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Recession forces Nigerians to celebrate low-key sallah

Eid-el-Kabir - Sallah Day
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Nigerians, particularly Muslims on Tuesday celebrated a low-key Eid-el-Kabir due to the economic recession facing the country.

Muslims in Oyo, Niger, Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory told reporters that the economic recession was responsible for the somewhat poor celebration of the 2016 Eid-el Kabir.

In separate interviews with our correspondent and the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, the residents expressed different opinions on the celebration.

A civil servant, Mr Jubril Danjuma, who came to a market to purchase some items, said he marked the Eid-el-Kabir with his family on the first day of the feast.

He noted that the economic recession in the country had automatically made people to cut down on their expenses.

According to him, some people lack the resources with which to do elaborate celebration.

“We all know that Nigeria is passing through a hard time economically now and people are trying to cut down on their expenses to survive harder days.

“I celebrated with my family the way I can and I have to make them understand that it can only get better.

“Usually, I will travel to my home town with my family but this time around if you travel without enough money, you will run into serious economic challenges,’’ Danjuma said.

A business woman, Mrs. Gimbiya Adamu, said in spite of the hard economic situation, she had to bring her children to Jabi Lake Park for fun seeking.

“This is to make them happy and feel the spirit of the celebration. We know the economy is hard, but that is not the story these children want to hear.

“I know the money is not there but I have to bring them out to play around the park, do horse riding and also see other people around.

“It will still make them feel happy because they will not be satisfied with any kind of special food you give them at home,’’ she said.

Adamu, however, urged the government to generate better economic ideas that could bring the country out of the recession.

According to her, right attitude among Nigerians will also encourage the government to work for the development of the nation.

Similarly, at a garden in Dutse, near Gwarimpa, Abuja, NAN observed that there were few fun seekers.

A trader, who sold drinks and food in the garden, Mrs. Victoria Sunday, said the turnout for patronage was low.

She urged the government to better the lives of Nigerians by diversifying the country’s economy.

Low turnout of fun seekers and patronage was also observed at some gardens, markets and other public places in the FCT.

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For instance, at Wuse Market, some shops were noticed to be under lock, while customers trickled in and out of the market.

But in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Muslims turned out in large numbers at the Agodi garden and Shoprite, Ibadan on Tuesday to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir in spite of the economy recession.

One of our correspondents reported that both the old and the young, including babies, were seen at the centres eating, drinking, and having fun.

In spite of the N500 gate fee at the Agodi garden and N300 paid by children to access the playground at Shoprite, many parents still brought a number of children to celebrate.

A father, Mohammed Sani, said that his family strived to celebrate in their own little way in spite of the economic situation.

“Witnessing another Sallah alone is worth celebrating and thanking God for even though we may not slaughter ram now, but we will some other time; we know that God’s time is the best.

“We believe the government is aware of the economic situation and trust God that something will be done soon,” Sani said.

Similarly, a mother, Mrs. Olabisi Ali, said it was not easy for them to celebrate in such a time but that they had to in order to appreciate the children.

Also, Mr. Hassan Onabule, said he was still happy to celebrate in spite of the fact that he was not able to kill any ram.

“Really, it is very tough and hard for us, no money, I could not slaughter any ram but at least am still celebrating with my family.

“Only God can deliver us with the situation of things in the country now, we can’t kill ourselves but have to take things the way we see it,” Onabule said.

The Murtala Amusement Park and the Nigerian Television Authority, Minna, Niger State, also recorded a low turnout of fun seekers in the 2016 Eid-el-Kabir festivities.

A NAN checks revealed that only few people were seen at the park and the NTA station, which used to be full of fun seekers during past Sallahs.

Some parents told NAN that the economic recession had made it difficult for them to make ends meet.

The Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists, Niger Council, Alhaji Mohammed Mohammed, told NAN that he managed to provide food and slaughtered a ram for his family.

Mohammed said that in the past he bought new cloths for himself and his family and also assorted food and drinks but could not this year.

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