Tuesday, 10 January 2012

We Want a Life!

There is however a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue
-Edmund Burke

Nigeria fuel protests: A man carries a placard during a demonstration

Everyone has a breaking point no matter how resilient a person might be.

For years the Nigerian people have endured untold economic hardship: high unemployment, bad roads, a lack of security, erratic power supply and poor living conditions. All they have had to ride on is the false hope embedded in grandiose government promises that are dished out year after year.

However yesterday Nigerians united as one big family as people took to the streets in a massive protest that ground activities nationwide to a halt.

Nigeria fuel protests: Protesters gather at Gani Fawehinmi square in Lagos

Young, old, rich and poor united to protest against the removal of fuel subsidies by the government that has caused the price of fuel to rocket - a litre of fuel sells for more than twice the original price.

 The Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress flagged off strikes yesterday demanding the reinstallment of subsidies.

Demonstrations continued for a second day today. Here are more photos curtsey guardian.co.uk

Nigeria fuel protests: A minibus carries protestors through Lagos

Nigeria fuel protests: Demonstrators march through Ikorodu road in Lagos

Nigeria fuel protests: Angry youths set up burning barricades in Lagos

Nigeria fuel protests: Demonstrators gather at a barricade at Gwagwalada

Nigeria fuel protests: A protester waves a flag on an empty road

Nigeria fuel protests: A police armoured vehicle


  1. Wow Nigerians! Yes oh, hunger has united us at last! And we are doing absolutely brilliantly. For as Bob Marley said 'A hungry man is an angry man'! At the moment while I am all out in admiration, at the same time I am in fear...
    Fear that this government will simply ignore our voices and we will become too hungry to hold out...
    Fear that as usual some people will simply see the occassion as an opportunity to butter their bank accounts through compromise rather than sticking it out and bringing permanent change to the nation...
    Fear that some fools will decide to misuse and abuse the occassion by killing and pouring innocent blood thereby bringing judment on us all-for dead people are not numbers, they are destinies forfeited and families mourning...
    But I am praying for us Nigeria and I am tremendously proud...
    My last request is please citizens of other nations, step forth and speak to the governments of your countries (USA, the EU, Japan and ors) to leave us alone...
    While they will ignore the suffering of the Nigerian people, they will listen to the voices of their own citizens.

  2. Dlaw, thank you for a robust response. Yes, sabotage is a fear. But this is the first time, in a very long time, that Nigerians are standing up for their rights.

    Even if opportunists cash in on the situation, a point has been made.

  3. Well well, this is what you get when the greedy politicians overstretch the general populous to its breaking point. I truly didnt know Nigerians had this in them.

    All the blame must go to GLD for his hapless, toothless and delusional government. While Removal of the fuel subsidy is a good thing, the process which he decided to go about it was not only arrogant but naive. Like any addict, you get withdrawal symptom when you decide to stop completely all at once the unhealthy subsidy.

    The solution is relatively simple. Restore Nigerians faith in our government by ensuring security for all citizen starting by clamping down on boko haram, return 80% of the subsidy and develop alternative transportation such as trains. Also invest in our refineries, its a shame Nigeria, the "giant of Africa" cannot refine its crude oil.

  4. @Chuksrant, well said. You cannot withdraw subsidies without providing the most basic amenities. I'm also very proud of Nigerians & the stance they have taken.

    Thanks for the comment.

  5. Just as Dlaw said, the foreigners have destroyed their economy and have made Nigeria their next target. This was the same thing Tunde Bakare said on Monday.

    As the government have made us to believe, they removed subsidy so as to improve infrastructure. If truly this was their motive, they should have first improved the amenities before removing subsidy. This way, they wouldn't have triggered so many curses and blood shed.

    The only thing that would make the government come out is if they realize that they are on longer in control. The way I see it, this strike may not last for so long because people's pockets are drying up (at least mine is). Another strategy which might be effective is for the NLC to divide the week in two. Three days for work and and 4 days for strike. This way, the NLC takes control, we get to eat and the governments still loses its billions. Liberia and Libya fought for a long time before the world heard them, we can't stop now.

  6. Lanre, that was just my thought. The government has stuck to its guns because it knows it is just a matter of time before people's pockets run dry and they are forced to go back to work.
    But this is a golden opportunity we need to seize & hopefully things will move forward when the people's power holds out.
    Above all we just need to pray that God will steer things in our favour.

    Thanks for the fantastic comment.