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Royal wedding in Nigeria attracts distinguished guests

Dignitaries arrived in over 25 private jets.

Pre-wedding photo of Yusuf Buhari and Zahra Bayero (Daily Trust)

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 Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari'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. The pair met at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom (UK).

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

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The festivities continued on Saturday, August 21 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 (over Sh.132,000) as the bride price - about 10 times the average amount in northern Nigeria.

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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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.

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.

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