Sabon Gari

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A Sabon Gari (strangers' quarters or literally new town in the Hausa language, plural Sabon Garuruwa) is a section of cities and town in Northern Nigeria and south central Niger whose residents are not indigenous to Hausa lands.


Permanent communities of strangers segregated from the indigenous population had existed in Northern Nigeria and other parts of West Africa long before the arrival of the British at around 1900. Although living segregated from the Hausa population, residents of these communities were ultimately subject to the authority of the local emir.

The establishment of British colonial rule under Frederick Lugard and the construction of new railway lines led to a large influx of laboreres and traders from Southern Nigeria. The immigrants, which were mostly Igbo and Yoruba people, settled in new towns or Sabon Garuruwa, as these new towns were called by the local Hausa people. The Cantonments Proclamation of 1914 institutionalized this system of residential segregation. The Sabon Garuruwa became Native Reservations, officially reserved for employees of the government and commercial firms, and in practice inhabited by residents not indigenous to Northern Nigeria.

British colonial rule in Northern Nigeria was indirect, leaving the emirs in power, albeit as part of the colonial administration. In the beginning the Sabon Garuruwa were administrated by the emirs. This changed with the Township Ordinance of 1917, which placed the Sabon Garuruwa and their...
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