Some Facebook users have circulated the image of Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and that of President Muhammadu Buhari’s only son, Yusuf Buhari during his recent wedding, with messages indicating that the former vice president stood in as father of the groom during the wedding.
This claim is false as Maman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, stood in for Buhari during the wedding where Daura also received the bride on behalf of Buhari.
The town of Bichi in Bichi local government area of Kano State went agog on Friday, 20th August 2021 when President Muhammadu Buhari’s only son, Yusuf Buhari, wedded Zahra Bayero, one of the daughters of the Emir of Bichi, Nasiru Ado Bayero. The much anticipated wedding which was graced by members of the top echelon of Nigeria’s political and business circle saw former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as well as various Governors, Senators, Ministers and House of Representatives members in attendance. Daily Trust reported that about 50 jets landed in Kano State for the wedding and the Minister of Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, officiated at the wedding Fatiha after a bride price of N500,000 was paid by the groom’s family.
Picture of Buhari’s son, Atiku set tongues wagging on Facebook
During the wedding Fatiha, pictures of Yusuf Buhari and Atiku’s son leaning in to speak with the former Vice President began to set tongues wagging with captions that Atiku Abubakar had stood in as the father of the groom. Bem Hima Bemshima, a Facebook user wrote on his wall: “Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar stood in yesterday as the father of the groom, Yusuf Buhari despite President Muhammadu Buhari being present. Just leave politics for Northers. I hope those of you who fight, poison, and kill each other because of politicians can learn from this.”
The Facebook page of Bemshima Bemshima who posted on Saturday 21st August 2021 that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar stood in as father of the groom
Prince A. O. Aliyu also wrote: “Atiku Abubakar stands as the father of the groom, Yusuf Buhari despite President Muhammadu Buhari present. 2023 we continue from where we stopped, meanwhile APC/PDP will remind you Atiku is a thief and PMB is brainless abi Jibril from Sudan mtcheeeew.”
Another Facebook post made by Prince A. O Aliyu on Atiku standing in as father of the groom
Denham Derick Sosala tagged 11 others with a similar post, made earlier by Talba Lakwaja which was later deleted.
Denham Derick Sosala shared the post made by Talba Lakwaja and later deleted it with 11 others on Facebook.
Buhari, Atiku political rivalry
President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, are political rivals and belong to two of the country’s most popular political parties. In 2014, Buhari, Atiku and two notable politicians contested the primary election for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential ticket in which Buhari won. Atiku who had decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2013 had in the spirit of sportsmanship accepted Buhari’s victory and supported him to win the 2015 general election, against the then incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan. It was the first time an opposition party had won against a ruling party in Nigeria’s recent political history after Buhari’s three attempts at seeking the presidential seat.
However, soon after the general election, Atiku Abubakar again rejoined PDP, saying the APC had failed Nigerians. He then went on to become the party’s presidential flag bearer and President Muhammadu Buhari’s staunch rival in the February 23rd, 2019 presidential elections.
Though the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared President Muhammadu Buhari re-elected, Atiku had rejected the results calling it a “sham election” before heading to the courts where he also lost.
At the peak of politicking and before the court judgement that nailed Atiku’s fate, supporters of the two political bigwigs had been at war on social media, especially on the micro-blogging site, Twitter with several accusations and counter-accusations. Hashtags by Atiku’s followers such as #Atikuiscoming, #AtikuKawai trended while supporters of President Buhari used hashtags such as #Atikuisnotcoming and #Buharimuststay to dis PDP supporters.
Now with 2023 by the corner and speculations that the PDP may zone its presidential ticket to the North, Atiku Abubakar seemed a likely candidate to tackle the APC ahead of the presidential election.
Our correspondent first reached out to journalists who covered the wedding ceremony to find out if Atiku Abubakar stood in as father of the groom. Clement Oloyede, Daily Trust Bureau Chief in Kano, who covered the ceremony, described as untrue the claim that Atiku Abubakar had stood in for President Muhammadu Buhari as the father of the groom. He said President Buhari’s nephew, Maman Daura, had taken that position as announced during the wedding ceremony. This was clearly stated in his report published in the Daily Trust on Saturday August 21st.
Also an audio of the BBC Hausa report corroborated that Maman Daura had received the bride on behalf of Yusuf Buhari. The BBC had also quoted Maman Daura as saying N500,000 was paid as bride price on behalf of Yusuf Buhari. He had also received the bride while business mogul, Aminu Dantata, stood in as the Wali (guardian of the bride) and Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, the Minister of Digital Economy, officiated the ceremony. The audio has Maman Daura saying in Hausa: “I am the representative of my younger brother and I seek your permission for him to marry Zahra Nasir Ado Bayero and we have paid a bride price of N500,000.”
The wali (guardian) of the bride, Aminu Dantata, then said: “I am the guardian of Zahra Nasiru Bayero, and I have given her out in marriage and pray Allah makes it fruitful.” Maman Daura had then said: “I have received the bride on behalf of Yusuf Buhari on the teachings of Prophet Muhammd (S.A.W),” before the Minister of Digital Economy joined the bride and groom together.
There is no doubt that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was at the wedding ceremony and chatted with Yusuf Buhari as evident in pictures posted on Facebook by the President’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina. However, Atiku Abubakar did not represent President Buhari as the father of the groom.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship in partnership with Daily Trust newspapers to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.