As the wedding of Hanan, the daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari, was taking place on Friday, a number of young men must have been biting their fingers over their loss.
Abdullahi Bashir, a 22-year-old son of a herder from Adamawa State, would have been one of them but for his assertion that he is happy for her despite the fact that nothing would have made him happier than to marry her.
He even offered a contribution to the wedding activities when his bold moves to date her hit a solid wall.
After all efforts to meet the girl personally to express his love failed, the young Fulani man took to social media, posting a video in which he offered 150 cattle as bride price if she agreed to his proposal.
When he learnt that she was getting married to another man, he accepted it as the will of God and announced his contribution of 50 cattle for the wedding ceremony.
Abdullahi Bashir, a 22-year-old son of a herder from Adamawa State, fell in love with Hanan and her photography, combed the streets of Abuja searching for her and offered 150 cattle in brideprice if the President’s daughter would marry him
“By offering 150 cattle for Hanan’s hand in marriage, I didn’t mean to show that I was wealthy, in fact I am nobody.
“I was not looking at the market value of the cattle, I was looking at the value of a cow to a Fulani man.
“It is easier for a Fulani man to give you one million naira than to give you his cow.
“This shows how much I value and love her”.
Far from being a typical stick-wielding, forest dwelling cattle boy, Abdullahi is a Google Certified Web Developer and Digital Marketer with profound interest in digital photography and videography.
“I developed the website of Koode Radio International, a Fulfulde AM station located in Abuja, and I am the one managing the site.
“I am into journalism as a freelance reporter with the radio station”, he stated in an exclusive interview.
He noted that he is currently focusing on using his YouTube channel to create awareness among his Fulani kinsmen about modern ranching business as well as train youngsters on technology and innovation.
Hanan first caught his attention on social media after he watched images of her taking professional pictures at an event in Bauchi.
Photography is a profession seldom explored by girls from the Northern part of Nigeria, let alone Hausa or Fulani girls.
Scrolling down Hanan’s profile pages on the social media platforms, the young man came across many pictures and posts that showed how much he shared in common with this beautiful yet adventurous Fulani girl.
Just like him, she loved photography.
Within a short time, all his close friends knew about his preoccupation with the girl he was yet to meet and they nicknamed him Gorko Hanan, a Fulfulde phrase meaning “Hanan’s husband”.
He later discovered the photographer he had been pre-occupied with was the daughter of President Buhari.
Yet he was not scared. Rather than recoil in fear, he searched for more information about the young photographer, and made further enquiries about her.
One thing the Fulani boy failed to realise was that he had fallen in love with Hanan until a close friend called his attention.
“It was later that I got to know was the president’s daughter”, he revealed.
Staring at her photograph on the screen of his computer, he said, he understood the pursuit of would be a herculean task, yet he would not give up.
He was determined to look for her wherever he could find her.
According to him, he was impressed by Hanan’s simplicity as testified to by her decision to work as a photographer.
“It is not common for a President’s daughter to work as a photographer even in Europe”, he said.
He would always talk about Hanan, telling his friends about her impressive character and how she dedicated herself to her profession despite her social status.
“I always discussed with friends, showing them her pictures. One day, one of my friends, Ahmad Faisal, just asked if I had been in love with this girl.
“Wallahi, I suddenly realised it was true, I really loved her”.
Determined to actualise his dream of marrying Hanan, the young man sought for the support of notable Fulani Leaders for his lofty ambition and then travelled all the way from Yola to Abuja to try his luck at finding her.
He was confident Hanan, being simple and entrepreneurial, could be out there in one of the public or private events in the highbrow areas of Abuja doing what she liked best– taking pictures.
He could be lucky to meet her, per chance.
During his adventure in the federal capital, the young man would gate-crash into venues of high-profile weddings and other events that attracted the wealthy and mighty in case Hanan was there taking pictures or sitting as a guest. He never found her.
He walked the streets of Abuja in search of his love.
Unfortunately, it did not work out that way, so he came up with another idea, the internet.
He quickly shot a video of himself expressing his love for Hanan and announcing the offer of 150 cattle as bride price if she agreed to marry him. He posted the video online.
“I was still exploring the social media option when I heard she had been engaged, so I had to give up.
“The next option would have been to go to her grandparents’ house in Yola and establish a connection with her through her relations.
“Now that she is getting married, I wish her happy married life and I am happy to donate fifty cattle for the wedding” he said quietly.
Abdullahi stayed in Abuja peeping into event centres and conference venues until the outbreak of Coronavirus forced him to return to Yola.
He was confident and upbeat so he did not care to buy a new dress or appear flamboyant.
He just tried to be himself. All he wanted was to see Hanan face to face to tell her how much he loved her.
Even if she rejected him, his words would stick in her head and eventually settle in her heart.
“I would have expressed my love and then waited for her answer. I would not mind if she rejected me because sometimes love develops gradually.
“It was very important for me to meet her and disclose my feelings, even if she would gather people to beat me up.
“I could have convinced her to accept me. If you love someone, she may not respond immediately, she may come to develop interest in you afterwards.
“Buhari I know wouldn’t mind giving me his daughter provided she loves me because he is for the common man,” he stated.