According to reports from the Associated Press, The First Lady of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan has ordered the arrest of Protesters demonstrating against the government and demanding that they find the 234 abducted girls kidnapped by Boko Haram almost 4 weeks ago.
More troubling than the fact that the protesters are potentially arrested is the fact that the first Lady has the authority to order an arrest of any individual. Does the office of the First Lady come with that power? It is also worth noting that these protests have been very peaceful and there hasn’t been a violent incident recorded.
Yesterday in a televised media chat, the first lady broke down into tears while discussing security issues surrounding the abductions.
A leader of a protest march for 276 missing schoolgirls said that Nigeria’s First Lady ordered her and another protest leader arrested Monday, expressed doubts there was any kidnapping and accused them of belonging to the Islamic insurgent group blamed for the abductions.
Saratu Angus Ndirpaya of Chibok town said State Security Service agents drove her and protest leader Naomi Mutah Nyadar to a police station Monday after an all-night meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja, the capital. She said police immediately released her but that Nyadar remains in detention. The national police spokesman referred a journalist to the spokeswoman for police in Abuja. Reached on the phone, the spokeswoman said she was driving and could not immediately respond.
Ndirpaya says First Lady Patience Jonathan accused them of fabricating the abductions. “She told so many lies, that we just wanted the government of Nigeria to have a bad name, that we did not want to support her husband’s rule,” she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
She said other women at the meeting cheered and chanted “yes, yes,” when Mrs. Jonathan accused them of belonging to the Boko Haram terrorist network. “They said we are Boko Haram, and that Mrs. Nyadar is a member of Boko Haram.” She said Nyadar and herself do not have daughters among those abducted, but are supporting the mothers of kidnapped daughters.
The mass abduction and failure to rescue the girls now in a fourth week of captivity is a source of deep embarrassment to Jonathan and his government, which is accused of insensitivity to the girls’ plight and not doing enough to rescue them.
It’s no secret, the streets of Nigeria have been deserted and protest in many parts of the country have been met with larger and larger numbers as the days go by.
The NLC met with the President last night and no agreement has been met yet as both parties are holding their ground solidly. With that deadlock, the strike continues for a 5th straight day and analysts have estimated about N1 trillion has been lost over the past 4-5 days of nation-wide strike.
All local flights have been grounded and a lot of international flights have been cancelled with passengers stranded in airport and in some instances passengers have been sleeping at the airport to get the latest information on outgoing flights.
In all likelihood the NLC is ready to go as long as it takes to get the fuel subsidy reinstated partially or in full, so we might continue to see these strikes into next week.
Image Source: LindaIkeji.com
I have been one of those in favour of the removal of fuel subsidies. However for most Nigerians the problem is not that they don’t understand the logic of spending wisely. The problem is they don’t trust the government to do so. The government has used these tricks in the past and there really is no reason to believe they are serious about investing now. As popular as the protests are, and I support them, the only tangible plan I’ve seen involves returning to N65 per liter, reducing the cost of governance, plugging holes in oil sector and provide power. The N65 is popular however the rest are all pretty vague. Almost as vague as the government SURE plan.
I have therefore decided to try to contribute by coming up with a plan that doesn’t require people trusting the government. This is a plan to replace the governments proposed subsidy reinvestment and empowerment program. It is based on three principles: ringfencing the savings from the subsidy removal; enforcing pre agreed conditions on projects with the federal, state and local government; and providing a tool for ordinary Nigerians to monitors projects. This plan is not supposed to replace other demands by protesters. Demands such as reducing the allowances of members of the national assembly.
This plan is still in the early stages of development and all suggestions are welcome. Please email suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nigerians living in the UK demonstrated in front of the Nigerian Embassy London.This was done in solidarity with friends and family back home against the recent fuel subsidy removal by the Nigerian government. Fuel at the pumps have seen cost tripled in some cases making the cost of living for most Nigerians unbearable. Factory78tv was on the scene to bring you what went on at the UK Occupy Nigeria ( London ) rally.
