image [email protected]_studiosimage captionYusuf Buhari and Zahra Nasir Bayero met at the UK's University of Surrey

Private jets filled up the runway of the airport in the northern Nigerian city of Kano as members of Nigeria's elite and West African dignitaries flew in for the wedding of the president's son and the daughter of a prominent religious and traditional leader.

The marriage of Yusuf Buhari to Zahra Nasir Bayero is one of Nigeria's biggest celebrity events of the year.

Thousands attended the event at the palace of the Emir of Bichi, a town in Kano state.

One historian told the BBC that a wedding between presidential and royal families was unprecedented in Nigeria.

The pair met at the University of Surrey in the UK.

The festivities are continuing later on Saturday, when the bride's father Nasir Ado Bayero is being officially crowned as the Emir of Bichi.

Her uncle is the Emir of Kano, one of Nigeria's most prominent Islamic leaders.

image [email protected]_studiosimage captionYusuf Buhari is the president's only surviving son

The groom's family paid 500,000 naira ($1,200; £900) as the bride price – about 10 times the average amount in northern Nigeria.

The BBC's Ishaq Khalid in Nigeria says the pre-wedding pictures of the bride caused controversy on social media, with some calling her clothing "immoral" because her shoulders were exposed, while others defended her.

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While there are some reports that 100 private jets flew in for the occasion, an airport official told the BBC there were fewer than 50.

Nevertheless, the festivities were scaled down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many of the guests wore face masks, with Nigeria currently grappling with an upsurge in cases.

image sourceFemi Adesinaimage captionBefore the wedding, President Muhammadu Buhari took a salute from his son

There was heavy security at the wedding ceremony, with police and military officers guarding the venue and stationed at nearby strategic locations.

image sourceBuhari Sallauimage captionIn-laws: The Emir of Bichi (left) and President Buhariimage sourceFemi Adesinaimage captionSome people travelled long distances to welcome President Buhari to Bichi

The wedding itself was conducted by Communications Minister Isa Ali Pantami, a qualified imam.

Top politicians and traditional rulers from across the country flew in, including several opposition figures. Among them were President Muhammadu Buhari's predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, whom he defeated in the 2015 election.

The Gambia's First Lady Fatoumata Bah Barrow and the former president of neighbouring Niger, Muhammadu Issoufu, were among the foreign guests.

image sourceAisha Buhariimage captionAisha Buhari (centre right) welcomed her Gambian counterpart Fatoumata Bah Barrow (centre left)

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