The wedding of Yusuf Buhari, son of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, to Zahra Nasir Bayero the daughter of a prominent monarch in northwestern Kano State was conducted in a lavish ceremony over the weekend.
The festivities, spanning over two days, commenced on Friday amid tight security at the palace of the Emir of Bichi, the bride’s father, with thousands of well-wishers in attendance.
Fleets of private jets were seen parked on the runway of the Kano airport, sparking outrage among locals on social media.
Days earlier the bride and groom had treated their friends to pre-wedding festivities with a special Polo tournament and the bride turned heads at a ‘Frozen’ themed bridal shower.
However, her jeweled bridal shower off-the-shoulder gown drew the attention of Kano’s Islamic police known as Hisbah as well as strict religious observers on social media.
Yusuf is President Buhari’s only son. The newlyweds met in the UK where they both studied.
Among prominent Nigerians who attended the opulent ceremony on Saturday were the country’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President Goodluck Jonathan, and Buhari’s main challenger in the 2019 election Atiku Abubukar.
Popular Islamic cleric, Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, fiercely criticized the show of opulence by the Nigerian ruling class at the wedding.
“Somebody told me private jets in Nigeria were all hired for the wedding of Buhari’s son… Some people are in captivity in the bushes and cities. Hunger is everywhere. People are facing all manner of problems, yet politicians spent public funds on private jets,” Gumi was quoted in local media.
Health bodies in Nigeria also expressed concern over the mass gathering at the president’s son’s wedding following the recent spike in Covid infections in the country, weeks after the highly contagious Delta variant was detected.
“At a time health experts keep warning the people that the reality of Delta variant of COVID-19 is here with us, it is sad that it is such a time that you have major public gathering without regard for COVID-19 protocols,” a spokesman for the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) told local media while reacting to the non-use of facemasks by many attendees at the royal wedding.
“It was President Buhari who signed the law that made it punishable for anybody not to obey COVID-19 protocols, yet it is the cream of his officials who are not making use of facemasks and are not observing social distancing,” JOHESU’s spokesman, Olumide Akintayo added.
According to media reports, a bride price of 500,000 naira (around $1,200) was paid to the bride’s family by the groom’s in order to ratify a marriage.
Over 70 private jets landed in Kano yesterday in which they've attended the wedding fatiha of President's son Yusuf Buhari and Emir of Bichi's daughter Zahra Bayero at Bichi Central Mosque. pic.twitter.com/ZRYkWcqV6D
— KanoTwiitterConnect (@KanoTwiiter) August 21, 2021