The Sokoto Caliphate was a West African Empire that became a part of northern Nigeria. It was founded by the charismatic Fulani Islamic scholar and political leader Usman dan Fodio upon his conquer of the Hausa people. Usman dan Fodio created a unified political and economic polity while promulgating a reformist Islamic movement meant to correct syncretic, lax, or superficially Islamic practices in the region. The Sokoto Caliphate was conquered by British colonial forces in 1903 and the territory was divided between British, French, and German powers. While the caliphate itself was abolished, the British retained the honorary position of Sultan which continues to be recognized in contemporary Nigeria as an influential religious and spiritual leader.
Toyin Falola and Matthew M. Heaton, A History of Nigeria (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).