Nigeria: Protest against removal of fuel subsidy enters day five

By Shout-Africa Nigeria Correspondent Chinyere Ogbonna – The nationwide strike embarked upon the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC, the Civil Society Organisations and various professional groups like the Nigeria Bar Association, (NBA), various youth and women groups to protest the removal of fuel subsidy by the Nigerian government has continued into day five.

The protest train has been moving from one location to another across the country. In Lagos south-west Nigeria and elsewhere in the country people have been protesting against the fuel subsidy withdrawal by the Dr. Jonathan led administration.

So far there has been a hundred percent compliance in the sit at home order called by the labour unions. Economic activities across Nigeria have been grounded and reports say the country is losing trillions of naira daily.

Nigerians are saying enough is enough! Although the Economic team of this administration is saying that the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy is in the interest of the average Nigerian on the streets, they are saying that they can no longer believe in the Nigerian leaders as many past leaders failed to deliver in their promises and that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration will not be an exception.

It will be important to note that although the fuel subsidy withdrawal though sparked of the nationwide mass protest, Nigerian masses are using this opportunity to tell the leadership of the country that they can no longer take the people granted. They are saying that Nigerians are tired of the country’s leadership lip service over the fight against corruption which they said has eaten deep into the fabrics of Nigerians. They argue that rather than kill Nigerians, the leadership should be more concerned with dealing with the menace of corruption, problem of insecurity confronting the nation and other challenges facing the country than kill the populace with their incessant fuel hikes.

This was shown in placards with various inscriptions like “Kill corruption and not Nigerians”. They want President Jonathan to prosecute all present and former public office holders who have been accused of corruption, make public the cabals who have been benefiting from the fuel subsidy and make all the refineries in the country operational so that importation of fuel will stop.

They also want the government to create jobs for the teaming unemployed youths across the country. Meanwhile, the labour union has suspended street protest to enable Muslims participate in their weekly worship, while still urging Nigerians to remain at home pending the outcome of a meeting between labour leaders, the civil society groups and the leadership of the Nigerian senate scheduled to hold tomorrow.