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

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

Yusuf Buhari and Zahra Nasir BayeroIMAGE SOURCE@WRAITH_STUDIOS
image captionYusuf Buhari and Zahra Nasir Bayero met at the UK's University of Surrey

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.

The Emir of Bichi holding the staff of office
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 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.

President Muhammadu Buhari and his son YusufIMAGE 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.

Palace of Bichi
image captionA huge marquee was erected at the Emir of Bichi's palace for the weekend of festivities
The Emir of Bichi and President BuhariIMAGE SOURCEBUHARI SALLAU
image captionIn-laws: The Emir of Bichi (left) and President Buhari
Crowds waving at President BuhariIMAGE 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.

Yusuf Buhari and Zahra Bayero wedding fotos: President Muhammadu Buhari son fatiha fotosIMAGE SOURCEAISHA BUHARI
image captionAisha Buhari (centre right) welcomed her Gambian counterpart Fatoumata Bah Barrow (centre left)
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