AfricaWorld

Nigeria’s royal wedding: Private jets, glitz and glamour

Private jets filled up the runway of the airport in the northern Nigerian city of Kano as members of Nigeria’s elite and West African dignitaries flew in for the wedding of the president’s son and the daughter of a prominent religious and traditional leader.

The marriage of Yusuf Buhari to Zahra Nasir Bayero is one of Nigeria’s biggest celebrity events of the year.

Thousands attended the event at the palace of the Emir of Bichi, a town in Kano state.

One historian told the BBC that a wedding between presidential and royal families was unprecedented in Nigeria.

The pair met at the University of Surrey in the UK.

The festivities continued on Saturday, when the bride’s father Nasir Ado Bayero was officially crowned as the Emir of Bichi. His brother is the Emir of Kano, one of Nigeria’s most prominent Islamic leaders.

image captionThe Emir of Bichi (in white) was given the staff of office at another elaborate ceremony on Saturday

The newlywed couple did not attend that ceremony.

IMAGE SOURCE@WRAITH_STUDIOS
image captionYusuf Buhari is the president’s only surviving son

The groom’s family paid 500,000 naira ($1,200; £900) as the bride price – about 10 times the average amount in northern Nigeria.

The BBC’s Ishaq Khalid in Nigeria says the pre-wedding pictures of the bride caused controversy on social media, with some calling her clothing “immoral” because her shoulders were exposed, while others defended her.

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While there are some reports that 100 private jets flew in for the occasion, an airport official told the BBC there were actually fewer than 50.

Nevertheless, the festivities were scaled down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the guests wore face masks, with Nigeria currently struggling to contain an upsurge in cases.

IMAGE SOURCEFEMI ADESINA
image captionBefore the wedding, President Muhammadu Buhari took a salute from his son

There was heavy security at the wedding ceremony, with police and military officers guarding the palace and stationed at nearby strategic locations.

image captionA huge marquee was erected at the Emir of Bichi’s palace for the weekend of festivities
IMAGE SOURCEBUHARI SALLAU
image captionIn-laws: The Emir of Bichi (left) and President Buhari
IMAGE SOURCEFEMI ADESINA
image captionSome people travelled long distances to welcome President Buhari to Bichi

The wedding itself was conducted by Communications Minister Isa Ali Pantami, a qualified imam.

Top politicians and traditional rulers from across the country flew in, including several opposition figures. Among them were President Muhammadu Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, whom he defeated in the 2015 election.

The Gambia’s First Lady Fatoumata Bah Barrow and the former president of neighbouring Niger, Muhammadu Issoufu, were among the foreign guests.

IMAGE SOURCEAISHA BUHARI
image captionAisha Buhari (centre right) welcomed her Gambian counterpart Fatoumata Bah Barrow (centre left)

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Humira Saqib

Humira Saqib (born 1980) is an Afghan journalist and women's human rights activist. She is one of the leading activists who through her writings in the magazine Negah-e-Zan (A Vision of Women) and in Afghan Women's News Agency, has been protesting against extreme forms of harassment against women in her radically Islamic country. She pleads that the parliament should enact laws for "Elimination of Violence against Women and enforce it vigorously.... Education, is also a key to changing mentalities around women's roles in society."[1][2][3] She is now pursuing her efforts to further women's rights by working for the women's news agency as a writer and editor.[

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