There’s going to be a dramatic turn of event in this year’s Eid-il-kabir (sallah) celebrations as many more Muslims have now resorted to merger for the purchase of cows since the prices of rams have gone beyond the reach of average Nigerians, no thanks to the ailing economy.
Few Muslims who volunteered to speak to encomium.ng confirmed the practice, though they added there’s nothing new in it.
According to Alfa Yunus Sadiq, “The practice is not all that good and not as rewarding in the sight of Allah as slaughtering your own ram for sallah. But now that the economy is even worse than what we experienced last year, the only thing people can do to celebrate the festival with abundant meat is for two or three people to contribute money and buy a cow so far rams are very expensive to come by now.
“As I speak, I am only waiting to hear from my friend because we have agreed to contribute N120,000 to buy a big cow instead of spending the money on just one big ram that at the end of the day won’t be enough to entertain your guests. Ram is just too expensive this year. That’s why a lot of people are pairing up to buy a giant cow which is almost the same in price with a big ram. The practice is allowed and there’s nothing new in it. People have been doing that for long. It’s only that the rate is higher this year.”
Also, Ibrahim Adetayo from Ogba, Lagos, said, “Many Muslims will contribute money and buy cow instead of ram this year because ram is too expensive. Unlike last year when you could get an average ram for N55,000 or N60,000, there’s nothing like that this year. If you go round towns this time around when sallah is just few days more, hardly would you see up to five rams on a street where you can see not less than 20 Muslims. You will also notice that most parents don’t release their rams for unnecessary competition this year. Even, the atmosphere doesn’t show sallah is around the corner. Up till now, I have not bought any ram, I am waiting to see if they will bring in more rams so that the prices can come down a little. But if nothing like that happens before Wednesday, I will rather join a friend and buy a cow. There’s no sin in that.”
Another Muslim faithful from Agege, Lagos, Mr Ajibola Sakariyau also spoke in the same vein, blaming the circumstance on the poor economy.
“Yes, many Muslims are not likely to kill ram this year because it’s too expensive. And very soon, children will resume for new academic session. Everything is money, and that money is not even available. Our plan in the whole family is to buy cow and share it among four of us. That won’t cost more than N130,000, instead of an individual struggling to buy a ram for N60,000 or N70,000. Maybe, if the economy bounces back next year, we can go back to our usual way of celebrating the festival. Even, Allah didn’t mandate on any Muslim who couldnt even afford to slaugher anything. What’s important first is to be alive. God spares our lives till next year, and pray things improve.”
– TADE ASIFAT for encomium.ng