Turmoil continues in Africa’s most populous nation as thousands took to the streets to protest the removal of fuel subsidies, as the price of gas doubled overnight.
Shops, schools, offices and business are closed as Nigerians went on an indefinite strike to protest the removal of fuel subsidies which kept prices affordable. In Lagos, 10,000 protesters clashed with police over the quickly rising prices. And in In Kano, more than 30 people were injured as police fired tear gas into the crowd to disperse protesters.
Although President Goodluck Jonathan said the subsidy had to be removed because it was “unsustainable,” many feel that the price increase is unfair considering most Nigerians live on less than $2 a day.
One protester, Joseph Adekolu told the Associated Press, “Our leaders are not concerned about Nigerians. They are concerned about themselves.”
The fuel subsidy ended January 1 and many Nigerians are upset that more of the country’s residents do not share in its oil-driven wealth. The increase in oil prices has also affected the price of other basic necessities such as food, transportation, and energy, making things even difficult for many Nigerians.
These strikes come at a time when the country is also on the verge of civil war. Sectarian violence has been rampant throughout the country, with both Muslims and Christians participating in attacks. Recently Islamist militant group Boko Haram carried out several deadly attacks against Christians, and on Monday a crowd attacked a mosque in Benin city injuring more than 40 people.