More than any day in recent memory, every corner in the city of Maiduguri, last Saturday, heaved, creaked and pulsated with excitement and festivity as the children of the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), Kyari Mele, got married.
The high society wedding provided a chance for the oil guru to flaunt his amazing wealth and international clout. The wedding unfurled like a performance-art project set in a modern-day enchanted hall. Granted, it was an expensive one.
From the start to finish, scores of guests indulged in bedazzled documentation. Not a few dignitaries in the consummately wired crowd were pleasantly enthralled by the very well-heeled couple’s ingenious way of declaring their undying love for each other and cementing it in holy union—albeit with enormous helpings of fairy tales, expensive perks and elan.
Yes, Kyari will do well never to forget that it’s because of his privileged position that his son’s high-octane wedding ceremony attracted such a large turnout by Nigeria’s high and mighty. The moment he is sacked or retires from his position, he ceases to become the darling of Nigeria’s high society.
The GMD’s son, Muhammad, and daughter, Sadiya, got married to their spouses last Saturday, state governors, ministers, monarchs and top politicians, key actors in the petroleum industry besieged Maiduguri to grace the wedding ceremony.
Sources at the airport said about 43 aircraft of various sizes, mostly chartered, landed at the Maiduguri International airport.
The sources added that 20 aircraft had on Friday brought guests to Maiduguri ahead Saturday’s wedding. “All of the aircraft brought guests attending the wedding of the GMD’s son and daughter,” said the source.
The source added “no doubt there are state governors among the guests, but one cannot say who they are because they were all being conveyed in protocol vehicles with tinted glasses right from the tarmac.” The Borno state government also played a major role in assisting the new GMD to host his high ranking guests.
Government protocol vehicles, including scores of other vehicles poached from various public institutions, were deployed to help move thousands of guest around the city.
Apart from providing the massive Government House Maiduguri’s Multipurpose Hall as the venue of the reception, which many believe is in order “due to security concerns,” most of the big guests are also being hosted in various government lodges.
Most hotels in Maiduguri were reported fully booked days to the wedding.
The GMD’s children weddings were jointly solemnised at the palace of the Shehu of Borno, His Royal Highness, Abubakar Garbai Elkanemi.
Governor of Borno, Babagana Zulum, and the state’s former governor, Ali Sheriff, played the role of ceremonial parents to the children at the wedding.
Top amongst the guests are the National Security Adviser, Muhammed Monguno; the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu; ministers of the Federal executive council, serving and former governors, senators, and northern Emirs.