Boy in ‘calm down’ viral video inspires Sanwo-Olu’s Sallah message
• Worshipers gear up for low-key Eid-el-Kabir, thankful for being alive amid COVID-19
• LAWMA seeks proper waste disposal
AS Nigerians join the rest of the world tomorrow to mark Eid-el-Kabir (Sallah), also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday said the boy in a viral video begging his mother to ‘calm down’ while punishing him for an offence he committed inspired his special Sallah message to Lagosians because of the deeper meaning it conveys.
The boy was seen in a video, which left social media users laughing, appealing to his mother to “calm down and rest a little,” while begging her to pardon and give him a last chance.
Sanwo-Olu said: “Fellow Lagosians, we need to ‘calm down’ as we enjoy the coming holiday and festivity. It is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s heart of sacrifice and faith in Allah. We need to emulate and demonstrate his sense of self- restraint at this time the world is combating the scourge of #COVID19. We need to be moderate in our celebration and observe prescribed protocols towards defeating the deadly coronavirus. I urge every Lagosian to ‘calm down’ and not get carried away.
“As an aside, I would like to meet the young boy since we both now have exclusive rights to the phrasal verb ‘calm down’.” Eid-el-Kabir falls on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah – the 12th and last month of the Muslim calendar. Like the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations observed on May 24, the Festival of Sacrifice will receive the treatment given to the former, getting stripped of the regular glitz and glamour of congregational prayers and feasts due to the new normal (coronavirus pandemic).
From Lagos, Abuja to Sokoto, Adamawa, Kano and the rest of the states, most faithful will be cautious of celebrating with utmost consideration of the safety guidelines at a time the coronavirus pandemic has created a situation where normalcy has become abnormal.
With the disruptions caused by the pandemic to both social and economic lives of Nigerians, worshipers look forward to a bleak Sallah. Already, it is strange that hours before the celebration, the stench of cow dungs and the bleating of rams is absent in many neighbourhoods. Even the customary ram fighting carnivals have faded into distant memory. This is coupled with the hike in the price of foodstuff, cost of transportation and the hassles of Eid shopping in Lagos Island occasioned by the intermittent market opening due to COVID-19 and partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge.
Mr Olatunde Alabi, secretary, Oshodi Motor Park, said: “As a Muslim, I am not happy with the fact that there won’t be Eid prayer due to the pandemic, but all the same, we give glory to God for sparing our lives. 2020 has been a trying year to so many, but we still have to be happy and celebrate with our loved ones.”
Musa Bala, a cattle seller in Daru Salam yard, Idi Araba, said: “Sallah is usually our peak period in the year when we make good money, but it is not so this year. Everything is so bad. Even transporting the rams to Lagos is an ordeal plus the hike in the feeds, which has increased from N5,000 to N9,000. How much are we then going to sell the rams and where are even the buyers?”
For Aderemi Adesola, this year’s Sallah has been ruined, “but regardless, we thank God for life. This pandemic has taken lots of lives; we see cases multiplying each day, meaning it is not a time to let down our guard in maintaining social and physical distancing. My family and I will not be a victim because of any celebration.”
Another worshipper, Mr Akinola Dada, said: “Beyond the low-key celebration, what we need is collective prayer. Nigerians should make it a point of duty to pray so that God would intervene and take away the pandemic. My belief is that God may because of one person’s prayer remove COVID-19, let alone when many people come together to pray. We have all seen that it is only God who can set us free from this pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has called on residents to properly dispose of their domestic wastes during and after the celebrations. The authority stressed that adequate measures had been put in place to ensure that the celebration was observed in a filth-free environment, as waste evacuators have been mandated to work round the clock to clean up the city.
LAWMA, in a statement by its Assistant Director (Public Affairs), Akinleye Hakeem Kayode, called on residents to patronise only their assigned PSP operators and shun cart pushers. It also expressed its resolution to stamp out all forms of improper waste disposal in the metropolis, which has resulted in environmental degradation.
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