10 Hours of Laughter, 1000 VVIPs, 35 Private Jets, Tons of Bi-partisan Goodwill in Minna

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  • IBB Gives out daughter at Hilltop mansion
Dateline: Dodan Barracks 1986, 31 years ago, Halima Babangida had just been born at First Consultant Hospital, Obalende, Lagos. Delivered by Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri. She was named in a ceremony attended by high octane individuals, who are today, drivers of modern Nigeria.
Asitwasthen,soitwasin Minna, which stood still for most of yesterday, as former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) gaveher out to businessman, Auwal Abdullahi at a ceremony at- tended by dignitaries from across Nigeria.

The wedding which took place at the hilltop residence of General Babangida, saw former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Dame Patience, leading A-list guests that also included former military Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar and his wife, Fati Lami, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and busi- ness mogul, Aliko Dangote.

The event turned out to be a carnival and summit of who- is-who in Nigeria, from politics to business. For many, they had never seen such concentration of men of money and power before.
It is instructive that 24 years after Babangida left power, hecould still pull together such commanding personality from all sections of Nigeria.

About 35 private jets and four police/air force aircraft landed in Minna, while the police provided air surveillance and security in the city.

It was also a gathering of many political opponents, who temporarily sheathe their swords and backslap, to honour Babangida.

The living room of General Babangida where the wedding took place became too small to accommodate dignitaries and journalists that thronged the residence for the ceremony.

As a result, several dignitaries and journalists observed the wedding from outside the living room.

Minister of Interior, Lt General Abdulrahaman Danbazzau who had a brief chat with journalists said the large assemblage of people of diverse background at the ceremony was a pointer to the fact that the country “is now at peace.”

When the wedding eventu- ally commenced, Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwanbo paid the dowry and received the bride from former Chief of Army Staff, General Mohammad Inuwa Wushishi.

N500,000 cash and ten cows was paid as bride price. Sheikh Imam Wushishi subsequently performed the joining of the couple.

A special prayer was of- fered for the couple by Sheik Kabiru Gombe, who stressed the significance of marriage in Islam and called on the bride to be submissive and loyal to her husband.

Other dignitaries in atten- dance at the massive event were former governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, Em- manuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Attaihiru Bafarawa of Sokoto State, Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, Mohammadu Shinkafi of Zamfara State, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, Abubakar Dakingari of Kebbi State, Oserheimen Osunbor of Edo State and Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State.

Serving governors in attendance were Rocha’s Okorocha of Imo state, Aminu Tambwal of Sokoto State, Dairus Ishyaku of Taraba State, Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa State, Nasir El- Rufai of Kaduna, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, Ahmed Abdulfatah of Kwara, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano and Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State.

Other dignitaries were Gen. Aliyu Gusau, who served several times as National Security Adviser, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, former first lady, Justice Fati Lami Abubakar, Professor Jubril Aminu, Mohammed Abacha, former Senate president Anyim Pius Anyim and Dr. Ekwesileze Nwodo. Some of the business moguls in attendance were Tony Elumelu, Tunde Folawiyo and Bola Shagaya, etc.