Oil subsidy: Protests across Nigeria as angry workers take to streets

    Nigeria and 6 Geo zonespolitical

    There are worrying reports emanating from Nigeria as the current removal of oil subsidy is taking its toll turning thr population against the government.

    An appeal by the Labour Minister to the organised labour not to embark on strike on account of the full deregulation of the premium motor spirit appears to have fallen on deaf ears as Nigerians have trooped out across the country to protest the federal government’s decision.

    In Lagos, the Nigeria Labour Congress and a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations led by the joint action forum are marching on the streets to register their anger and disagreement with the decision of the federal government removing the subsidy on petrol.

    The protesters had gathered at the NLC office at Yaba Lagos in the early hours of today, from where they marched through Itire/Lawanson road in Surulere, picketing filling stations on the road.

    Also, reports reaching us say the road leading into Plateau state from Nasarawa state has been taken over by protesters resulting in traffic build-up on the road.

    And in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi state, protesters have taken to the streets, blocking the Lokoja-Abuja road in compliance with the call by the NLC for Nigerians to resist the fuel subsidy removal.

    The NLC, civil society groups and many Nigerians have described the PPPRA’s announcement of the removal of subsidy on PMS as a callous New Year gift and have vowed to resist the decision.

    Protesters in Lagos

    In Abuja, Police arrested some protesters gathered at the Eagle Square to collect signatures against the recent removal of fuel susbidy by government and the resultant hike in prices of petroleum products.
    The protesters led by the former House of Representatives member, Mister Dino Melaye, were carrying out a peaceful protest outside the Eagle Square after the police and the army denied them entry into the Square.

    Events however took a bad turn in the early hours of the evening when the police suddenly started shooting tear-gas into the crowd to disperse them and arrested their leaders, including Mister Melaye.
    The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mister Emeka Wogu has appealed to Labour Unions not to overheat the economy.

    The Minister who was speaking at a press briefing in Abuja to assuage the organized labour who are threatening to shut down the country, said that removal of subsidy on the premium motor spirit is in the best interest of the masses.

    He is asking Nigerians to understand deregulation is in the interest of Nigerians at large.

    After weeks of anxiety over the proposed removal of the subsidy regime for the premium motor spirit {PMS} by the federal government, the sudden announcement by the PPPRA removing subsidy on petrol, has Nigerians in a mad rush for the product before the price hits the roof.

    Many motorists who besieged fuel stations queried government’s decision over the removal, saying, it is ill-timed.

    Large scale protests are being staged across the country with news of violence breaking out in some towns.

    Former lawmaker; Mr.Dino Melaye and seven other protesters that were arrested at the Eagle Square during a protest against the removal of fuel subsidy has been released.

    Speaking to journalist shortly after their release, Mr. Melaye and his co-protesters say no amount of intimidation will deter them from peacefully protesting what they say is a punishment and untold hardship on Nigerians.

    They also say they will go back to ensure that more signatures are collected until government bows to the pressure and rescind its decision.

    Mr. Melaye a former member of the House of Repesentatives was arrested yesterday during a protest against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government jacking up the prices of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as Fuel from N65 to N140.