Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mass Protests in Nigeria -- Three Pieces

Occupy-Nigeria Los Angeles Protest Scheduled For Jan 14


By SaharaReporters, New York January 11, 2012


Nigerians in Southern California (NISC) have announced

a solidarity meeting for Saturday, January 14 to decry

the oil subsidy removal by the government of President

Goodluck Jonathan


In a statement, today, the group sent a specific

message to Mr. Jonathan, reminding him that "A leader

who demands loyalty, but offers nothing in return

builds tyranny; and tyranny offers nothing but failure.

Empower every citizen, and you will gain strength.

Offer security and justice in the form of liberty,

allowing every citizen to be safe from conviction

without cause or prison without charge - to work, eat,

and live on the sweat of his or her own brow - and you

will be great. Not only will you receive the loyalty of

your people, but their love as well. GEJ, this is your

chance to be great - don't waste it. Lead from the heart."


Describing the hardship that removal of the oil subsidy

removal will bring to the average Nigerian, NISC said

the government should:


-  Revamp all the refineries and build new ones;


-  Provide regular power supply;


-  Provide public transportation systems such as



-  Repair the roads;


-  Eliminate the corruption associated with supply and

distribution of petroleum products in


the downstream sector of the oil industry;


-  Trim excess wages and entitlements allocated to high

government officials;


-  Adhere to the rule of law;


-  Be transparent;


-  Be accountable;


-  Govern well; and


-  Lead by example


Saturday's rally, to which all Nigerians and their

friends are invited, will hold at10 A.M at: 6430 W

Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028-7906 (Near CNN

Building). _______________


Union Workers Protest Abrupt End to Fuel Subsidies in




January 11, 2012


Elizabeth Boomer of the AFL-CIO International Affairs

Department sends us this report.


Protestors rallied outside the World Bank building in

Washington, D.C., yesterday in support of Nigeria's

nation-wide strike opposing the soaring price of fuel.

After the government ended fuel subsidies Jan. 1,

prices doubled overnight. Today in Nigeria, tens of

thousands marched in the streets across the country.


The Washington action was aimed at the international

financial institutions that have long argued against

domestic fuel subsidies in Nigeria where long-term

mismanagement and corruption have forced it to import

70 percent of its fuel, even while it is the 10th

largest producer of crude oil in the world.


The sudden removal of fuel subsidies in Nigeria, where

the majority of people live on less than $2 a day,

affects workers' and families' core economic decisions,

including whether to pay for their children's school

fees this term or to go to the doctor this month.

Higher fuel costs are also expected to raise food

prices in Africa's most populous country, an issue that

could affect an entire region that is suffering from

food price volatility.


President Goodluck Jonathon's government has ignored

calls from Nigerian labor movement and others for

substantive dialogue on the issue. On Jan. 6, a

judicial order was issued to stop the Nigeria Labor

Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria

(TUC) from holding the strike that is now in its second

day. Yesterday, legislators across the political

spectrum held an emergency session in Nigeria's House

of Representatives, calling for the president to

reverse his decision. So far, police response to the

mostly peaceful protests has resulted in the death of

at least one protester and injuries to more than a dozen.


The AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with Nigerian workers

who are peacefully protesting the removal of fuel

subsidies in their country. We strongly condemn all

acts of violence targeted at intimidating and

threatening peaceful protesters.



We Will Hold Presidency Accountable for Actions of its Thugs


Owei Lakemfa, NLC Acting General Secretary &  John Kolawole, TUC Secretary General


January 10, 2012


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union

Congress (TUC) congratulate the Nigerian masses for a

second successful day of strikes, rallies and mass

protests.  The reports from across the country show

that Nigerians remain resolute in their resolve that

the increase in the price of PMS (petrol) of between

N141 and N220 must be reversed to N65.


The Presidency should take a cue from this mass anger

of Nigerians by reversing its anti-people policy on fuel.


By their actions in the past few days, Nigerians have

left the Presidency and the world in no doubt that

sovereignty belongs to them and that they intend to

reclaim their country.


The Presidency's armed thugs


The Labour Movement alerts the country and the world at

large that the government of President Goodluck Ebele

Jonathan has imported armed thugs into Abuja to attack

the anti-fuel price hike protesters.


In a Mubarak-style response to the peoples' protests,

the Jonathan administration brought into Abuja, thugs

armed with various weapons including guns. Those of

them who made an appearance on Abuja streets yesterday

afternoon were former militants and students from

Nasarawa Polytechnic who operated under the banner of

"PDP Transformation Movement".


Clearly, the Presidency had intended to use the police

and army to carry out a planned attacks on peaceful

protesters but due to the outcry over previous murders,

it has opted to use armed thugs. Labour warns the

Presidency that it will be held responsible for

whatever atrocities these thugs commit. If the thugs

attack the anti fuel price hike protesters, the Labour

Movement will be compelled to ask all citizens to march

on Abuja and take the city.


The Jonathan Presidency must wake up to the reality

that Nigerians in their tens of millions have spoken

out across the country against the fuel price hike and

it will do well to listen to the voice of the people.


The nation will recall that the Presidency using a

former militant as front, had on Friday January 6, 2012

employed thugs to invade the NLC headquarters.


With the turmoil in the country created by the

Presidency's insensitive hike in fuel prices, the

Jonathan administration has become the greatest danger

to democracy in Nigeria and the country's well being.


The anti-fuel price hike murders


The country, tragically has witnessed the murder of at

least eight unarmed civilians in the course of the

protests against fuel price hikes.


The Labour Movement has decided to lodge a formal

complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC)

against President Jonathan and Inspector General, Affiz

Ringim for the murder of the protesters in the country.


We want to thank specifically workers and artisans,

market men and women, professional organizations,

especially the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the

Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Civil Society

Organisations, the unemployed, the physically

challenged, students and youths, and religions leaders

who have played fundamental roles in the strikes and

mass protests.


We are also appreciative of the presence of serving and

former members of the House of Representatives at the rallies.


The Labour Movement is confident that a united people

cannot be divided.  We call on Nigerians to continue

the strikes, rallies and protests tomorrow Wednesday

January 11, 2012 and subsequent days until the Jonathan

government listens to the voice of the Nigerian People.



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