Eid-ul-Adha, also referred to as festival of sacrifice, is celebrated worldwide every year by Muslims. Attached to it is the slaughtering of rams, cows, sheep, or camels to bring to the fore the giant strides and perseverance of Prophet Ibraheem and his son, Ismail,(May peace and blessings of Allah be on them) in total obedience to Allah and their resilience against the plot of shaytan.
The position of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) also enlivens the creed of Islam on the slaughtering of animals on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah. He had been quoted to have said that nothing in terms of Ibadah (worship) done by Muslims on that day is meritorious as, or have the same leverage as sacrificing ram and shared same among family members, the poor, neighbors and associate on that day. The risen spate of insecurity and the dwindling economy have impacted negatively on the ram market as well as the purchasing power of Muslim faithful. Market survey conducted revealed that the rams were available but with few buyers.
Apart from the fact that many ram markets and other satellite outlets had sprung up in the previous years, especially in Lagos, a large number of them have now gone into extinction this year. This was attributed to the inability of buyers and sellers to gain access to communities and villages to transport these animals to the cities and other parts of the country as a result of the devastating consequence of the banditry activities in these areas. Most sellers it was gathered, also lost several of these animals to different clashes and destruction of properties occasioned by herders/farmers clashes in some part of the country.
It was gathered that the prices of big rams range between N185,000 to N190,000; small rams which were sold for N40,000 last year are now going for N85,000 to N90,000. The medium size which were sold for between N50-60,000 last year, is now going for N100,000-N120,000 representing 100% increase.
According to one of the sellers in popular Agege ram market, Alhaji Fasasi “ We have only few supply as compared to last year. The prices are higher and people complain. Many are just coming in to compare prices. I believe the security situation contributed to the low patronage and sales.
Corroborating the position of Alhaji Fasasi, Mr. Toyin Shoyebo another seller at Kara Market noted: “There is no doubt that the chunk of the rams come from the north where insecurity in the form of banditry, farmer/herders’ clashes, ethnic unrest and Boko Haram insurgency have destroyed farming and business activities. Debates whether or not to give the nod to open grazing is still abound. All these factors would definitely affect the rearing of more rams, cows and other livestock as well as the prices of the few ones.
Some of the few buyers available lamented that they had expended so much money this year on the purchase of rams and cows, despite the paucity of funds, adding that propelled them is obedience to Allah and the reward inherent in it.
Another seller, Alhaji Abdulwasi noted that “It is not a hidden fact that the price of almost everything had gone up. These animals are mostly from the northern part of the country and their dealers are also affected by high cost of materials, expensive feeding of the animals, difficulty in getting access to water, bad roads, purchase of trucks would no doubt affect the prices”.