Nigeria: Alliances between the powerful politicians and the Fulani traditional rulers


After a long preparation, pre-wedding ceremonies, and parties, the official wedding ceremony of Yusuf Buhari and Zahra Nasiru Ado Bayero is taking place today in Kano.

Back in March 2021, an anonymous source close to the Bichi Royal Palace, revealed to BBC Hausa that Yusuf Buhari the son of the Nigerian President is asking Zahra Bayero to marriage. According to the same source, the Buhari family has sent a very important delegation to the Bayero royal family to formalize the engagement.

Besides being a bright and beautiful young woman, Zahra Bayero comes from a very prominent Fulbe royal family. Her grandfather Ado Bayero had ruled, for over fifty years, the Emirate of Kano, the most powerful Emirate of northern Nigeria after Sokoto.  Her father Nasiru Ado Bayero, a successful businessman who invests in gas and oil, marine logistics, and mobile technology, is also the Emir of the newly founded Emirate of Bichi. Her uncle Aminu Bayero was crowned last year the Emir of Kano in replacement of Lamido Sanusi Muhammad Sanusi II who was dethroned by the governor of Kano, Abdullahi Ganduji, for political reasons.

The two, Yusuf and Zahra, it is said, have met and got to know each other in the UK where they both went to study at different universities in the United Kingdom. Although these two young and bright people are in genuine love with one and other, it is also fair to imagine other considerations in play here. `

While the contemporary Western ideal of marriage, that is, a unique bond between two people who are in love is being adopted as a stander in many societies globally, some societies still see marriage from different perspectives.

Marriage for political, economic, or diplomatic reasons was the pattern for centuries among ruling classes in almost every society in the world. Today it may be more prevalent in some societies more than others, but the reality is, families in which heredity is central to power or inheritance (such as royal families) often have different approaches to marriage. There are often political or other non-romantic functions that must be taking into consideration, and the relative wealth and power of the potential spouses are considered.

Such marriage between two members of two powerful and highly influential Fulbe families, not only enhances their prestige but also lays in the foundation of an alliance that may benefit the young Buhari down the road if he decides one day that he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps in politics.

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