Two former leaders, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (1976 – 1979 and 1999 – 2007) and General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (1985 – 1993) staged wondrous weddings for their children around the same time.
While Halima Babangida, IBB’s last child from late Hajia Maryam, married Alhaji Auwal Lawal Abdullahi on Friday, May 12, Obasanjo’s son, by Mrs. Taiwo Obasanjo, Olujowan Abraham, was united with Temitope, daughter of billionaire lotto king, Sir Kessington Adebutu, on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
The talk-of-the-town events perched on top of the league of high society shindigs with the crème of politics mixing with the leaders of business and baton holders of social circles.
One in Minna, and the other in Lagos, it is difficult to determine which is classier and bigger.
But you can be the judge as Encomium Weekly uses 8 guides to examine the winner.
And here we go:
- Attention generated before the event
From December of 2016, when the introduction of Olujowan and Temitope was staged in the Ikoyi (Lagos) home of Baba Ijebu on the 17th, the wedding came into consciousness.
With the controversies created by the groom’s mother, Mrs. Taiwo Obasanjo, seeking postponement in law court and the court of public opinion, it grabbed attention.
And an engagement on Thursday, May 11, at the Balmoral Hall on the grounds of Federal Palace Hotel on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island (Lagos), heralded the event with aplomb.
With his letter intimating friends across the Niger and Benue rivers, IBB set the tone for the anticipated nuptials of his last child by Hajia Maryam.
Apart from being born while he was in power, the death of her mother who’s not around for her big day, drew sympathy.
News that she’s becoming the third wife of a businessman with blue blood from Gombe invited curiosity.
The troubled marriages of Aisha and Mohammed Babangida, twice married and twice divorced, were also dissected.
- Coverage by the media
Expecting drama from Mrs. Taiwo Obasanjo, who had promised to picket the wedding, prayers of relief were chorused when the engagement went ahead without a hitch.
The Methodist Church of the Trinity event was not disturbed nor was the reception at Eko Hotel & Suites Convention Centre.
This scenario was the anchor of most stories splashed across media platforms, from the internet to radio and television stations.
The Cultural night ushered in the news of Halima Babangida early on Friday morning (May 12). And by afternoon, different versions of numerous jets causing frenzy in Minna airport dominated the Internet.
And Nigerians spread the tale of 30 jets like ‘wildlife’.
The calibre of guests also dominated the news with pictures of political foes sitting side by side and laughing.
- Calibre of guests
Mainly dominated by politicians from old Peoples Democratic Party, former governors and many loyalists of Chief Obasanjo, businessmen friends of Sir Kessington Adebutu were also on ground.
And many royal fathers were joined by high society pillars.
Politicians from the two major parties, former President, his wife and former vice president, were joined by the number 3 and 4 men in political hierarchy.
Billionaires exchanged notes, and former military brass stood up to be counted with governors from the North, East and South.
- Scale of lavishness
Five major ceremonies were held across 6 months, beginning with introduction, engagement, wedding, reception and party.
The events had all the full elements of lavishness as Obasanjo has well-heeled friends and Baba Ijebu is a billionaire.
There were nine ceremonies in two cities of Minna and Gombe. And all of them were grand.
Babangida has the backing of his friends who are billionaires, and the groom is loaded.
So are Halima’s siblings – Aisha, Mohammed and Aminu.
- Wedding dresses
The bride, Temitope Adebutu had full traditional attires for all her ceremonies except the wedding where a heart-thumping gown decorated her frame.
The groom, Olujowan, also wore agbada for the introduction and engagement, and adorned a tuxedo for the church event and reception.
Halima had over a dozen dresses from some of the most coveted designers including the leader by miles, Deola Sagoe.
The groom, Alhaji Auwal Lawal Abdullahi, changed from one guinea brocade babariga to another with the popular Hausa woven caps as complement.
- Wedding reception
Staged at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel & Suites, it was a classy ceremony with Funke Bucknor Obruthe as event planner.
Everything was on point with royal chairs for special guests.
In a marquee on the grounds of Hill Top Mansion, thousands of people congregated here with no elbow room.
It was more a political gathering the powerful would not miss for anything.
Sumptuous meals and drinks were served.
Highly rated Tolu coordinated the planning.
- Entertainment content
King Sunny Ade, the king of world beats and the favourite of the high and mighty, was on the bandstand.
Several other entertainers showed up.
Northern musicians were joined by Wande Coal and Eazy at the party hosted by Hajia Bola Shagaya in the evening of Friday, May 12.
DJ Big N ensured the younger crowd was titillated.
- General razzmatazz
Socialites and party pillars enlivened the ceremonies marking the wedding of Olujowan Obasanjo and Temitope Adebutu.
They know how to groove and party, and hardly want to call it a day.
The general atmosphere reeked of money with some beautiful appurtenances announcing the pedigree of the couple.
Nothing was spared to elevate the nuptials of Halima Babangida and Alhaji Auwal Lawal Abdullahi.
The 9 ceremonies separated it. So did the hoopla of the 34 jets.
The assemblage of strange bedfellows was an interesting highlight. So was the trip to Gombe.
So, who wins? Obasanjo or IBB? You are the judge…