News / Africa

Nigerian Court Order Seeks to Bar Protests

A protester carries a placard during a rally against fuel subsidy cuts in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, January 6, 2012.
A protester carries a placard during a rally against fuel subsidy cuts in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, January 6, 2012.

A Nigerian court has issued an order seeking to prevent a general strike against rising fuel prices.

Labor unions said indefinite strikes will start nationwide Monday despite the order, which they say is invalid.

Angry protesters marched in the capital, Abuja, Friday chanting anti-government messages while police blocked their progress.

A number of demonstrators carried placards. One protester, Olubukola Ige, told reporters the removal of the existing fual subsidy was unfair.

"Since the days of Obasanjo. Since the days of IBB [Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida], they have been saying we are the future generation. Now is the future. We will not wait till tomorrow before we tell them we will not allow this. If they start killing everybody, it's better they kill us than for us to keep silent."

Another protester, Henry Okelue, asked a number of questions of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

"The President of Nigeria is asking us to make sacrifices, but our questions is this: what sacrifices has he shown he's ready to make? We will make sacrifices, this is our fatherland. But what sacrifices has he shown he is ready to make?"

The government ended fuel subsidies January 1, which caused petrol prices to soar, sparking angry anti-government protests. The government has used force to control protesters who claim that at least one protester was killed and many others were injured Thursday.

Nigeria is a large producer of crude oil, but depends largely on imports for fuel because its refineries are in disrepair after years of mismanagement.

Some economists say the subsidies encouraged corruption.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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