FEDERAL Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, residents yesterday celebrated a low-key Eid-el Kabir holiday, blaming it on the nation’s recession.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the usual revelling associated with the celebration was lacking in FCT.
Residents, in separate interviews, noted that the low celebration, and poor turnout at parks was because of the recession.
At Water Fountain Park, Kado, Dauda Ibrahim, a resident, who was with his children, told NAN that the economy did not favour an elaborate celebration.
“It is no longer news that the country is in recession. Therefore, I do not expect people to have an elaborate celebration at this year’s Eid-El-Kabir.
“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,” 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.
Mohammed said it was regrettable that inflation was on a steady rise, and people would prefer to have a low-key, rather than an elaborate celebration.
“The money is not even there; what my salary can afford some years ago, it can no longer afford; it’s 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 school fees than spending for Sallah.
“However, I pray that the government will do something to cushion the effect of the hardship,’’ Mohammed said.
At the children’s playground in Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Maitama, Malam 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 rams.
“However, the most important thing in the Eid-el Kabir celebration is the act of sacrifice and tolerance.
“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 economic situation is unfortunate, but we should be optimistic that it shall be well and the country will be great again,’’ Iliya said.
At River Plate Garden in Wuse II, few fun seekers were seen sitting on mats and playing Ludo and Whot 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; how can people celebrate when there is no means to celebrate.
“The government should be more focus in addressing the 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, near the City Gate.
Mr. Peter Okoh, the manager, said turnout of fun seekers was low.