Tear gas fired to break up Nigeria protest

2012-01-03 16:01
Lagos - Nigerian police fired tear gas to disperse a small crowd burning tyres in Lagos and arrested demonstrators in the northern city of Kano on Tuesday as protests continued over soaring petrol prices.

A group of people were burning tyres on a main road on the margins of a protest in the economic capital of Lagos when police fired tear gas, causing them to flee, an AFP correspondent reported.

"We will not leave the streets until fuel prices come back to 65 naira," one man who identified himself as Tunde said earlier as he carried a container of petrol to pour over tyres.

There has been widespread opposition to a government move announced Sunday ending fuel subsidies, which has caused petrol prices to more than double in a country where most people live on less than $2 per day.

The policy in Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer saw petrol prices soar to about 140 naira ($0.96) per litre from 65 naira.

An earlier protest in Lagos of a couple hundred people included prominent rights activists as well as Seun Kuti, son of the late legendary musician Fela Kuti, a harsh critic of Nigeria's corrupt regimes.

Police moved in quickly to prevent a protest in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's north, arresting nine people preparing for a demonstration at a football pitch they renamed "Freedom Square," an organiser said.

"The nine of us, the organisers of the sit-in protest, are now being detained at the police metropolitan division," Audu Bulama said by phone before it was seized by police.

"As we were gathering, 20 armed policemen came in three vans and dispersed the crowds of about 40."

Police did not respond to requests for comment. Separate protests broke out later, including a couple hundred people near the state parliament building in Kano.

In the capital Abuja on Monday police also used tear gas to disperse a protest there. The country's main trade unions are threatening protests in the coming days.

Economists and government officials view removing the subsidy as essential to allow for more spending on the country's woefully inadequate infrastructure and to ease pressure on its foreign reserves.

Nigerians however see the subsidy as their only benefit from the nation's oil wealth.

The government says more than $8bn was spent in 2011 on petrol subsidies.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.