Bauchi, usually referred to as Bauchi State to distinguish it from the city of Bauchi, is a state in northern Nigeria. Its capital is the city of Bauchi. The state was formed in 1976 when the former North-Eastern State was broken up. It originally included the area now in Gombe State, which became a distinct state in 1996.
The State has over 55 ethnic groups. Though these different ethnic groups have their own languages, customs, historical background, festivals, occupational patterns and beliefs, the peaceful co-existence with each other clearly demonstrates the unity in diversity of the people of the State.
The State is bordered by seven states, Kano and Jigawa to the north; Taraba and Plateau to the south; Gombe and Yobe to the east and Kaduna to the west.
There are cultural similarities in the people’s language, occupational practices, festivals, dress and there is a high degree of ethnic interaction especially in marriage and economic existence. Some of the ethnic groups have joking relationships that exist between them, e.g. Fulani and Kanuri, Jarawa and Sayawa, etc.
Like most of the States of Northern Nigeria, Bauchi State shares two distinct ecological zones, the Sudan Savannah which covers the southern part of the state while the Sahel Savannah covers the western and northern parts of the State and has a rainfall regime of between 700mm and 1300 mm falling over a period of three to four months annually. It is blessed with a number of large rivers, which include the Jama’are, Gongola and Dindima Rivers, in addition to a number of smaller ones which provide suitable basin for agricultural activities such as Crop production, Fishing, Livestock production and Irrigation purposes.
These are also supported with other dams and lakes that support agriculture and electricity generation. With a vast land of high soil quality, agriculture remains the backbone of the economy of the State. About 80% of the inhabitants in the region engage in the production of food and cash crops, but mainly on a small scale subsistence basis. Cotton, Maize, Groundnuts, Millet, Guinea corn, Rice, Beans, Sesame seeds and Gum-Arabic among others make up the major crops produced in the State.