The Minna International Airport yesterday experienced heavy traffic with over 24 private jets taxiing onto the tarmac with VIPs from across the country for the wedding of former military president, retired General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s daughter, Halima.
Among the dignitaries were former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, whose jet with registration number N717 AL taxied onto the tarmac at about 12.15 pm. The former president was accompanied by his wife, Dame Patience and others.
Jonathan was received at the airport by the Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Ahmed Muhammad Kesto, the deputy governor of Niger State.
Former first lady, Hajiya Maryam Abacha and her son Mohammed, and Hajiya Turai Yar’adua were also present.
All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and former governor of Lagos, Ahmed Tinubu, also flew in with a private jet. Former vice president Namadi Sambo came with his entourage in a private jet, while Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his entourage including Senator Dino Melaye (APC/Kogi West) and Senator Phillip Aduda (FCT) arrived in a private jet as well.
Saraki was received at the airport by Governor Bello, Kano State’s Ganduje, AminuTambuwal of Sokoto, and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State.
Saraki and the governors drove from the airport to the Hilltop residence of the former military president for the wedding fatiha which commenced shortly after Juma’at prayers.
Other governors sighted at the airport were Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Darius Ishaku of Taraba and Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara.
An Arik Air aircraft with registration number 5N-MJJ also brought in dignitaries for the wedding.
Sheik Habibu Wushishi, the Imam of Wushishi Central Mosque, performed the marriage rites after the payment of a bride price of N500,000 cash and 10 cows by the family of the groom, Auwal Abdullahi, the Sarkin Sudan of Gombe, led by the Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, who stood as the father of the groom.
A former Chief of Army staff, General Mohammed I. Wushishi (Rtd), gave Halima out in marriage on behalf of the family.
Our correspondent also sighted the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, who arrived in an Air Force jet with registration number NAF961 in the company of the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau and the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
The business community was led by business mogul Aliko Dangote, ex-Chairman of UBA Tony Elumelu, Abdulwahab Folawiyo, retired General Garba Duba and chairman of Globacom, Mike Adenuga. Also present were a former Minister of Agriculture Isah Zagon Daura and Malam Samaila Isah Funtua, among others.