Nigerians qualms now beyond fuel subsidy removal
“The issue has gone beyond fuel subsidy…Nigerians want to know the state of their economy.” This is the response a protesting resident of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja gave WADR when asked why he had joined the street protest.
From all accounts, the grievances being expressed on the streets of Nigeria through protest and a national strike have gone beyond the issue of the fuel subsidy removal.
But the government of President Goodluck Jonathan has maintained that withdrawing the subsidy was necessary, because the government would save some US$8bn to be used to improve infrastructure and provide some basic social services for the Nigerian people.
While the decision to remove the fuel subsidy is very unpopular and Nigerians first want it restored, there are other issues on their lips, as WADR’s Frank Sainworla found out in conversation with some protesting Nigerians on the phone line to Abuja.
First, this Nigerian mother speaks about the serious hardship removal of the fuel subsidy has brought on her family.
Click audio below to listen
Tensions are said to be high in some cities around Nigeria, as the national strike against the removal of fuel subsidy continued on Tuesday, with a wave of street protests.
In Yobe state in the north, at least people were reportedly killed on Tuesday by gunmen who opened fire in a bar.
Several police officers were among the dead.
The attack in Yobe state is the latest in a series that officials blame on the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.
An earlier attack on a mosque and an Islamic school in the southern Benin city is said to have claimed the lives of at least five people.
Christians in churches and other places mainly in the north have also been killed in attacks carried out by Boko Haram militants.
Religious tensions have been growing, as a general strike over rising petrol prices continues to bring economic and social activities to a standstill across Nigeria.
The indefinite strike, which started on Monday has paralyzed the country’s economic and social sectors.
Since the start of the strike, violence has been seen in a number of states.
The capital, Abuja was quiet on the first day of the strike, but yesterday, thousands stormed the streets, blocking roads and chanting anti government slogans to vent out their anger against the fuel subsidy removal.
Martins Martins is WADR’s Abuja Correspondent and click audio below to listen.