Nigeria is home to over 80 million Muslims and occasions such as Eid bring communities together for celebrations. At the Millennium Park Garden in Abuja, this year was no exception.
‘It’s an opportunity to meet my fellow tribesmen from all over Nigeria and to take some time off from the cows which is a year-round vocation for us Fulanis,’ said Salihu Joda (below).
Joda joined hundreds of other Fulanis to celebrate this year’s Eid el-Fitr ceremonies which marked the end of the Ramadan fasting for Muslims across the world.
They normally live far away from the people sometimes deep inside forests where they tender to their animals in small communities so whenever they come to Millennium Park for their yearly ritual, they are the centre of attention.
‘This is my 15th year of coming to this place to celebrate without missing a single year. It’s an opportunity for us to see the city centre and our folks from other locations which we haven’t seen in ages,” another reveller Adamu Jidda (below) told me in a short chat.
Both Jidda and Joda live in an Abuja suburb called Pyakasa which is 15km from the capital city. As Fulanis are used to walking several kilometres more finding edible grass for their cows and sheep, the walk to Millennium Park was easy for the duo.
‘As we do every year, we started dancing and singing all the way from Pyakasa before we get to this place where it is like the finale of our celebrations. We always have our radio sets which gives us good Fulani music.’
Joda said every year they come to the place around noon and leave when it’s a bit dark to start their journey back to Pyakasa.
Jidda told me that as long as he’s alive and healthy he’ll continue to visit the Millennium Park for the Eid celebration because it gives him immense joy, mixing with people from other cultures and away from his nomadic lifestlyle for a while.