With less than a week to the Eid El-Kabir festival, preparations for the annual event have reached feverish pitch in Katsina State with many ram traders hawking the animals in the state capital and surrounding towns of Batsari, Malumfashi, Charanchi, Jibia , Daura and Funtua, among others.
Many traders from other parts of the country, especially from Ilorin, Ibadan and Lagos, were also seen combing surrounding towns and villages in Katsina in search of cheap rams which they intended to resell in their respective states.
Investigation showed that prices of rams as well as other consumables, commonly used during the festival, were still stable as of press time.
Prices of rams in Katsina ranged between N24,000 and N65,000, depending on the size and the bargaining power of the buyer.
A ram seller, who gave his name as Kasali Yekini from Ibadan, said he and his colleagues, some of who were from Lagos, had been to Batsari, Maiadua, Charanchi, Baba-mutummu and Kongwolam towns, in search of cheap rams.
Yekini declined to disclose how much he purchased the rams, declaring only that “the market is fair.”
Investigation also showed that a bag of the popular Tomato brand of rice still cost N12,500 while a 25-litre vegetable oil went for N10,200.
Bus fares to Lagos, Abuja and Kaduna ranged from N6,000;N3,000 to N1,700, although there were indications that they might go up on the eve of the festival.
An official of the state chapter of National Union of Roads Transport Workers Union, who begged for anonymity, however, ruled out fare hike during the festival, insisting that the union frowned on it during the period.
Many passengers were seen at the central motor park, travelling out of the city for the celebration.