Nigerians woke up on New Year’s day to an unwanted gift from the Jonathan government; an overnight increase (by about 100%) of prices of their daily conveniences. Everyone from Barbers, to Stylists, to Tailors, to Transport drivers, to Traders, increased the prices of their goods and services on account of the increase in petrol from N65/litre to N141/litre.
The government had doubled down in the last few months in their campaign to convince Nigerians of the benefits of scrapping the subsidy but the policy change still remained widely unpopular amongst the masses. Most were concerned about the effect of the subsidy removal on their standard of living and obviously those concerns are well founded as in the last few days since the policy took effect, prices of basic goods have skyrocketed. Food prices have increased. Folks whose commute to work cost N400 on December 31st are having to now pay N900. Barbers charge N300 for a hair cut with when there is light and N800 when you have to use the generators. Tailors increased prices by 200% because they have to use the generator to finish their clothes. And the list goes on and on. It was not exactly unexpected as everyone depends on petrol-guzzling generators for power anyway.
In theory the subsidy removal is economically sound; consumer subsidies seriously distort the economy and is unsustainable. The money freed up from the subsidy removal could be put to better use in fixing our refineries so we can refine our oil in-state and sell at a lower rate. Some of that money could also be appropriated to infrastructural development. The problem however is that, Nigeria has for a long time defied the basic laws of economics, the corruption that permeates our society is so rife that even basic laws of supply and demand barely work. No one has any faith that the monies saved from the subsidy removal would be used to do the right thing.
Also, with the security threats from Boko Haram in the north and the kidnapping rings in the south, people do not have that much faith in the government’s ability to provide security for the people. Why should they trust that the money from the subsidy removal will be used judiciously?
They say “never look a gift horse in the mouth” but if you tell a recent college grad with mounting bills and outstanding loan payments that you would like to give her a $50k job but you would be paying her salary into a 401-k account, i’m sure she’ll tell you to take the job and shove it up your…
Photo Sources: http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/nigerian-fuel-subsidy-cut-angers-citizens-0021957
It’s no secret that Nigerians have taken to the streets in mass numbers to protest the sudden removal of fuel subsidy which subsequently hiked up fuel prices from N75 a liter to N141 a liter.
Nigerians in Lagos, Lokoja, Ibadan, Kano and many other cities have taken to the streets in what might just be a revolutionary movement.
Here are some pictures we were able to gather..
We’ve heard of all the riots in northern Nigeria over the presidential election result which from most accounts was pretty free and fair. Goodluck Jonathan came out victorious and this has incited riots and violent protest in Northern Nigeria where host mostly Buhari supporters.
Here are some pictures gathered from around the net of the protest and riots. Also a cnn video coverage of the incident is included in this post.
Image Source: Yahoo News
The central Nigerian city of Jos was brought to a standstill yesterday as thousands of women dressed in black marched through the streets to protest the continuing violence in Plateau State.
The women, some of whom were half-dressed in a cultural sign of deep mourning and desperation, marched to the state governor’s official residence in Jishe, where they also denounced discrimination against Christians in northern Nigeria and called for the military forces stationed in Jos, which are viewed as biased, to be replaced by the mobile police.
The group’s spokesperson Rhoda Awang said, ‘Women are killed and children are killed. Pregnant women are killed and the babies cut out of their wombs. We have local chiefs in all the 17 Local Government Councils. Where are they and what are they doing? We have former governors, where are they? Where is Yakubu Gowon (the former Nigerian President who is from Plateau State)? If the people are killed in the state who will they rule over?”
The women’s anger was further fuelled by the deaths of a woman and child during an attack on a village in Vom on the previous night, and they made clear their rejection of any federally instituted state of emergency in Plateau State. They also called on Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang to relocate Jos’s Motor Park and the Vegetable Market from the Bauchi Road and Farin Gada areas, as several non-Muslims have disappeared there.