Residents of Damboa and Maiduguri say they are not doing much to prepare for the Eid al-Fitr celebrations because the economic downturn, high cost of living and rising inflation have made it difficult for them to feed themselves on a daily basis let alone to prepare for the Islamic festival which begins at sundown on May 13.
Kolokolo Mahinta, a resident of Damboa, said she had started preparing for the Eid celebrations even though none of her children had Salah (prayer) clothes because of the increase in the price of material for clothes and veils and the hike in sewing charges.
“My children were asking me about their Eid clothes but I don’t know what to tell them. Their father is battling with what we can afford to eat now – he is not even thinking about clothes for Eid. They are children. They don’t know what is happening in the world. Things have changed. I told them that their elder brothers will help buy clothes for them if they get money,” she said.
Mahinta said this year’s Eid celebrations would not be like others.
“There is simply not enough money to spend on Eid. We need money to live now,” she said.
Ya Zara Modu, a resident of Damboa, said this year’s Eid celebrations would be “bittersweet”. They were fasting but there was no money to prepare and celebrate Eid.
“I am a woman with two children, no job, no market and no money; this year’s Ramadan has been difficult because we do not have money now to buy nutrient-rich foodstuff for when we break the fast when the suns sets. How can I buy Salah clothes for my children?”
Fanna Mala, a resident of Maiduguri, said she had not bought anything for Eid yet because her husband did not have a job and there was no money to celebrate.
“I can’t put pressure on him to provide Salah snacks or new clothes. I know he would do it if he could. But we just do not have the means this year. It is going to be a strange Eid,” she said.
Maiduguri resident Halima Goni, a mother of two, said the hike in the price of commodities was “just too much”.
“I can’t prepare anything for Eid because the price for everything has increased. Only the rich can afford to celebrate.”
She said women needed to be patient with their husbands because it was not their fault that the prices had increased to such an extent. Only one person interviewed by RNI had prepared for Eid. Rahima Mohammed of Mafoni in Maiduguri said she had bought everything the family needed for Eid and she was excited and looking forward to celebrating the festival.
- Eid means “festival” or “feast” in Arabic. Eid al-Fitr is a three-day festival and it means “the feast of breaking the fast”. During Ramadan Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown for a month. In addition, they are encouraged to forgive and seek forgiveness. For Eid, special sweet dishes are prepared at home and gifts are given to children and to those in need.