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[Special Report] Sallah: Nigerians go for alternatives as prices of rams, foodstuffs, others skyrocket

The Eid-el- Kabir is a sacred month in Islam, one in which Muslims perform the Ḥajj (Holy Pilgrimage) as well as observe the Festival of Sacrifice.

Eid-ul-Adha also referred to as the festival of sacrifice, is celebrated worldwide by Muslims and is marked with the slaughtering of rams, cows, and sheep. In Muslim parlance, the festival is the most important feast in the Muslim calendar because it is an occasion to celebrate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, in submission to Allah’s command.

However, for most Nigerian Muslims, this year’s celebration scheduled to commence on Tuesday (today) may be devoid of the usual pomp and pageantry no thanks to the skyrocketed prices of foodstuff, cows, rams and other items needed to celebrate the festival., TNG reports that prices of food items have been on the high side lately. Nigerians have continually groaned and tasked government to provide urgent solutions before people take to crime as a means of survival.

A survey of the ram market in Lagos saw prices pegged between N120,000 to N400,000. As if that is not enough, prices of alternatives (frozen fish and chicken), as well as rice and tomatoes, are also hitting the roof.

Don’t kill your yourself, go for alternatives if you can’t afford ram – Cleric

“When The Desirable is Not Available, The Available Becomes Desirable!,” these were the words of a popular Islamic cleric in the Alimosho axis of Lagos State when asked why he did not stock his house as usual with rams and other items to commemorate this year’s eid-el-Kabir.

“You see the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did not in any portion of the Quran force it on Muslims to go out of their way when it is not comfortable for them to sacrifice cows or rams to mark Eid-el-Kabir. You can and should do it when it is convenient for you. We all are witnesses to how expenses things particularly anything food is in Nigeria today. So should I go and start borrowing from people or force it on them to buy what they cannot afford? By the grace of the Almighty Allah, this is will not be our last sallah. What we cannot do this year, we will do more next year. And like the popular saying goes: “When The Desirable is Not Available, The Available Becomes Desirable!,” So I go for alternatives and advice other Muslims to do same to avoid running into debts.”

Where there is food inflation – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari while admitting the ugly trend of food inflation on Monday blamed it on flooding, middlemen, COVID-19 and insecurity.

“Apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods, middlemen have also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians, thereby undermining our goal of supporting local food production at affordable prices,” the President was quoted as saying.

“COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economies of all countries, including Nigeria, in addition to the fact that floods have caused large scale destruction to agricultural farmlands, thereby impacting negatively on our efforts to boost local production in line with our policy to drastically reduce food importation.

“No government in our recent history has invested as heavily as we are doing to promote local production of about 20 other commodities, through the provision of loans and several other forms of support to our farmers.”

Speaking on the deteriorating insecurity in the country, Buhari lamented that it “has produced severe and adverse effects on agriculture because farmers are prevented from accessing their farms by bandits and terrorists.

“Let me also use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that we are taking measures to address our security challenges. We have started taking delivery of fighter aircraft and other necessary military equipment and hardware to improve the capacity of our security forces to confront terrorism and banditry.”

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