By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu
• Gowon, Buhari, Osinbajo, Tinubu, Dangote, Otedola, Others In Attendace
IT was glitz, glamour and a roll call of who is who in Nigeria yesterday when Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole exchanged marital vows with his heartthrob, Iara Fortes. Iara, a lawyer by profession and top model, is from the Cape Verde Islands.
The governor and his bride had signed the dotted lines at a private marriage registry attended only by family and a few friends at his Iyamho residence at Iyamho, Etsako West Council of the state, after which top dignitaries in the country, led by the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, headed for the wedding reception held at the People’s White Hall in the governor’s country home.
This is coming five years after Oshiomhole lost his wife, Clara, to cancer.
Oshiomhole said his new wife “is more or less the mother of the house,” adding: “This is something that one is happy about. One is also happy that I have people across all political divides. The occasion reminds me that across all divides, we have friends and well wishers.”
On his new wife, he went further: “She is very humble. She appreciates the nature of my work and life. That it is one that one comes back home late, sometimes 3a.m. She understands my weaknesses.
“She is more or less the mother of the house; the one that has accepted to be the mother of my children. I am happy that all my children are at home with her and accept her as their mother.
“Even though she is not old enough to be their mother, she has accepted to fill that gap.”
Regarding where his new wife hails from, Oshiomhole said: “I have seen a lot of publications, some saying she is Philipino, Dutch and others, but she is from Cape Verde, which is part of West Africa, and I hope that puts to rest where is she is from.”
Wife of the President-elect, Aisha Buhari, in her speech, prayed for God’s guidance, as “she (Iara) becomes a Nigerian.”
Chairman of the occasion, former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), described the day as a special one. He said the governor’s wife completes and complements him and he admonished the couple to show true love and have patience in their dealings with one another.
The Oba of Benin was represented high-ranking palace chiefs, including Chief David Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom.
Parents of the bride, Mr. and Mrs. Fortes flew in from their home in the Netherlands to attend the ceremony, while the governor’s mother, Hajia Aishetu Oshiomhole, was also in attendance.
The governor’s children, Steve, Adams and Jane and two of his grandchildren were also on hand to show love and support for their father and his wife.
In attendance were President-elect Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd); his wife, Aisha; Vice President-elect, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; former head of state, Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta); Liyel Imoke (Cross River); Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe) and Abdul Aziz Yari (Zamfara).
Others were Senators Bukola Saraki, Domingo Obende and Tunde Ogbeha; Mr. Dino Melaye; Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Mallam Nasir El-Rufai; Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Mr. Peter Obi, representatives of the governors of Kogi and Kwara states; and business moguls, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola.
Also present were National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Oyegun; former deputy governor of Edo State, Rev Peter Obadan; President of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wahab; former governor of old Bendel State, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia; former governor of the state, Prof Osereimhen Osunbor; Dr. Chris Ogiemwonyi; Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase; and president of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rev Felix Omobude.
There were also Mr. Jim Ovia; Captain Noggie Meggisson; Captain Hosa Okunbor, traditional rulers; Brig-Gen. M. J Abel, Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Auchi; serving commissioners; and political appointees; and several other dignitaries.
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