By IHECHUKWU SUNDAY
APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Chairman, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus and several other Nigerian dignitaries have felicitated with the Nigerian Muslim Ummah on the occasion of this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.
In a statement he personally signed, Tinubu called on Muslims to rededicate themselves to the service of God and man, adding: “Let celebrate but may we also dedicate ourselves to greater adherence and obedience to the compassionate and spiritually nourishing commands of Almighty Allah. Celebrate yes, but let us not forget the poor and vulnerable among us. Reach out to give solace and succour to those unable to help themselves. Show brotherly concern and compassion to all.”
Tinubu stressed: “To be a good Muslim is to be a caring and generous human being. The challenges that we face as a nation call upon us to adhere even more closely to Allah’s commands so that we may overcome these challenges and continue to build the just and prosperous society destined for us.
“This Eid, we must, therefore, beseech Almighty Allah to protect the weak, feed the poor and give us the courage and wisdom to subdue and defeat those who would do violence and destruction to the innocent.
We pray for our gallant soldiers and other security agents confronting these agents of evil people. We pray for the unity and stability of this country. Let us also remember President Muhammadu Buhari, our
governors and other leaders in our prayers so that they can continue to confront and surmount the challenges facing this country so that together we can enjoy the benefits of a better Nigeria.”
In his own message, Secondus urged Muslims and all other Nigerians to “intensify prayers for our democracy,” expressing concern at the state of the nation and asking the Muslim Ummah to use “the solemn period of Sallah to present Nigeria’s discomforting situation to Allah for his prompt intervention and mercy.”
According to the PDP boss, “poor leadership is threatening our nationhood and there is need to seek God’s intervention.”
He added that “the blood of thousands of innocent souls being wasted daily in our land at various troubled spots particularly the stress of school children in the North, should be enough mitigation to plead to God to save this country from destruction.”
In the message signed by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, Prince Secondus urged Nigerians to also use the period to offer fervent prayers for the unity and stability of the country which, according to him,” is seriously under threat due to insecurity and biting economic hardship arising from poor leadership.”
“An intense prayer for our dear country has become very necessary more than ever before as our nationhood is in dire need of divine intervention to survive. Our economy is already under severe stress, the currency is loosing value daily, unemployment and inflation rising and the APC leadership does not seem to possess the capacity to confront the challenges'” Prince Secondus agonised, noting that “a solemn period like Sallah coming at this critical time in our national life, provides us with an opportunity to put aside every political, religious and ethnic sentiment and unite against the prevailing challenge of insecurity.”
But, he implored the people not to despair and miss the essence and meaning of Eid-el-Kabir festivity and the divine succour it brings, assuring that there is always light at the end of every tunnel.
Eid-el-Kabir: Muslims express mixed reactions over prices of rams, cows
Meanwhile, Muslims have expressed outrage at the exorbitant prices of ram in the market ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir (Sallah) celebration scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday, no thanks to rising inflation worsened by increasing insecurity in some parts of Nigeria, which has, in turn, affected food production, animal husbandry and other agricultural activities.
The Federal Government, through the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, declared tomorrow and Wednesday public holidays to enable Muslims participate fully in the spiritual exercise so they can fully enjoy the rewards.
While buyers complained about the high prices of ram and cow, the sellers were quick to exonerate themselves from the price attributing it to several challenges, notably, insecurity, cost of transportation, inflation and several other excuses.
“There’s no doubt that the price is significantly above what we used to sell it in the past, but that is not our fault. The economy is seriously not friendly to all. Inflation has caught up with every thing in the market including cattle. That has result in significant hike in prices of goods and services,” a ram seller in Abuja said.
Sani Audu, a cattle seller at Kabusa market said: “The situation in the country is partly responsible for the high cost of cows and rams. Insecurity is a challenge.
“One has to be careful when transporting cattle from the northern part to Abuja. We used to sell an average ram for N30,000 or even less, but today, it is N45,000. You can get a cow for N200,000 now before it was N160,000 to N180,000.
“We did not bring cows and rams to the market for exhibition. We came here to sell. So, buyers should understand with us. If we follow their lamentation we would not make anything.”
Another dealer, Abdulkadir Isa, added: “I must admit that the price of cow has skyrocketed. No thanks to the lingering fracas between herders and farmers. Most of us did not transport cows from the north for the fear of being attacked and stolen. In some situations, we get police escort to help.”
A Muslim faithful, Zainab Yusuf, decried the high cost of ram, adding that she had to contribute money with her neighbours to buy a cow for N275, 000.
According to her, last year, she bought a cow for N200, 000, but wondered the astronomical hike this year.
She said: “I do not know if cow dealers are taking advantage of the celebration to increase the price. Last year, I bought a cow for N200,000. This year, the price has gone up. Whatever is the cause, it should be resolved because most families will definitely go hungry during the celebration.”
The feast of ram sacrifice dates back from the historic event when Prophet Ibrahim was commanded by God, in a dream, to sacrifice his son, Ismail. While he was in the act of sacrificing his son, God sent the Arch Angel Gabriel with a huge ram as ransom.
Gabriel informed Ibrahim that his convenant was fulfilled and instructed him to sacrifice the ram as a ransom for his son. The story is mentioned in Chapter 22:37 of the Holy Qur’an.
Essentially, Islam’s attitude towards ritual slaughter is not that of blood atonement, or seeking favour with God through another’s death, rather, the act of thanking God for one’s sustenance and also personal sacrifice of sharing food with other humans.
Muslims observe the ritual as a way of acknowledging that only Allah has the absolute right to take a life and that they do so as a humble member of Allah’s creation in need of food.”