe was conquered by the troops of the Niger Company in 1897, and the legal status of slavery was then nominally abolished. The company was, however, unable to occupy the country, and on the withdrawal of its troops the deposed emir returned. In 1901 it became necessary to subdue Nupe a second time. British troops marched to Bida. The emir fled without fighting and was deposed. Another emir was appointed in his place, took the oath of allegiance to the British crown, and worked cordially with the British resident who was stationed at Bida. The province is divided into three administrative districts - Bida, Lapai and Agaie. These are again divided into nine native districts, five to the west and four to the east of the Kaduna river. Provincial courts of justice have been established.

See Nigeria, Bida. For an interesting account of the ancient constitution of Nupe see "The Fulani Emirates of Northern Nigeria," by Major J. A. Burdon in the Geo Journ., vol. xxiv (London, 1904).

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