Government 2, WASSCE (SC), 2018

Question 6


Highlight five features of the Hausa/Fulani pre-colonial political system in Nigeria. 


This question was unpopular as it was avoided by some of the candidates. The few ones who attempted it did not perform well; they failed to provide correct answers to the questions. The candidates were expected to provide the following answers in order to score good marks.

(i)         Centralization of authority – Hierarchy in governance. The Emir was the head of   government. He was assisted by appointed chiefs. E.g. Madawaki, Galadima, Waziri.
(ii)        Payment of tributes to sustain administration. There were rates paid by the people for land, property and cattle.
(iii)       The size of the Emirate system was large. The emirate occupied a large expanse of land with many populations.
(iv)       Stratification – The Hausa/Fulani society was segmented; upper, middle and lower classes, the Talakawas.
(v)        Army – Every emirate kept a standing army under the control of Madawaki.
(vi)       The judiciary – The emirate judicial system was based on the sharia laws headed by Alkali and the Emir’s court was the highest court.
(vii)      Rulership was for life.
(viii)     Succession to the throne was hereditary.
(ix)       The political system was based on theocracy. e.g. Islamic religion.
(x)        Emirs were empowered to make laws where Islamic laws were silent.
(xi)       Emirs were empowered to pronounce death sentence on defaulters.
(xii)      There was regularized system of taxation in operation.
(xiii)     Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers were concentrated on the Emir.