Thursday, 5 January 2012

Nigerians riot against neoliberalism

POVERTY stricken Nigerians are taking to the streets against a new government imposing a neoliberal agenda.

Reports Vanguard: "For the third consecutive day,  protests in different parts of the country over the New Year Day’s removal of fuel subsidy continued yesterday in some parts of the country ahead of  Organised Labour’s nationwide industrial action billed for Monday.

"Protesters grounded  Ibadan, Benin and Kaduna yesterday as the three-day peaceful protest in the commercial city of Kano turned violent with about 44 persons injured.

"This was even as other trade unions, including the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, NWUN,  Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, Federation of Informal Sector Workers, Petroleum and National Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, and the Federation of Female Lawyers have indicated their interests to participate in the strike.

"No fewer than 44 persons were seriously injured in Kano State, when the police and other security agencies reportedly used maximum force to disperse thousands of protesters who had spent three days at Tahir Square in the city centre over fuel subsidy removal that has led to the increase in petrol price from N65 to between N138 and N250 per litre across the country.

"In Benin, the Edo State capital, economic activities were grounded when market women, youths, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC, Civil society organizations under the umbrella of the Coalition to Save Nigeria, in their thousands, stormed the streets of the ancient city, protesting government’s removal of fuel subsidy."

A letter addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan from protesters said: “In the interest of peace, unity and progress in Nigeria, we recommend the immediate reversal of the price of fuel to N65 in the first instance and thereafter to N39.50k, which is the ideal price of a litre of petrol.

"Restore the capacities of the four refineries in the country immediately and take full control of the oil industry.  Drastically reduce the cost of governance and use the proceeds to fund development projects and the welfare of Nigerians. Jettison all market fundamentalist policies/programmes of the IMF/World Bank.

“The ideas and development policies of the two Bretton Woods Institutions have failed repeatedly in different parts of the world. Therefore, the current Minister of Finance and all other agents of the World Bank and IMF in the Federal Executive Council should be sacked if they fail to resign honourably. We believe that Nigeria must reclaim its sovereignty from the IMF, the World Bank and Multinational Corporations, MNCs.”

Keep up to date with the global insurrection - follow VM on Twitter.