With barely 72 hours to 2016 Id-el-kabir festivals, the global economic meltdown that is ravaging all the countries of the world is taking its toll on all irrespective of one’s social standing.
Perhaps, as the rich are also feeling the heat of the unprecedented recession and you want to ask if the rich are crying, then what are the not so affluent going through?
Gone were the days that any celebration in the land would by now be in the air with jingles taking over the airwaves announcing where faithful would be expected to give their family members the treat they deserve for being alive to celebrate another year.
Visits to big markets, malls and warehouses in both Lagos and Ibadan gave no inkling to the fact that any celebration is around the corner as the mad rush for last minute shopping associated with the season has disappeared into the air courtesy recession occasioned by fall in oil price specifically in Nigeria.
As at Wednesday in Ibadan, the ram sellers at the various sale points complained of recording no sales as faithfuls have not been coming to even sample what they have displayed. Mr Abdullahi Asuni, a farmer who also breeds ram said that he has sold only one ram in the last five days.
He said that their customers in previous sallahs always make deposits in advance for their choices, but that nobody so far has approached him for such arrangement this year. ‘’Were it before, I would have made two trips to Ilesabaruba in Oke Ogun region of Oyo State to restock my ranch with rams for Ileya as a result of previous high sales recorded.
‘’I’m not offended at all because if Nigerians have money, they don’t joke with this festival. We are even asking our long term customers if they would make deposit for their rams and collect the commodity when the balance is settled, but they have not been forthcoming.
“Though there is not much price difference as the least ram we sold last year for N22,000 is N25,000 today. I believe the margin is insignificant if money were to be in circulation. The biggest ram here sells for between N70,000 and N80,000 against last year’s N60,000, N65,000.00.
‘‘What we have been experiencing in the last one week is one of a kind as those who have come only came for window shopping. We are still hopeful as the celebration is 72 hours to go’’, concludes Asuni.
Economic downturn or not, the homemakers are leaving no stone unturned to make this special Ileya a celebration not to be forgotten.
HERS spoke to some women on their preparation so far to ensure that the heat being generated by the recession does not deprive their families of the fun of the festive season.
Aisha Bello. ‘‘All I know for sure is that I have made up my mind that paucity of fund will not rub my children and I of the joy of this season. Having counted the cost of a ram and the pending school fees of my children, I have pleaded with them that if it is a chicken that I can afford, they should take it with joy. I know that the recession is not peculiar to Nigeria and that with time, the economy will be in shape’’, contributed
Alhaja Mutiat Ladoja, “We bless God for a time like this in our country as it is just right for us to thank God in all situations. We are alive and celebrating another Id-El kabir, it is only by God’s grace.
Id-El kabir, is the commemoration of God’s faithfulness to his servant Prophet Mohammed (SAW) and we all look forward to this celebration yearly. We purchase and kill rams as it is one of the tenets of Islam, but being that as it may, it is not written anywhere in the Quran that one should borrow money to buy the ram or make it a do-or-die affair.
“And for those who can afford to buy ram, Islam dictates that we share with those who do not have and those who are less fortunate. We should be our brothers keeper at all times.
“As things are now, as women we should support our husbands, for those families who have been buying ram before now and for one or more reasons they cannot buy, the woman and mother of the house should support her husband and make sure she looks for alternatives to make her family happy. Slaughtering a ram or even more than one does not bring happiness. Borrowing money to buy one by all means too does not bring peace. God sees the intent of all hearts.”
Alhaja Kehinde Brahimoh, “We thank God that we are celebrating another Id El kabir. Everything is hard now, but we thank God for our lives. Although essential commodities are expensive, we should see our lives as expensive too and thank God for keeping us till now. Let us live within our means and make do with what we have.
“If you have been buying ram before and you cannot buy this year, it is not the end of the world. Instead of running about to buy one at all cost, I am of the opinion that making our children happy with the little in our possession is more important.”
Biola Arigbabuwo, “We all know the situation in the country now. It is so funny. As expensive as rams are, people are not buying and sellers cannot reduce the money because they also have to make their money. Not only ram this time around, rice, condiments and even drinks are expensive.
“My take is that we should manage with whatever we have. Happiness comes from within and not what we can purchase. Though, purchasing power is also important, but it shouldn’t be more important than our lives. Things will get better in our country. God bless Nigeria and God bless us all.”
Kudirat Owo, “Our preparation so far is based on what we have on hand physically. There is no point going out of our way to celebrate. As things are, you can boast of rice and what will accompany it. There is no money for ram because as we celebrate, we must remember those in need. We will make do with fish with thanksgiving.”
“The year’s celebration to me as a woman is more of appreciation to God for sparing our lives. It is not about eating and wining.
“Our preparation thus far is to ensure that we make do with what is available. Initially, I have planned to take the children out for a special treat, but as things are now, we have put that on hold. “When there is life, there is hope,” says a woman who does not want her name in print.
Memunat Jimoh has this to say, “The situation on ground calls for moderation. Our preparation for this Ileya is within the dictate of our purse. When the economy was okay, we had much to share, but as things are, the celebration will be low-keyed.”