Nigeria First Lady defends wedding amid ‘drowning’ row

A viral cartoon which depicts Nigeria’s First Lady Aisha Buhari showing her daughter’s wedding pictures to Nigerians drowning in a river is “very unfair”, her spokesman Aliyu Abdullahi has told the BBC.

Many Nigerians have been complaining bitterly in recent weeks about the high cost of food and fuel and a hike in electricity tariffs, and were not impressed by the images and videos they saw of wedding celebrations – including the bride and groom being showered with money.

Some feel that Friday’s wedding of Hanan – who studied photography in the UK and is the youngest child of the First Lady and President Muhammadu Buhari – to Mohammed Turad Sha’aban – the son of former legislator Sani Sha’aban – should, therefore, have been postponed.

Their sentiments were captured by Daily Trust newspaper cartoonist Bulama Mustapha, and his cartoon has been widely circulated on social media.

Bulama Mustapha/Daily TrustCopyright: Bulama Mustapha/Daily Trust

Mr Aliyu said Mrs Buhari was not insensitive to the plight of Nigerians but also had the right to celebrate her daughter’s wedding without being made to feel guilty about it.

The cartoon was “very unfair”, as the wedding was “very low-key, all thanks to madam [Mrs Buhari] who called a meeting a month ago telling her staff she wants a low-key wedding to gauge the mood of the nation and also the threat of Covid-19,” Mr Aliyu said.

“The pictures of the couple she posted on social media was just to thank well-wishers after the celebrations, and not to rub it in the faces of Nigerians,” Mr Aliyu added.

Here’s a video clip of the wedding:

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