Food fairs, music performances and games, among other attraction, were part of activities that thrilled Nigerians across the country during the Eid el-Kabir celebration.
In Federal Capital Territory, in continuation of the celebrations on Wednesday, the residents were seen in several parks around the city networking, sampling food and enjoying entertainment displays with their families.
At Tobix Parks and Gardens, Jahi, where “Eid Fest’’ took place, barbeques, roasted plantains, and other finger foods were available for revelers to purchase and share with their families.
Guests were also treated to energetic musical performances by some Abuja-based artistes, including Deco Suave, Edwizzonetouch, Balleh and Bivins.
Some respondents noted that the clement weather made Wednesday’s celebrations an improvement over Tuesday’s.
Taofeek Seun, a website developer who came with his group of friends, said that the celebrations were needed to take a break from work routine.
“We get entangled with work and forget to hang out with our friends and this event is a nice opportunity to do that.
“And it is good that the weather is favourable to outdoor events today or maybe we would not have been able to connect here,’’ Seun said.
Food vendors at the event noted that sales were steady, adding that they expected a sellout at the end of the day to make up for Tuesday’s losses.
Mercy Ojuekwe, who sold small chops, said, “the sales have been very good and we expect more people to come out since the rain disrupted a lot of events yesterday.’’
At Central park, Wuse, where a grand “Sallah picnic’’ took place, fun seekers swayed to music as the body painting, paint balling and food competition went on.
Families bonded over the group games and drinking competitions while the children used the bouncing castle and went kart racing.
Respondents who spoke with NAN expressed their satisfaction at the timeliness of the holiday, noting that it helped them bond with families and friends they had not contacted in a long time.
Rukayat Sanni, a make-up artist who visited the park with her cousins, said, “I am having a lot of fun here especially as I have not seen my cousins in a while.
“I am very happy they decided to spend the Sallah here and this picnic is a perfect opportunity to create memories during the holiday,’’ Sanni said.
Similarly, Kitan Olakunle, a student noted that the celebrations gave him time to unwind from school stress and spend time with his friends.
He said “I love that the atmosphere here has a lot of energy but also gives the room for us to be with our families.
“It is lovely to be able to take a break from school to spend time with childhood friends and family members.’’
In Makurdi, most celebrators visited Morique Amusement Park near the Makurdi Old Bridge, NorthBank, to catch some fun.
Some of the fun-seekers who spoke with NAN said that the break afforded them the opportunity to relax.
Mrs Shamseer Adamu, a business woman, said that the long break gave her opportunity to bond and to spend quality time with her family in the park.
“The nature of my work does not give me the chance to come to places like this with my family; am happy for this Sallah celebration.
“You can see a lot of people here enjoying themselves, my family and I are also doing the same thing; we are happy,’’ she said.
Similarly, Hajia Hussaina Mohammed, who came with her four children, said that the spirit of Sallah celebration could be felt in the park.
Also at Dexters Eateries, located in the low-level roundabout Markurdi, families in their numbers had fun eating and playing indoor games.
At the Tito Yoghurt gate, youths in their hundred visited the place, dancing, playing and watching movies.
But in Enugu, some commercial drivers expressed concern about what they described as low patronage as the Eid el-Kabir celebration continued.
Mr Ibekwe Ugwu, a bus driver at Amaechi Motor Park, said that the celebration had made most residents, especially the students and civil servants to remained at home.
“In this park, we depend mostly on students and workers who ply our route for their daily activities but the long holiday of the Eid el-Kabir has reduced the number of passengers in the park,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Eminike Ekwo at Garki Park, Enugu, explained that getting passengers was difficult because many had travelled to celebrate the holiday with their family.
“Not many are travelling from Enugu today, so we hardly get passengers to fill our buses because those who travelled at the beginning of the holiday have yet to return,’’ he said.
Mrs Vera Ani, one of the passengers, who was travelling to Oji-River, said that passengers were scarce due to the holiday, observing that she had spent more than 30 minutes waiting for the bus to get filled.
“Buses going to Nsukka easily get filled up with passengers during work days without waiting so long but because of the Eid el-Kabir celebration, everywhere including the parks is with few people around,’’ she said.
In Benin, picnickers deserted recreational centres due to prolonged that started as early as 5a.m.
NAN correspondent who went round some of the centres observed that very few persons were seen around the centres.
“This rain is a serious concern to our business this holidays, there is seven no sign that it will ease soon with the way it is going,’’ a worker in a centre, who simply identified himself as Abel, said.
In Ibadan, as part of activities to mark Eid el-Kabir, some National Assembly members called on Nigerians to remain committed to the unity and progress of the country.
Sen. Abdulfatai Buhari (APC-Oyo North) urged Nigerians to be honest and remain committed to the progress of the nation.
He called on the Muslim faithful to live according to the dictates of Islam which emphasised selfless service to humanity.
The lawmaker called on Nigerians to pray for the nation and political leaders, particularly the president, his cabinet, the National Assembly and other political office holders.
Also, Rep. Abiodun Olasupo(ADC-Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa), urged Muslims to pray fervently for the progress and unity of Nigeria as well as its leaders.
Olasupo called on the people to be faithful to God and be steadfast in faith, advising them to imbibe the lessons of sacrifice, faith and total obedience to the will of God as demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim.
Also, Prof. Gbemiga Adewale, the Provost, Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, felicitated with Muslims across the world.
He called on Muslims to continue to demonstrate faith and love as exhibited by Prophet Ibrahim, admonishing them not to relent in their prayers to change things for the better.