SULEJA was renamed after former Emir of Old Abuja, Suleimanu Barau, a descend of 1st Emir of Old ABUJA, Abubakar Jatau (ABU’JA).
The current emirate originally included four small Koro chiefdoms that paid tribute to the Hausa Zazzau Emirate. After warriors of the Fulani jihad (holy war) captured Zaria, Zazzau’s capital, 137 miles (220 km) north-northeast about 1804, Muhammadu Makau, sarki (king) of Zazzau, led many of the Hausa nobility to the Koro town of Zuba. Abu Ja (Jatau), his brother and successor as Sarkin Zazzau, founded Abuja town in 1828, began construction of its wall a year later, and proclaimed himself the first sarki of Abuja, while retaining the title Sarkin Zazzau’. Withstanding Zaria attacks, the Abuja emirate remained an independent Hausa refuge. Trade with the Fulani emirates of Bida (to the west) and Zaria began in Emir Abu Kwaka’s reign (1851–77).
When Abuja’s leaders disrupted the trade route between Lokoja and Zaria in 1902, the British occupied the town. Alluvial tin mining began in Emir Musa Angulu’s reign (1917–44). In 1976 a large part of the emirate plus territory from other states became the Federal Capital Territory, centred on the new city of Abuja. The emirate was renamed Suleja, based on the renamed town of Suleja which remained in Niger State.