Some buyers of ram in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are groaning over “high prices’’ of the sacrificial animal in major markets as the Eid-el-Kabir celebration draws nearer, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The Eid-el-Kabir is an annual Islamic festival of ram sacrifice decreed to able faithful as an act of Ibadah (worship) to Almighty Allah as practiced by Muslims globally.
A NAN correspondent who visited the Deidei livestock market and Dutse market, respectively, reports that the prices of small, average and big rams at both markets ranged between N35,000, N60,000 and N100,000.
NAN reports that some of the buyers expressed dissatisfaction with the high cost of the rams in the markets.
At Dei-dei market, a buyer, who identified himself as Malam Isah Nanono, attributed the situation to the prevailing economic challenges in the country.
Nanono told NAN that he came to purchase a big ram but ended up with a small one because he couldn’t afford his choice due to its high price.
“The one I ended up buying cost me N35,000, while the medium size I wanted to buy went for a negotiable price of N60,000.
“I have visited many ram markets around town but couldn’t buy any because of the high cost, that is why I came here hoping it would be better.
“Many buyers came here and couldn’t afford the rams and they went home disappointed.
“I am appealing to the government to look into the problem or else many Muslims will not be able to afford rams during this Eid-el-Kabir and more to come,” he said.
Another prospective buyer, Mr Rilwanu Isa, said that he could not believe what he was asked to pay for an average sized ram.
According to him, Allah does not put a burden on anyone who couldn’t afford the sacrifice.
He said: “I could not buy and I just had to go back and from all indications, it will be higher in the few days remaining for the festival.
“If Allah permits me to buy, I will come and buy but people must know that Allah has not put a burden on any Muslim who cannot afford a ram.
“If you can afford, good, buy it, and if you can’t, then leave it. It is not a luxury, it is for sacrifice.”
Isa noted that although the traders have their reasons for the high prices, they should also put into consideration the purchasing power of an average income earner, while emphasising that people are only trying to fulfil their religious obligations.
However, Malam Ibrahim Liman, who sells ram at Deidei market, attributed insurgency and high cost of living in the country as some of the major causes for the rise in cost.
He explained that some of them in the business from the north-east have lost their animals to the insurgency and have been forced to import from Niger Republic and Chad, just to remain in the business.
“Bringing rams from these countries can be very expensive, plus one has to transport them to other states, Abuja inclusive.
“I arrived here with some of my boys with the commodity since about a week now, with over 200 rams yet we could only sell a few, not up to 50.
“Buyers come, bargain prices and go without buying because they are also complaining that there is no money in the country, everything in the market has increased in price, not just ram.
“It is not our fault, we did not buy them cheap too and even the ones we reared ourselves are expensive because it is not easy to feed and rear animals for two or more years, it costs money,” he said.
NAN also reports that the Federal Government had declared Aug. 21 and 22 as public holidays to mark the festival. (NAN)