It was a roll call of who is who in Nigeria on Friday as not fewer than 30 aircraft including 26 private jets and four police and air force aircraft touched down in Minna on Friday for the wedding of former President Ibrahim Babangida’s daughter.
All the aircraft conveyed various dignitaries to the wedding of Halima, the youngest daughter of Babangida, who got married to a Gombe businessman, Alhaji Auwal Abdullahi.
The ceremony saw security beefed up around the Minna metropolis and the roads leading to the Top Hill mansion of Babangida as early as 7 am.
Among the dignitaries at the occasion were former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience; former head of state Abdulsalami Abubakar; chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and billionaire businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, former Vice President Namadi Sambo Governors as well as Governors Nasir El-Rufai, Aminu Tambuwal, Abdulaziz Yari, Ahmed Abdulfatah and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kwara and Kano states respectively, were also at the occasion.
So also were those of Taraba State, Architect Darius Ishaku; Plateau State, Simon Lalong; Nasarawa State, Alhaji Tanko Almakura and Jigawa State, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar.
UBA Chairman Tony Elemulu and some members of the Federal Executive Council, including the Minister of Interior Abdulrahman Danbazzau, the Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali and the Minister of State for Solid Mineral Development Abubakar Bwari also graced the ceremony.
Others guests include the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff; former PDP governors Sule Lamido, Emmanuel Uduaghan, Alhaji Attahiru Bafawara, Isah Yuguda, Mahmud Shinkafi, Ibrahim Shema, Abubakar Dakingari, Gbenga Daniel and Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu.
Also present were Gen. Garba Duba; AVM Hamza Abdullahi; Olu of Kuta, Oba Hamid Adekunle; Gen. Aliyu Gusau; Senator Ben Obi; Senator Ben Murray Bruce; Dr. Eksekwesili Nwodo; Alhaji Yayale Ahmed; Senator Ayim Pius Ayim; Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi; Senator Ahmed Makarfi; wife of the Ooni of Ife, Olori Wuraola Ogunwusi; former Governor Chukwuemeka Ezeife and former Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenme, among others.
Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, was on hand to welcome guests at the Minna Airport where Jonathan and his wife were among the first dignitaries to arrive for the ceremony that began at 2 pm.
The Chief Imam of Wushishi, Shrek Habibu Wushishi, conducted the wedding prayer which lasted for 20 minutes while a bride price of N500,000 and 10 cows was collected by Gen. Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi who also gave out the bride.
The Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, received the bride on behalf of the groom’s family.
Congratulating Gen. Babangida, Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, said the former head of state should consider himself the happiest man on earth, saying, “President Babangida should be the happiest person. He has accomplished his mission because he came, he saw and he conquered.”
He advised the newly wed to always pray and communicate with each other at all times.
“Most marriages break up because of lack of communication and prayer. Marriage is all about communication. I urge the couple to communicate at all times,” he counselled
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello also congratulated the newly weds, urging them to be patient with each other and pray at all times, especially in challenges.