Little is known of the hidden gem in North-eastern Nigeria that attracted kings, princes, prime ministers and heads of state back in its heyday. While the media talks about insurgency and terrorism in North-eastern Nigeria and discourages people from visiting for security reasons, let's shine a light on the more appealing aspects of the region by looking at its not-so widely portrayed architecture.
Late Alhaji Mai Deribe's palace in Maiduguri city was constructed in the early 1980s and is said to have been built over a period of 10 years with parts of it constructed with liquid gold. During its prime, it was known as the most expensive dwelling in West Africa. It is expansive and a sight to behold with four apartments for his three wives and his mother. While the building's architectural influences are clear to see, the architect behind the palace remains unknown. Its simple and geometrically etched courtyards, fenestrations, exterior wall embellishments, as well as its richly crafted interior arches, wall calligraphies, coffered ceilings and royal furniture portray a mix of Arabic, Italian and Northern Nigerian cultures.