The cost of fuel in Nigeria more than doubled on January 1st as the controversial decision by President Jonathan’s government to remove the fuel subsidy was finally implemented. Protests broke out throughout the country.
In the commercial capital, Lagos, protesters shut down petrol stations, formed human barriers across motorways and hijacked buses as police used riot control tactics to control them. At least one person has been killed in what Vanguard newspaper called the “spontaneous mass protests”. In Kano hundreds of protesters occupied the city centre forcing traffic gridlock and the security forces responded “with maximum force” Vanguard said.
Protesters displayed anti-government placards, which read, “99.9 per cent of Nigerians say no subsidy removal”; “N65 per litre or revolution;” ” we reject this wicked new year gift,” “deregulation is not the answer, build more refineries,” “Okonjo Wahala, [Finance Minister] IMF agent, leave now”, “Jonathan: Tunisia revolution can happen here”, and “Power belongs to the people.”
Trade Union leaders from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), have called a national strike for January 11th to protest the move, This Day reported.