Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, renowned Islamic scholar, has come down hard on the politicians who hired private jets to Kano for the wedding of Yusuf Buhari, the president’s only son.
On Friday, Yusuf got married to Zarah, one of the daughters of Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayero, Emir of Bichi.
Daily Trust had reported how governors, ministers and other top politicians spent millions of naira to fly no fewer than 50 private jets for the wedding.
To charter a private jet costs between $5,000 and $7,000 per hour, depending on the size of the plane.
A bigger luxury jet that could carry up to 11 passengers, like Challenger or Beechcraft Hawker with up to 13-passenger capacity, could cost up to $10,000 (N5m) per hour.
Given that most of the dignitaries, especially governors, spent more than one hour at the event, each of the chartered private jets would not cost anything less than $20,000 (N10m at N500/$).
An airport source who spoke with our correspondent said he counted exactly 50 private jets.
In one of his sermons, Gumi wondered the rationale behind the opulence at a time when there is hardship in the land.
“When Prophet Mohammed married off his daughter, who came from Mecca or Yemen? In the entire Medina, no righteous persons to oversee the solemnisation?”
“Somebody told me private jets in Nigeria were all hired for the wedding of Buhari’s son. With your money, you can’t get a private jet because they were all booked.”
“Some people are in captivity in both the bush and cities. Hunger is everywhere. People are facing all manner of problems, yet politicians spent public funds on private jets.
“First it was not an obligatory religious gathering. Second, public funds were taken to hire the private jets.
“You are spending money to hire jets to go to wedding, while criminals are holding people to ransom in the bush. The criminals (bandits) are milking the people.
“Some people have never earned N1million in their life, but bandits would demand N10million. How many people sold their houses, farms, everything… and collected loans to pay ransom?
“People think only those in the bush milk us dry, no! Even our leaders milk us dry. Where did they get the money to hire all these jets?
“In one of the states, some pictures of a dilapidated hospital were sent to me. The roof was blown off and a patient was lying on the bed. That governor was in Kano to attend wedding.
“How many schools were rehabilitated? The money that should be used to cater for the people is the one they hire private jets to junket around. Are you not also a bandit?
“We vent our anger against ourselves, other tribes. People are left killing themselves because of poor leadership,” Mr Gumi said.