Over four days, nine dazzling ceremonies ushered Halima Babangida – the 28 year old last child of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (rtd) and late Hajia Maryam, his wife of 40 years – into matrimony as she wedded Sarkin Sudan Gombe, Alhaji Auwal Lawal Abdullahi.
Staged in Minna (Niger state) and Gombe (Gombe state), the colourful events, from Wednesday, May 10, to Saturday, May 13, 2017, were exciting extravaganzas splashed with glitz and glamour attended by a glittering army of Nigeria’s most talked about politicians, professionals and tycoons.
Beginning with a dinner in Minna, hosted by the first child of the gap-toothed former leader, gorgeous Aisha Babangida, on Wednesday, May 10, the Sarkin Sudan Gombe (Sarkin means monarch in Hausa) treated family and guests to a sumptuous reception on Saturday, May 13, in his luxurious home in Gombe, to round off the glorious gigs.
Good money was put into the upscale parties and rites which had 34 jets at Minna airport on Friday, May 12, and well- appointed exquisite ensembles on parade.
Here are the details of the four day event with nine fabulous ceremonies:
1 Dinner in the evening of Wednesday, May 10
Hosted by the family of the bride, the dinner was a welcome event for the guests who arrived early.
2 Prayers in the morning of Thursday, May 11
The prayer session, an all-female affair, was staged in a hall in town.
Here, Halima Babangida wore a gasp-inducing white number.
3 Traditional Northern ceremony in the afternoon of Thursday, May 11
Hosted in town in a hall, this Indigenous Northern event had women sitting around Halima, advising and teaching her the game and the tricks of marriage.
The bride adorned a gold aso oke sprinkled with red design.
4 Cultural night in the evening of Thursday, May 11
This ceremony was in a marquee planted on the grounds of El-Amin International Schools, on ten hectares founded by the beautiful Hajia Maryam Babangida in 1993.
The blushing bride was decked in a blazing red tog which skimmed her winning frame.
With Dayo Benjamin Laniyi as compere, we counted four first ladies – Madam Aguiyi Ironsi, Ajoke Mohammed, Turai Yar’Adua and Fati Abubakar Abdulsalami. They were joined by former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Aloma Muktar (rtd), billionaires Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija and Hajia Bola Shagaya, Mrs. Modupe Jemibewon, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Olori Wuraolu Ogunwusi and scores of fashiobable women and stylish ladies.
Slated for 7 pm, the bride was ushered in at 10:30 – and many stayed till well past 3 am of Friday, May 12.
All the Thursday events were hosted by the stunning Aisha Babangida who treated her baby sister to thrilling shindigs she won’t easily forget.
5 Jumat prayers in the afternoon of Friday, May 12
Inside the mosque in Babangida’s Hill Top Mansion, the prayer session was an all-male event with the groom in attendance.
6 Wedding Fatiha
The wedding Fatiha, uniting Halima Babangida, born in 1989 when her father ruled from Dodan Barracks, Ribadu Road, Ikoyi (Lagos), and Sarkin Sudan Gombe, Alhaji Auwal Lawal Abdullahi, started around 2:30.
Dressed in beige and white, Halima was a picture of grace as she wedded her Prince Charming. Sheikh Habibu Wushishi performed marriage rites. And former Chief of Army Staff, General Inuwa Wushishi (rtd), gave out Halima in marriage, with Governor of Gombe, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, receiving the bride on behalf of the groom’s family.
Dowry was N500,000 and ten cows.
7 Reception in the afternoon of Friday, May 12
Inside a marquee on the expansive grounds of Hill Top Mansion, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida hosted this grand gig with hundreds of of the movers and shakers of Nigeria in attendance.
The event started early as politicos back slapped one another, and moguls mingled with professionals in a warm atmosphere of jollity.
Entertainment was on point, so were the elements that transport shindigs skywards into surreal fiesta.
This ceremony lasted till past 6 pm.
8 Night party on Friday, May 12
This event was bankrolled by Hajia Bola Shagaya, and staged on the grounds of El-Amin International Schools.
With Elizabeth R as event planner, Jenifa (the runaway successful actress, Funke Akindele Bello) and wave making comedian Bovi (Abovi Ugboma) anchored the sizzling party which paraded Eazy and Wande Coal. DJ Big N (Mavin Record’s official disc jockey whose real name is Nonso Temisan Ajufo) kept guests, the younger folks, on their feet for hours.
With big brother Mohammed Babangida as host, the couple had a rollicking good time at the shindig which kicked off at 9 pm.
Halima was in a white dress embellished with blazing blue stones and white head gear with fan like design lined with blue sequins.
The groom left at midnight, but the bride returned to join the merry makers till the wee hours of Saturday, May 13.
9 Couple’s reception on Saturday, May 13
Sarkin Sudan Gombe, Alhaji Auwal Lawal Abdullahi welcomed his wife home in Gombe, and treated all to another lavish reception at his white mansion.
Guests were ferried in two planes from Minna to Gombe, as the bride and close family members settled on a private jet.
The groom received his wife, and the entourage visited the palace of Gombe traditional ruler.
From here, the luxurious home of the businessman husband was next. A tent was erected on the grounds as the bride was received with prayers.
A full-scale reception, with entertainers and all the accompaniments, added to the delight of partakers that afternoon.
The roller coaster ceremonies in quick succession settled in the League of One as a feat difficult to match.
Well executed with different event planners and vendors, entertainers and anchors, the nine ceremonies set records difficult to surpass.