Inside the Nigeria’s wedding of the year

When a president’s only surviving son marries the daughter of one of the country’s most prominent religious leaders, its set to be a grand affair.

So it’s no wonder no expense was spared for one of Nigeria‘s biggest celebrity events last Friday – the wedding of President Muhammadu Buhari’s son, Yusuf, 27, to Zarah Ado Bayero, 19, the daughter of the Emir of Bichi.  

Thousands attended the nuptials of with locals in the town in the northern state of Kano reporting the air was filled with hundreds of private jets as West African dignitaries ‘filled up all the five star hotels in the area’.    

The bride who met the groom at the University of Surrey, wore a traditional pink and white gown for the reception, while opting for a western-style white dress for the ceremony. 

A wedding between presidential and royal families is ‘unprecedented in Nigeria’, according to the BBC, who also said the groom’s family paid 500,000 naira (£900) for the bride price, a traditional part of the Islamic marriage contract.  500,000 naira is about 10 times the average bride price in northern Nigeria.

Despite the grand nuptials, it’s understood the wedding was scaled back due to coronavirus pandemic, with heavy police and military security also guarding the palace.

 Communications Minister Isa Ali Pantami, a qualified imam, conducted the wedding.

Also in attendance was President Muhammadu Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan,Gambia’s First Lady Fatoumata Bah Barrow and the former president of neighbouring Niger, Muhammadu Issoufu, according to society bible Tatler.

Following the wedding, the bride’s father Nasir Ado Bayero was crowned as the Emir of Bichi, while his brother is the Emir of Kano – one of the countries most prominent Islamic leaders. However the bride and groom didn’t attend this ceremony. 

Meanwhile, her new mother-in-law,  Aisha Buhari, the first lady of Nigeria shared sweet photos of happy couples to Instagram writing: ‘All is set to welcome and receive our new daughter into the family.’

Despite apparent joy in the shots, the lavish nuptials didn’t have a completely positive reaction in Kano – as some residents reacted furiously given the level of deprivation in the state.    

Sheikh Dr Ahmad Mahmud Gumi told the Times: ‘People are facing all manner of problems, yet politicians spent public funds on private jets.’    

‘Some people are in captivity in both the bush and cities. Hunger is everywhere’. 



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