There are a variety of ways in Hausa society to resolve conflicts. And, all of these remedies involve personal power in one way or another. In other words, in this society, if one enters into conflict, over land, for example, as is the case here, one has to depend on one's allies, and, if one has fewer and/or weaker allies than the person with whom one enters into conflict, than one is likely to loose that conflict. In the hypothetical case that follows, powerful people especially the village headmen or maigari, the sous prefets or government representatives, and the sarki, all play important roles.
In this case, Musa, the head of a large household needed additional land and was determined to get it. So, he took over an abandoned field that was not being used and he and his family began to work it, claiming it as his own. The conflict arose because another villager, Iliya, came and told Musa that the land was his, thus ensuing a major land dispute between these two parties.
After each of the two parties summoned the assistance of their major allies or potential allies, Musa won the dispute because his allies were more powerful than the social and political power that was brought to bear by Iliya.
Iliya went straight to the Sarki who had been his father's ubangida (patron), pleading with him to affirm Iliya's right to the field, and to make Musa stop farming his land. The Sarki said that he would consider the matter. According to Robinson, political relationships in pre-colonial Gobir operated according to principles of hierarchical authority, competitive office seeking, and "institutionalized reciprocal obligations." And, what is more, these principles and power structure survive, to some extent, until today, to the extent to which power is still exercised...