The wedding of President Muhammadu Buhari’s son, Yusuf, and Zahra Bayero will take place on Friday in Kano even with the raging third wave of COVID-19.
Since the outbreak on February 27, 2020, Nigeria has recorded 184,590 cases and more than 2,230 deaths. It is believed that the actual figures are higher.
Many sick people avoid COVID-19 test, while families of those who died of the related complications prefer not to disclose it to the authorities.
According to data by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), 1,149 cases were recorded in 16 states across Nigeria on August 18.
Kano, the venue for tomorrow’s anticipated high-octane event, is witnessing an influx of thousands of guests.
Former and incumbent governors, ministers, lawmakers, judges, businessmen, diplomats, relatives, friends, groups, among other well-wishers from within and outside Nigeria will attend.
But care must be taken as the ancient city remains on the top 10 states worst hit by the pandemic. Kano is currently number nine with a total of 4,036 so far and 110 deaths.
On August 2, the Federal Government placed the state, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Rivers, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja on red alert.
More African countries are reporting high fresh cases of coronavirus, with the statistics in Nigeria now averaging 600-700 every day.
The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), led by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government, has encouraged citizens to get jabs as a preventive measure.
Experts say though vaccination averts severe COVID-19 cases, reduces hospitalisation and deaths, it does not stop contraction.
The second phase of vaccination in Nigeria commenced on August 16 after the United States’ donation of 4.8 million doses of Moderna in fulfillment of President Joe Biden’s promise.
It is unclear if adequate provisions have been made for temperature checks, hand sanitizers, face masks and social distancing at the Kano ceremony.
With cases jumping by the day, deference to safety protocols is critical to forestall avoidable deaths or health challenges the attendees may suffer afterwards.
Born April 23 in the 1990s, Yusuf Buhari, a graduate of the University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom, completed his National Youth Service Corps programme (NYSC) in 2019.
In July, during the Sallah celebration, the groom was named Talban Daura in the Daura Emirate of Katsina, his father’s hometown.
Zahra, an undergraduate, is the daughter of the Emir of Bichi, Nasir Ado Bayero. In June, some governors visited the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero to formalize plans for the union.
Emir Nasir Bayero recently disclosed mixed feelings about Zahra leaving him due to their closeness.
Kano is under heavy security ahead of President Buhari’s trip. The ceremony will take place in Bichi in the afternoon after Friday prayers.
Shehu Ahmed, Organising Committee Chairman said two events have been lined up – the wedding and a coronation.
Ahmed announced that one day after the wedding – August 21 – Governor Abdullahi Ganduje will present the staff of office to the Emir of Bichi, Zahra’s father.