The slaughtering of ram is a hallmark of the Eid-el-Kabir, an important Muslim festival celebrated globally. Muslims believe the Eid-el-Kabir, also known as the “Sacrifice of Feast”, is observed in obedience to Allah’s instruction against offering own’s child as sacrifice.
The belief aside, high prices of rams is a current challenge facing many faithful who engaged in the unenforced practice. This, amid the biting economic situation in Nigerians, may likely overshadow this year’s celebration.
Newsbreak.ng visited some ram markets across Lagos, where buyers and sellers offered different complaints as it personally affects them.
Waziri Tijani Mohammed, 49, the Seriki (leader) of Ilupeju Bypass Ram Market, admitted that rams are currently costlier than they were the previous year.
“The prices increased from what we had last year. This year, sales have gone up, a ram sold for N70,000 last year, now, is N75,000, the one which cost N40,000 last year is N50,000 now. “Smaller rams are selling for between N15,000 to N20,000 while the bigger ones are between N60,000 to N90,000 each”.
Moreover, Mohammed said the cost of transporting the livestock is responsible for the increased prices from that of last year. “We buy our rams from Katsina and Yobe States and transport them at very high costs. Transporters charge N350,000 to N400,000 at N2,000 per head for 200 rams to bring them down to Lagos,” he added.
Another ram seller, Musa Abdullahi, gave a rare insight into why rams are expensive.
“We transport these livestock on very bad roads such as the Niger, Jebba and Ilorin roads, and Kebbi, Kontogora and Sokoto roads.
“I spent three days on the road and by the time we arrived Lagos, many of the livestock had died due to hunger and thirst. We don’t feed the livestock while transporting them until they arrive the seller’s destination. So, sellers tend to share their loses on the surviving rams.
“Just last Friday, a truckload of rams collided with a tanker on Jebba road causing an explosion. All the rams got burnt. Our association has complained to the Federal government about the bad roads, but nothing has been done. We want the government to intervene and fix the bad roads.”
At the Ashade Ram Market, Agege, Mohammed Saleh, echoed the earlier respondents. Although, he blamed the slow patronage by buyers on the economic situation in the country, Saleh said he was certain more buyers would turn up at the market on Friday.
Saleh, from Maiduguri, said: “We bring in these rams from the North, the cost of transporting them down here is expensive and stressful. Some of the rams even die on the way, it’s our loss. The transporters charge us N1,500 for each ram, so it affects our selling price”
Another seller, Usman Mai rago, from Kano state, said some of the customers who are civil servants complained they had not been paid their monthly salary. “Since, the governor, according to civil servants had not paid salary, then we expect him to come and buy rams to share to the civil servants.”
A Muslim faithful, Moshood Hamzat, 47, said the importance of the celebration was worth the pain. “Ileya (Sallah) is not a do or die affair, one buys what he is able to afford. This year I bought N60,000 ram to make my family happy, as a good Muslim. I believe the celebration is important because if not for God’s mercy, I, like other Muslims, might have to offer own children as sacrifices. But God showed Ismail mercy by providing a ram as alternative. So, we do this in remembrance of that day,” he said.
For Rasheed, a buyer who gave one name, slaughtering ram for Eid-el-Kabir is also not a do or die affair. “Slaughtering of rams is not compulsory during Sallah, one can always buy a cow, camel or even chicken depending on pocket size,” he stated.
- Bola kougbe and Bright Bassey
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