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Nigeria’s Royal Wedding: Private Jets, Glitz, 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 BBC reported Saturday.

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 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 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.

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

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 neighboring Niger, Muhammadu Issoufu, were among the foreign guests.

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