Achievements of Mai Ghaji of Great Kanem Borno Empire - Arewa Affairs

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Achievements of Mai Ghaji of Great Kanem Borno Empire




In continuation of History program on Kanem Borno Empire, today we are beam our searchlight on the Achievements of Mai Ali Ghaji who ruled the second Kanuri Empire.
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After the collapse of the first Kanuri Empire, the representation of the second Kanuri was a time of political reforms made by different Mais who ruled Kanem Borno during the period. Some of these Mais were Mai Ali Ghaji, Mai Katakarmabe and Mai Idris Alooma. There were also other Mais who reign remarkably but the three mentioned above made an astonishing difference in their political administration of the Kanem Borno Empire. 
1. Mai Ali Ghaji Built A New Capital: The establishment of a new capital by Ali Ghaji at Birni Ngazargamu was an event that determined the political development in Kanem Borno. Birni Ngazargamu was a rich pastoral area in Borno West of the Lake Chad. The capital provided the Kanuri with a settled administrative center, a strongly fortified place of refuge and a secure market to which North African merchants were soon attracted.
2. Revival Of The Saifawa Dynasty: One of the major political reforms of  Mai Ali Ghaji in Kanuri Empire was that he re-established and revived the Saifawa dynasty
3. Mai Ali Ghaji restored the discredited authority of the Mai over his councilors.
4. Mai Ali Ghaji accurately diagnized the causes of Kanuri misfortunes and provided remedies for it.
5. He enforced unity of the ruling class, superimposed the authority of the Mai and reconstructed the base of Kanuri power in Borno. These unity brought considerable military success.
6. Mai Ali Ghaji helped to subdue or repel formidable attacks by the Bulala and the Jukun which brought considerable peace and stability in Kanem Borno between 1500 – 1900 A.D.
7. Mai Ali Ghaji retored the balance of the Kanuri constitution. The acquiring of powers by some officers that were disproportionate to their traditional positions were the main causes of sectional discord in Kanuri society. It was those power and lack of cooperation that contributed the first Kanuri Empire. However, Mai Ali Ghaji was an instrument in this restoration.
8. Mai Ali Ghaji redistributed power and revenue more equitably among the great officials and this ended the period of constitutional struggles in Kanem Borno. He used his forceful personality to impose his authority on the officials of state and the society at large, and then by a mixture of force and diplomacy impose his will on the nobility.
9. Mai Ali Ghaji encouraged the spread of Islam by his personal example, and administered the society with the advice of the  chief imam. He set an example for the nobility and others by observance of Islamic practices, particularly with the study of the Koran and with the marriage of only four wives.


10. Some schorlas argued that it was Mai Ali Ghaji who was the first to import firearms in Kanem Bornu. It was through this firearms that some of the Mais used in carrying out their expansionist policy.

Reference
🔯Eluwa,G.I.C , Ukagwu  M.O , Nwachukwu J.UN and Nwaubani, A.C.N. (2009). A History of Nigeria. Onistha : Africana Publishers 
🔯Cape02.com
🔯Barkindo, Bawuro, "The early states of the Central Sudan: Kanem, Borno and some of their neighbours to c. 1500 A.D.", in: J. Ajayi und M. Crowder (ed.), History of West Africa, vol. I, 3. ed. Harlow 1985, 225-254.

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