Eid-el-Kabir: Lamentations as economic hardship affects festival


The 2023 Eid-el-Kabir, otherwise known as Ileya festival among the Yoruba is coming at a time when the people are struggling to make ends meet and put food on their tables.

Also known as Eid-al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice, the festival is the second and the largest of the two major festivals celebrated in Islam. The festival involves the slaughtering of rams and other acceptable animals to offer sacrifices to Allah.

In Nigeria, the festival is always celebrated by feasting, partying and merrymaking. It offers an opportunity for families to reunite and for communities or clubs to hold carnivals and other cultural get-togethers.

In just a few hours to the festival, DAILY POST reports that Muslims in Ogun State are struggling to ensure they do not lose out of this year’s events. The need to buy a ram, get the necessary foodstuffs, buy new attires and footwear for the family are already giving a lot of people heartbreaks, especially as the prices have skyrocketed.

Unlike what obtained in the past, the excitement that usually welcomed the Eid-el-Kabir is nowhere to be found across Ogun communities.

It is the same scenario across the country, with citizens expressing sadness over the inflation rate.

“By now, a lot of people would have returned home from Lagos and other places for this festival, but there is nothing like that again. It seems people are not ready to travel down for the Sallah,” Iya Kabiru, a local trader told our correspondent.

Like Iya Kabiru said, Muslims, in the past, would have their rams or cows tethered in front of their houses, a way of giving assurances to neighbours that all is set for the festival.

“But, that is not the case this year. Have you seen any ram since you entered this street? There is no more. Rams have become too unaffordable for the ordinary man. We can only think of a way out,” said Alhaji Azeez Ojo, in Oluwo, Abeokuta.

Our correspondent learnt that Muslims who could not afford a medium-sized ram at the rate of N200,000 or more have resorted to contributing money to buy cows.

“Four of us contributed N100,000 each to buy that cow in the car boot. We will divide it equally among ourselves.

“That is better than buying a ‘lamb’ with a whole lot of money,” an old man spoke, while explaining the situation of things at the Kara market in Rounder.

Findings by our correspondent revealed both the buyers and sellers are lamenting the present condition of the nation’s economy.

While the traders are complaining of low patronage, the buyers return home empty handed because the money with them falls below price expectations.

It was gathered that the rise in inflation brought about a hike in prices of commodities, thereby reducing the purchasing powers of ordinary Nigerians.

Also, the masses were yet to recover from the pains of the botched naira redesign policy of the Buhari administration that badly affected many businesses when President Bola Tinubu slammed them with fuel subsidy removal and consequent naira devaluation.

“I went to the market this morning but I could not buy anything. Everything I wanted to buy has increased by more than 100 percent.

“Pepper, tomatoes, rice, garri, palm oil and other items have become very expensive. I just returned home,” Mrs Ismail, a resident of Idiroko told our correspondent.

Drivers increase transport fares

In their usual practice, drivers across all motor parks have increased transport fares, adding more to the sufferings of the poor masses.

DAILY POST observed that immediately the pump price of petrol rose to over N500 following the removal of subsidy, transporters also responded by increasing the cost of transportation.

For example, Abeokuta to Iperu, which used to be N900 was increased to N1500. Also, Owode Yewa to Abeokuta was increased to N2500 from N2000.

However, commuters who plied the same routes today said Iperu to Abeokuta now costs N2,000 and Owode to Abeokuta is N3000.

This, DAILY POST gathered, is what obtains across all parks and it is forcing travellers to seek cheaper alternatives or cancel the trip.

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