3,500,000 in Nigeria, all users. L1 users: 3,000,000 (Gunnemark and Kenrick 1985). L2 users: 500,000. Total users in all countries: 4,102,500 (as L1: 3,602,500; as L2: 500,000).
Borno state: Kukawa, Kaga, Konduga, Maiduguri, Monguno, Ngala, Bama, and Gwoza LGAs; Yobe state: Nguru, Geidam, Damaturu, Fika, Fune, and Gujba LGAs; Gombe state: 1 enclave in each of Yamaltu-Deba, Akko, and Kwami LGAs.
3 (Wider communication). De facto language of provincial identity in Borno, Yobe, and Gombe states, used in education; widespread use generally.
Kaga (Kagama), Lare (Lere), Kwayam, Njesko, Kabari (Kuvuri), Ngazar, Guvja, Mao, Temageri, Fadawa, Yerwa. Kwayam dialect not understood by other Kanuri (Lukas 1937). Maiduguri dialect mutually intelligible. Reportedly most similar to Manga Kanuri [kby] and Tumari Kanuri [krt]. Yerwa is central dialect. A member of macrolanguage Kanuri [kau].
Used as L2 by Kibaku [ckl].