Iliya Ibrahim Gimba

Department of History and Diplomatic Studies

Faculty of Arts

Taraba State University Jalingo



Egashi Solomon Ahima

Department of Sociology

Faculty of Social Science

Taraba State University Jalingo



Donga town is the Headquarters of Donga Local Government Area of Taraba State. Three major ethnic groups the Chamba, Ichen and Kpanzo, have engaged themselves in a tug of war over claims and couter claims over who founded the town. The posture adopted by these groups is seemingly associated with the eventual rise to prominence of the town. It is not arguable that the town passed through many phases of growth and development, with each phase being associated with particular events or factors that contributed in moving the town to the next level. This paper, therefore, attempts to give a historical account of the emergence, growth and development of Donga town to the status it attained in 2021. The paper gives a geographical narrative of the location of the town; the Chamba, Ichen and Kpanzo versions about the founders of Donga town and the district phases of development the town underwent to attain its status in 2021. The paper adopts a historical methodology for data collection and uses a multi-displinary approach for data analysis.


The authors thankfully acknowledge the financial assistance given by Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for making this research work a reality.


Donga town is an ancient headquarter of Donga Chiefdom founded on the authority of Usman Dan fodio through Yakubu Ibrahim of Bauchi around 1845 (Gimba, 26). This ancient city is today the Headquarters of Donga Local Government Area of Taraba State, which wascreated by the Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida administration on 29th August, 1991. The town is located in the southern part of Taraba State, between latitude 7°43 North of the Equator and latitude 10°00 East of the Meridian (Bako, 18)

Donga town is inhabited by Chamba, Ichen, Kpazo, and Jahun since its establishment 1845. The population of the town received a boost by the activities of the Royal Niger Company in 1885, the arrival of the missionaries in 1907 and, later, by the colonial administration. These factors attracted other people like Hausa, Etoluother than the earlier mentioned groups who began to settle in Donga town.Similarly other Chamba clans, Gargea and Gayam migrated and settled in Donga town. These Chamba bear their clan names as mark of identity. In similar vein other Ichen clans,Ndesin, Nukunya, Gankwewere attracted to Donga bearing the clan name as ethnic name.The dominant language of intercourse is Jukun which is spoken by almost everyone in the town. Hausa is also spoken in the area.

Suitably situated by the bank of River Donga, the town is provided with abundant water for domestic and other uses as such as fishing, farming both during the raining and dry seasons. Among the crops that produce well in the area are rice, maize Guinea corn, Sugar cane, Yam etc.These provide enough harvest for domestic and commercial purposes. In other words, they constitute the sources of sustenance and revenue for the people including government. 

A History of The Founding and Establishment of Donga Town (Claims and Counter claims)

The history of theestablishment of Donga town has become more interesting in recent times. This is because some ethnicgroups have began to claim over the foundation of the town. Some of these groups have claimed to have arrived in what become Donga town at the same time with the Chamba (Sama). Some even claim to have arrived in Donga before Chamba (Sama) theChambaclan believed to have established Donga town. This give three versions of the foundation of Donga town namely, Chamba, Ichen and Kpanzo versions of discus below.

584 KB

Leave a Comment