By Moshood Adebayo
Barely 72 hours to this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, price of rams may force some Muslims to rethink the obligation of slaughtering rams.
This was even as many civil servants in the state lamented the ‘tough’ situation.
Daily Sun’s visit to many ram markets in the state, which include Gbagada, Agege, Ijora and Meiran, showed that while rams abound plentiful, there is low patronage.
Barely three days to the festival, only few customers were seen trying to purchase the sacrificial animals.
A ram seller at the Gbagada Ram Market, Abdullah Mahmud, said he had recorded low patronage since he arrived the state two weeks ago.
“I pray things improve more than this or else, I will regret investing in rams this year,” and added that although rams were available, which he claimed were bought at exorbitant prices, buyers were not forthcoming.
Mahmud’s views were also corroborated by another ram seller at Agege, Mangoe, who attributed the low patronage to fall in United States dollar, which he said has affected virtually everything in the country.
According to him, many prospective buyers complained about prices of rams, which range between N40,000, N85,000 and N120,000 respectively.
“As much as we are concerned with the prices, which our customers have described as high, we are also forced to sell at such prices because of many factors, including transportation,” he said.
Another ram seller, Kabir Razaq at the Kara Ram Market, Berger attributed the rise in prices to cost of breeding and feeding the animal as well as security challenges in the northern part of the country.
“We are not making much profit in the business as many people think because transportation and cost of rearing the animals have also increased considerably,” Razaq said.
A customer, Alhaji Mogaji said much as it is obligatory for a faithful Muslim to slaughter a ram during Sallah, he will not do things beyond his power.
“I will not steal to serve my God. I have tried severally in the past few days to buy a ram, but, the price is beyond my reach. I canot because of Sallah celebrations not pay my children’s school fees which I even consider more important because of their future.”
Meanwhile, some civil servants in the state have described this Sallah as the worst festive period in recent time.
They spoke against the backdrop of cash crunch, which they feared might prevent them from buying the sacrificial animals.
They also lamented that the usual assistance they receive from government was no longer there.