As Muslims prepare for the celebration of Eid-Kabir, popular called ‘Ileya’ festival, the residents of Ikorodu in Lagos State have lamented high cost of rams and cows.
Some of the residents that spoke with THE IMPACT, however, said that they will still have to buy the cows and rams in fulfillment of Allah’s directive.
Our reporter also found out that despite the high cost, scores of residents have already been buying livestock, especially cows and rams, while others are waiting till the eve of the festival with the expectation that the prices will go down.
Meanwhile, Muslim faithful have also resigned to celebrating the annual festival without the usual eid prayer due to the ravaging COVID – 19 which has brought global economic and social activities to a standstill, while others are pleading that government should allow them observe the eid prayer amidst strict adherence to measures stipulated by government to curb the pandemic.
Mr Shamsideen, a civil servant who spoke with our reporter at the ram market behind the Adeboruwa palace in Igbogbo, expressed his displeasure over what he described as ridiculous prices of rams this year.
“I came to see if I could be able to buy ram or ‘Ogufe’ (Goat) but the cost is too much for me and I can’t afford it. You can see that they still have plenty of livestock here despite that there are few days to ‘lleya’. It is because people cannot afford the prices.
“I will wait till the eve of the Sallah or come early morning on the day of the celebration. I hope that they, would be selling at reduce prices by then”, he said.
A female buyer, while speaking with THE IMPACT at a ram market located at the Ita-Elewa open ground in Ikorodu which has started operating for about a month ago, Mrs Toyin Salaam, also expressed her disappointment at the high cost of rams in Ikorodu.
“I really do not know what to do right now. We normally slaughter rams and cows at every Ileya celebration but it is doubtful if we are going to be doing that this year”, she lamented.
“We may just have to settle for two rams because those that we have priced are between N60, 000 and N65, 000, while the cow is no go area”, she said.
Mr Azeez Lamina, a media entrepreneur, while also corroborating that the cost of rams is high, expressed confidence that Nigerians would nevertheless find means to buy for them for the Sallah celebration.
“As regards the high cost of rams, Nigerians would always find their way. You would be shocked that there would be no ram at the Sabo market after the celebration.
“This is equally not to say that the effect of COVID-19 would not affect a lot of people but I am optimistic that things will go on fine. I would like to seize this medium to admonish people out there to celebrate within their limits. Borrowing to celebrate is not worth it. I pray we all live to celebrate many more fulfilling ‘lleya’ festivals in the years ahead”, he said.
Lamina also said that residents are getting used to government’s directive against large congregation as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID – 19.
“I am sure that whatever COVID-19 prevention guideline the government issued for this year’s Eid- Kabir celebration, nobody would find it difficult to cope with it. We are getting used to it already. Whether we would go to eid or not is no longer the issue, we have moved passed that stage during the Eid-il-Fitr (Ramadan break) celebration”.
Also, Mrs Olanrewaju, a retired teacher, in her own reaction, also lamented the high cost of rams and stated that few people would buy.
“Rams are so expensive now. Only few that can afford to buy would buy.
She also said that this year’s celebration would be low key while also accepting the fact that there won’t be Eid prayer.
“ ‘This year’s Ileya’ celebration will be low key. There is not going to prayer at the eid ground”.
Taofeeq Olorunjedalo Amodu, a Muslim who also spoke with our reporter, stated that the high cost of rams is expected because sellers will take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire of Muslims to perform the ram slaughtering sacrifices as directed by Allah.
“The high cost of rams is expected owing to greed and this will be attached to the pandemic as they have done in the past during hike in exchange rates (dollars), fuel and what have you.
“However, it will not be surprising too if they enjoy much patronage this time because people did not go on the holy pilgrimage (Hajj). Generally, people will be willing to perform the ram slaughtering sacrifice as a way of expressing their gratitudes to Allah for the grace of being alive and for the fact that they aren’t victims of Covid-19 as well as to express themselves as devout muslims”.
While acknowledging the effects of the pandemic, he stated that it would be disheartening if government does not allow muslims to observe the Sallah prayer at the eid ground.
“The whole world has been in travails of Covid-19 for months now, a trial from Allah, our Creator equally subjected Prophet Ibrahim to trials and he scaled through. Surely, the world will scale through this phase as well.
“Having missed the Eid-ul Fitr prayer, it will be very much disheartening if the government does not allow mMuslims to observe this second eid (Eid-ul Adha) which is considered to be the biggest of Muslim festival since all Covid-19 protocols are still being adhered to”, he said.
“Eid ground, aside the Central mosque, is the best place to observe eid prayers, as it is congregational and not an individual prayer.
“As a result of this, we appeal to government to permit us to observe the eid prayer while we adhere to stipulated protocols like the use of nose cover and or face guide while hand washing facility should be put in place at all eid grounds. Also, people should observe social distancing at Eid grounds the large worshippers should create branches to allow for adequate social distancing”, he said.
Hameed Aroyewun, Vice Chairman, The Vanguard Group, Igbogbo also lamented the high cost of ram.
“Ram is a bit on the high side. We just have to do what is affordable. The doctrine of Islam made it abundantly clear that we should do what is affordable.
“The pandemic is real we must adhere strictly with the rules outlined by the government. Safety first. We must do whatever we want to do in moderation. May the Almighty count us among those that will celebrate another Eid next year in Sha Allah. Amin” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Ibrahim, alias ‘Ikunbomorin’, a livestocks seller in Igbogbo, stated that he has been selling for about two months but that sales are low.
“We have been here for about two months and people have been coming around despite Coronavirus”, he said.
“We are hoping that government will allow them to observe the eid prayer as that would also encourage more people to patronize us. It is a must for muslims to pray at eid before slaughtering their rams.
“Right now, the sales are not encouraging and there is no sign that people are still coming to buy. We are only hoping and praying that they come and buy”,he said.
Another seller who sells at the lta- Elewa open ground, Mr Somide Kehinde, said that he has been experiencing encouraging sales despite the COVID – 19 pandemic, though, he, like the the buyers, confirmed that the prices of the livestocks are high this year.
“People have been coming to buy rams despite COVID – 19 pandemic in preparation for the Sallah celebration.
“Although, the pandemic has badly affected our sales but yet, people are still coming out in large number to buy rams. Eid or no eid, people will still slaughter rams to eat with their families and friends at home.
“Rams are very expensive. The lowest price here is N55, 000. We have some that are N60, 000, N65, 000, N70, 000 and above”.