Muslims in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), joined their counterparts across the world to celebrate Eid-el Kabir, otherwise referred to as Buban Sallah in Hausa language. Though, the Federal Government declared August 12 and 13, 2019, as public holidays, the festival actually started from last weekend.
With the relationship this festival shares with sacrifice of animals, especially rams, Muslims observed the day by slaughtering animals and sharing with neighbours and the less privileged. Despite the heavy downpour, the celebration was still fun-filled as most parks like Jabi Lake, Magic Land, Millennium Park and Shoprite were packed with different grades of people, ranging from young to old.
The parks were filled with fun as people who were none Muslims also seized the opportunity granted by the public holidays to hangout with family and friends. Most of the people rode on horses, played different kinds of games with praise singers all over the place.
Traders in the parks were not left out in the spirit of the celebration as they made lots on sale on stuffs like suya, drinks, toys and wished it would continue. Some of the people confessed that it had not been easy with the economic situation in the land coupled with the security challenges that they have decided to spend the break in Abuja instead of traveling.
Maimuna Usman, a mother of four was at Magic Land: “The economic situation in the land is not friendly at all. We just managed to do the ones we have done. This is the big Sallah, to me this the time I extend my hands to the less privileged through my small charity work, but this year I was not able to settle my home, talk more of extending to the needy. I just brought the kids to the park so that they will have the feelings of the festive.”
Halima Sani from Jabi: “Is it not when you have eaten that you can give to others? The economic situation in the country is too harsh, even feeding your immediate family is now a problem. I normally share food with neighbours during festive periods like this but this one is with a difference because I couldn’t. I don’t have the money to do that.”
Emeka Ani resides in Kuje: “It is very obvious that things are biting harder. This is the first time I have seen a sallah whereby I didn’t get any food from my Muslim friends. This is totally different from what I used to know.”
Dauda Abdullahi is a civil servant: “I normally not like spending my sallah outside my home town but this time I decided to remain here in Abuja because my people have called and warned me to remain where I was that the land is not good, meaning that is problem. Instead of staying alone at home, I decided to come to the park to have a feel of what is happening and it is really fun and I enjoyed my day out here.”
Sefiya Alhassan a tailor from Wuse lamented low patronage: “This is usually our season of making money because most people make clothes not only for themselves but also for their loved ones at home. The hardship is really much, I work over night during festive periods but this one even the few people that gave me clothes have not come for their collection due to lack of fund.”
However, traders at the parks and relaxation centres confessed high patronage and wished it would continue. Joy Okehwu, snacks seller said: “This break is very good oh! There is no day that passes without me finishing my stuffs and ordering for another one, how I wish this will continue because the sale is very encouraging.”
Mallam Dogo, a suya dealer also confirmed high patronage and said he has not had it this good for a very long while.