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Nigeria on strike against fuel subsidy cuts

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“If I die, I die.” #OccupyNigeria.

Nigeria’s main oil union has said it will shut down the country's oil and gas production from Sunday, as part of a national strike over a more than doubling of petrol prices.

“We are herby notifying the Federal Government of Nigeria … that PENGASSAN (The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria) shall be forced to go ahead and apply the bitter option of ordering the systematic shutting down of oil and gas production with effect from … 00:00 hours on Sunday Jan 15,” the union said in a statement.

The protests in Africa’s largest crude producer have put the government under mounting pressure as a nationwide strike entered its fourth day on Thursday.

Hundreds of thousands of people have staged protests in cities across the country, demonstrating against the January 1 removal of fuel subsidies that doubled the price of petrol overnight.

Nigeria exports about two million barrels per day and is a key supplier of crude to the US and the European Union.

An official with one of Nigeria’s main trade unions said they would not negotiate with President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration until it reinstated fuel subsidies, which many people view as their only benefit from the nation’s oil wealth

The growing nationwide protest against President Goodluck Jonathan’s hiking of petroleum prices claimed its first casualty today as police shot a protester dead in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The lifeless body of the protester lay on the street after he was shot in the chest by a policeman.

The killing comes on the heels of the release of a former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, along with two others who were arrested by the police in Abuja yesterday for organizing the first anti-fuel hike protest in the federal capital.

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A video about Occupy Nigeria. Stand with Occupy Nigeria! 

“If I die, I die. But Nigeria has to move.”

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#OccupyNigeria rally in London

At 50, Femi Kuti shows no signs of slowing down. The eldest son of Fela Kuti records and performs with unbridled passion, and continues to bring his brand of Afrobeat to the world. 

As a staunch critic of corruption, he’s never one to bite his tongue. He speaks the truth and does so unrelentingly, much to the chagrin of the powers that be. I had an illuminating chat with him on a host of topics ranging from the international explosion of Afrobeat, to colonialism, to the current issues plaguing Nigeria today, to name a few, and he was very forthcoming and open throughout our chat.

Read the interview here.

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#OccupyNigeria - The London Chapter (6th Jan 2012)

Occupy Nigeria is a series protest in regards to the Government removal of fuel subsidies. Given the recent events that transpired at the end of 2011, some argue that the removal of fuel subsidies was ill advised despite the potential benefit in the improvement of Nigeria’s basic infrastructure. Many are skeptical that such improvements will be made given the country’s chequered history in fraud, corruption and areas of lawlessness which allows for such to occur.

Anger has also been shown at the Government for its inflated salaries to officials who have not aid the country’s growth but their own bank balances coupled with the ostentatious lifestyle, especially when many are living and earning less $2 a day.

The remarkable thing about this protest which brought about solidarity amongst Nigerians worldwide was that this protest was powered by the Internet and in particular Twitter where its people were galvanised to action in response to the removal.

The protest in London happen at Northumberland Avenue (at the Nigerian High Commission) in which Nigerian students collaborated with the Occupy Nigeria movement in which at its peak was 300 strong.

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Occupy Nigeria Protesters Take A Stand In South Africa

Nigerians in South Africa on January 16th stormed the Nigerian embassy in Pretoria. According to the PRO of Nigerian Union in Gauteng, Niyi Da Voice Abodedele, some 300 Nigerians in South Africa attended the protests in solidarity with Nigerians protesting against mismanagement and corruption in cities across Nigeria.

The demonstration also featured Biafran separatist activists campaigning against islamist miliatnats, Boko Haram, killing of Igbos. They marched alongside side others demanding a Biafran homeland.