All Saints Secondary School Oyigbo, Rivers State.

History Department


Week eight topic: Major Centralized States in Precolonial Nigeria.

( Jukun or Kwararafa Kingdom)

The Origin and Early History of the Jukun Kingdom


The origin of the Jukun Kingdom is not certain or clear. They claim that they are related to the Kanuri of Bornu. According to one of their traditions of origin, they came from Yemen with the Kanuri, but broke into a separate party by the time they reached Borno. The Kanuri remained in Borno, while they ( Jukun people) moved further south and settled in Gongola- Benue basin.


Earlier in their history, the Jukun people were conquered by the Hausa kingdoms of Kano and Zaria. There invasions by the Hausa states appear to have led to the establishment of a powerful pagan Jukun Kingdom which from the 16th century began to threaten the Independence of the Muslim hausa states and Bornu. They were ruled by a divine king who used his religious influence to weld the tribes together into a strong kingdom. Under the leadership of the Aku, or king, they were able to spread their conquests far and wide , even reaching the coast.


Decline and Fall of the Jukun Kingdom

By the 18th century, the power of the Jukun Kingdom appears to be in decline. By 1800, it was paying an annual tribute of 1,000 slaves to Bornu.


Factors Responsible for the decline and fall of the Jukun Kingdom

  1. Paucity of their number.
  2. Sokoto Jihad of 1804
  3. Paganism.
  4. Paucity of their number.


  1. Paucity of their number: One of the causes of the decline of Jukun power has been attributed to the paucity of their number which made it impossible for them to hold effectively their conquests.


  1. Sokoto Jihad of 1804: The Sokoto jihad of 1804 led to the fall of Jukun Kingdom as an independent state. Jukun Kingdom was absorbed into the fulani emirate of Muri and disappeared from history as an independent state.


  1. Paganism: Jukun Kingdom remained a pagan state and strongly resisted Islamic religion until the Usman Danfodio Jihad of the 19th century.

Jukun Kingdom was attacked by Fulani Jihadist because she was a pagan state.



  1. Where is the location of Jukun in the map of Nigeria?
  2. Discuss the principal source of Jukun power in the 18th century.


Submit at the school’s security post

Download Document Here: JSS 1 HISTORY NOTES


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