It has an area of 559 square kilometres (216 sq mi) and a population of 205,876 at the 2006 census. The postal code of the area is 631.
Potiskum is the main settlement for the Ngizim people. The current Emir of Potiskum HRH Mai Umar Ibn Wuriwa Bauya was awarded a national honour of officer of the order of the Niger (OON) by the former president and commander in-chief of the arm forces federal republic of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR in 2004. The international award in Africa awarded his royal highness its outstanding leadership gold award for year the year 2008. The institute of corporate executive of Nigeria conferred on his royal highness the achiever par excellence in exemplary and accountable leadership, on 11 June 2009.
Potiskum has been a thriving trade hegemony in Yobe State because of its strategic position as a centre of commerce, learning, spiritual and cultural revival. Till date, the town is second to none in Yobe State when it comes to business activities because people from neighbouring Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi and Gombe States, as well as numerous others from Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Benin and Central African Republic have stakes in the ‘biggest cattle market in sub- Saharan African,’ which is also situated in Potiskum
Potiskum Cattle Market
Potiskum is the largest city in Yobe state with booming business in the area. It has one of the largest Cattle market in Africa and the largest in West Africa. Most of the cattle are transported to other parts of the country
Potiskum Grain Market
Close to the cattle market is the Potiskum grain/millet market. It was estimated (2008) to sell 500 bags of grain on market day. The millet market is the largest in North-east Nigeria. Most products are transported to other parts of the country and neighboring countries.
Potiskum have an airport located in city's GRA from the western part of the town along Kano road. But Many residents of Yobe state, especially those below the age of 30, apparently didn’t know that the state has got a functioning airport built 64 years ago and located in City. Not even numerous residents of the commercial town of Potiskum seemed to be aware that there was a functioning airport at their backyard, until 2009 when President Umaru Musa Yar’adua landed with a helicopter there while on a visit to the state in January, to attend the late Governor Mamman Ali’s funeral. The predominance of Potiskum as a beehive of activities predates Nigeria’s independence, as there are traces of colonial presence in the town and in its vicinities, notable of which is the airport in focus, said to have been built by colonialists in 1945. Unfortunately, the airport is now a shadow of itself as planes no longer patronise the airfield due to many reasons, including negligence, lack of safety and bastardization of the historical site. As is typical in government’s ways of doing things, the airport was only cleaned up in January 2009 to allow for the landing and take-off of two helicopters, one of which conveyed President Yar’adua for the late Governor Ali’s funeral. Hurriedly, then, the landing field, which suffered decades of negligence, was dusted for the President’s coming and soon after his departure, it was abandoned, as the whole area was deserted again. The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) office in the field, which is supposed to be responsible for the transmission of air traffic information to aircraft flying over the airfield, is not fully functional as the Omni-Directional Range Equipment installed there was not equipped with computers to enable the workers scientifically spot planes hovering over Potiskum. The airport came into being during the scramble for Africa by the colonialists because Potiskum was a sprawling town in the north which was earlier annexed by Germans before the British took over. “The aim of constructing the airport was to make the movements of the white men in and out of Potiskum easy because the town was also the gateway to other nearby towns in the north, which had enhanced trading activities and other associated commercial services in the region. Around 1945, the airport was a fascinating scene to behold as planes carrying goods and the colonial masters took off and landed in Potiskum on a daily basis.
Boko Haram attacks
In July 2009, Boko Haram members set a police station in Potiskum on fire.
On 3 November 2014, at least 30 people were killed as the result of a suicide bombing at a Shia Muslim religious procession at Faydia Islamic school. Yobe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam promised members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (ISMN) that he would demand full investigation of allegations of shootings of its members by soldiers deployed to the scene of the attack.
On 6 November 2014, sixteen men arrested by Nigerian Army soldiers were "found dead of bullet wounds hours later." (Another source puts the number at eighteen.)
On 11 January 2015, four people were killed and over 40 were injured at Kasuwar Jagwal GSM market after an attack by two female suicide bombers, one of whom appeared to be about 15 years old. A bombing involving a parked car also occurred that day, killing two people and injuring one, at the Divisional Police Station.
On 13 January 2015, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam condemned the attacks, and "proposed the establishment of an Emergency Response Centre at the General Hospital in Potiskum." He stated that the medical bills for those injured in the attack would be paid, including for the injured who had been transferred to other hospitals for treatment.
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- Ndahi Marama With Agency Reports. Nigeria: Female Suicide Bombers Kill 39 in Potiskum, Maiduguri Markets. Vanguard - allAfrica.com, 12 January 2015
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- Hamisu Kabir Matazu. Nigeria: Fresh Bomb Blast Kills Two Policemen in Potiskum. Daily Trust - allAfrica.com, 11 January 2015
- Gaidam Proposes Emergency Centre At Potiskum Hospital. Channels Television, 13 January 2015