Some residents of Abuja have blamed the low-key 2016 Eid-el Kabir celebration on the current economic recession in the country
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigerian who went around some parks in the FCT reports that the usual hustling and bustling associated with the celebration was lacking.
The residents said in separates interviews that the low-key celebration and low turnouts he to the parks by fun seekers was because of the current economic recession.
At Water Fountain Park, Kado, Dauda Ibrahim, a resident who was there with his children said the economy was not favourable for elaborate celebration.
“It is no longer news that the country is in recession; therefore, I do not expect people to have elaborate celebration in this year’s Eid-El-Kabir celebration.
“There are people who cannot afford to buy ram for the sacrifice; some of them went to the market and bought meat to celebrate with their families.
“I pray that the country overcome this recession because; it is not easy; people are suffering and with the situation you don’t expect people to celebrate,” Mr. Ibrahim said.
Another fun seeker at the park, Suleiman Mohammed, a civil servant, said he came to the park with his children to make them feel the joy of Sallah.
Mr. Mohammed said it was regrettable that inflation was on a steady rise and people would prefer to have a low-key than an elaborate celebration.
“The money is not even there; what my salary can afford some years ago, it can no longer afford; it just unfortunate that things are like this.
“The low turnout to the park is not a surprise, some schools have resumed and some will soon resume; parents will prefer to pay children’s’ school fees than spending for Sallah.
“However, I pray that the government will do something very fast to cushion the effect of the hardship in the country,” Mr. Mohammed said.
At the children play ground in Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Maitama, Yahaya Iliya said he came there to play with his children.
According to him, there is suffering in the land and thus most people cannot buy ram thereby resulting to buying beef to eat with their families.
“However, the most important thing in the Eid-el Kabir celebration is the act of sacrifice and tolerant.
“We should not allow the hardship in the country to take away our willingness to sacrifice for one another and to live in peace with one another.
“The current economic situation is unfortunate, but we should be optimistic that it shall be well, and the country will be great again,” Mr. Iliya said.
At River Plate Garden in Wuse II, few fun seekers where seen sitting on mats and playing ludo and card games.
One of the fun seekers, John Oche, a trader at Wuse Market, corroborated Ibrahim and Mohammed’s position that the celebration was low-key.
“I can count the people in this park; no money, dollar is out of reach and the market is a `no go area’ because of daily increase in the price of goods.
“Everything is upside down; I don’t know where this country is going to; how can people celebrate when there is no means to celebrate.
“The government should be more focus in addressing the current challenges so that people can celebrate with smiles on their faces,’’ Oche said.
The low-key situation was not different at Magic Land Amusement Park located near the City Gate.
Peter Okoh, the Manager of the park said that turnout of fun seekers to the park was low.
“Last year’ festivities, a lot of people came here to have fun; but this year especially this Eid-El-Kabir celebration the turnout is low.
“Though I am not surprised because the economic situation is biting hard on the people. Nevertheless, we thank God for everything; we only pray that things get better for all Nigerians,” Mr. Okah said.
Sa’adu Iliya, who sells `Suya’ at the `Arewa Suya spot’ in the park said that patronage was low compare to previous celebrations.
He said during 2010 festivities, patronage was high.
“I made a lot of sales, but this Eid-el- Kabir, the sells are very low; but we thank Allah for his mercies and love.”