Many Muslims in Kano marked the (Eid-el-fitr) Sallah celebration amidst a cash crunch and soaring costs of chicken.
Eid-El-Fitr is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan after the crescent moon has been sighted.
Ramadan is 29 or 30 days of fasting from dawn to dusk for Muslims, it is one of the five pillars of Islam –along with the Shahadah (declaration of faith), Salat (prayer), Zakat (charity), and the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
In Nigeria, most Muslims were looking to celebrate the Eid-El-Fitr on Saturday. Still, Sallah turned out to be Friday after confirmation of sighting the crescent moon in Saudi Arabia.
A cross-section of Muslim faithful interviewed by our correspondent on Friday in Kumbotso Local Government Area (LGA) said they observed the Sallah celebration in a low key because of the high cost of chicken.
Many of them lamented that their plans to celebrate the Sallah have changed in one way or the other due to the unexpected sighting of the crescent moon and prevailing economic hardship.
Aliyu Abubakar, a resident of the Zawachiki section of Kumbotso LGA, lamented that “this Sallah caught me unaware because I was expecting Eid-el-Fitr to be Saturday, but it turned out to be Friday.”
“However, I thank Allah Almighty for sparing my life to witness the festive season. But honestly, the bite of the economic hardship has made the celebration dry as I couldn’t afford enough food items and chicken.”
Another resident at Gaida Diga also in Kumbotso local government area said this year’s Sallah is the worst ever he has celebrated.
He said: “This year’s Eid-el-fitr came with some money challenges. Civil servants have not been paid, there is slow cash flow and a high cost of commodities.
“I went to the market to buy a few chickens and discovered that the cost of a medium one was N6,000
“But Allahamdulilah, I managed what I have to celebrate the Sallah.”
At the Zawaciki Eid prayer ground, thousands of residents, including children who were seen dressed in colourful attires, attended the Eid prayer. This would be followed by a series of durbar, which characterizes Sallah celebrations in Kano.
Kasuwar Yan Kaji, Sabon Titi – Daurayi
On a visit to Kasuwar Yan Kaji at Sabon Titi, Daurayi, Kumbotso LGA on Saturday, it was discovered that there is low patronage of the Kaji “Chicken” but a handful of customers are seen bargaining to beat the prices.
Amina Umar, a mother of 5 trying to buy chicken at the market said: “I bargained but the seller has refused to agree to accept the price I am offering,” adding that the man said a chicken is selling at N6,000; I priced it at N5,200 he refused to sell on the account that it is not profiting to him.
“I will opt for cow meat and buy other items like tomatoes, pepper, and others.
The Sarkin Kasuwar Yan Kaji of Sabon Titi Alhaji Nasiru Sagir Ambato explained the reason behind the high cost.
“We do not wish to inflate the price. The cost of breeding chickens has doubled during this period and rearers would want to make a profit or break even.
“To avoid selling at a loss, most traders add a few Naira to their old stock of chickens to balance the market price.
“And out of compassion, most of these sellers usually record losses.”
Ambato then called on the incoming government at both state and federal levels to influence the economic growth rate by adopting differentiated policies to differentiated needs and subsidizing chicken feeds.