The economic situation in the country is, no doubt, largely responsible for the poor preparations as most muslims across the country are eligible to slaughter ram might have settled for low key celebration.
Few of the muslims ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with on their readiness for Sallah celebration this year also confirmed that the poor economic situation will surely affect the standard of the celebration as many may shun ram and opt for whatever affordable to take care of their families and friends.
According to Musa Alabi,” Surely, Allah is aware of our condition in Nigeria at the moment and He has enjoined on us as muslims not to put on ourselves any burden we cannot bear. So, if I can’t afford to kill ram this year, I believe I will do next year when the economy improves. The most important thing is to be alive first, it’s then every other thing may follow.
“I usually kill two rams, but now I don’t think I can even afford one this year because the prices are beyond the reach of the poor like myself .This situation in the country now doesn’t support flamboyant celebration at all. Everything has to be low key. Even, I have cancelled buying the usual festival attires for children this year because as we’re preparing for sallah, we’re also preparing for school resumption and the money is not forthcoming.”
Another muslim, Olatunde Salaudeen also corroborated the earlier submission. He prayed for Allah’s intervention in Nigeria’s ailing economy against next sallah so that we can return to the usual way of celebrating the festival.
“Usually, I kill one big ram every year for the celebration, but the way things are now I am not sure of slaughtering any. Even rams have not started arriving unlike last year when they started arriving two weeks to the festival .But Allah knows best, I may still kill a small one if I have the means within the remaining few days. The only thing is that we’re not travelling to my home town this year. And I have also cut down all other expenses concerning this year’s celebration.
“If you notice, people are not really in festival mood. But in all, let’s pray Allah to intervene in Nigeria’s situation before this year runs out so that we can enjoy a better celebration next year. As muslims, Allah has warned us to be moderate in all our conducts before, during and after the sallah.”
ENCOMIUM Weekly also visited ram markets in some parts of Lagos, few of the dealers we spoke to also lamented the ugly situation.
In his assessment of the business this year, Musa Dan Yobe said, “The patronage can’t be any better this year. The way things are now, it may even get worse. Not that people won’t buy rams at all, but the patronage will reduce drastically because of the country’s situation.
“Even, most of us are afraid of bringing in more rams that’s why the delay from our suppliers in the north, some will arrive this week, but will surely be expensive. I don’t think I can sell the smallest ram less than N35,000 this year while the average ones can’t go less than N65,000 depending on the sizes while we also have those that will be sold for N100,000 and above. Everything is expensive now, including transportation. So, that’s why we can’t afford to sell less.”
According to Nuhu Adam from Adamawa,” I have been in this business for the past 23 years, things have not been this tough. Most of my customers are scared of the prices despite the fact that they have booked ahead. Most of the rams available here have been bought in anticipation that the prices will skyrocket a few days to Sallah which has become a norm. But the owners are paying for the cost of feeding them which is also higher now. But Alhamdulillah, we’re alive.
“But the government must do something to better off the situation. Nigerians are suffering now. And it’s not affecting our business alone, so it’s in all other businesses. That’s why I didn’t order for many rams this year. I have learnt my lesson from last year’s experience.”