LEHTIKUVA – MARKKU ULANDER
LEHTIKUVA – MARKKU ULANDER
Protestâ€, the industrial action was designed to be a peaceful protest. However, it has degenerated into a ruckus in some parts of Nigeria.
The demonstration has claimed the lives of two protesters, while many others who sustained life-threatening injuries are currently receiving treatment at various hospitals across the country.
Findings across the country reveals;
The police had allegedly shot and killed a young man around 9am at Yaya Abatan in Ogba, Lagos while three others who sustained gunshot wounds were rushed to the County Hospital in Ogba.
Eyewitnesses account say, policemen led by Mr Segun Fabunmi, the Divisional Police Officer of Area G, arrived the area firing sporadically and in
Photo: Mr. Aderinde Ademola just before he was shot and killed
the process, the four young menwere shot, adding that policemen also
shot teargas into the air at Ketu bus stop where a lot of people were injured.
Photo Below :Corpse of Aderinde Ademola,
Meanwhile, lawyers in Lagos, under the Nigerian Bar Association marched to Marina House of Governor Babatunde Fashola, SAN, to deliver a protest letter to him on the adjustment in the pump price of fuel. They implored the Governor to deliver the letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, stressing that the government action on the withdrawal of fuel subsidy is ill timed and anti-people.
The four protesters who were shot are Mr. Ademola of Aderinto street who died on the spot. Others lying critically injured on admission at the County Hospital, Ogba are Idara Monday of 33 Abeokuta street, Ogba, Samuel Ebujor of 31 Abeokuta street, Ogba and Abubakar Alimi of 16
Odebiyi street, Haruna, Ogba.
Irked by the killing protesters attacked and set a police officer on fire.
Photo left: Slained Ademola being transported to the morgue
In Delta state, the strike action embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) alongside their affiliate unions was successful in parts of the state as total compliance was observed.
In Asaba, Delta state capital, all public and private offices, including the federal and state secretariats, banks, the Government House and the House of Assembly complied fully with the strike action as they were either locked or sealed up by the striking unions who went about with chains and padlocks.
The state acting chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade William Akporehe, who led the protest march from Cable Point, in Asaba, the state capital through Nnebisi road to Government House and the House of Assembly, before retiring to the Labour House, off Okpanam road urged the people to join in the strike action because the protest is for the interest of the Nigerian people.
At government House, Asaba, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Comrade Ovuzourie Macaulay, expressed delight over the peaceful nature of the protest, saying that the state government has provided several hundreds of buses and speedboats to mitigate the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy and make transport cheap for Deltans.
Also addressing the protesters, Speaker of the Delta state House of Assembly, Engr. Victor Ochei enjoined labour to be open for dialogue in the resolving the contending issues on the fuel subsidy removal.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Charles Muka disclosed that the state command had ensured that its men were fully on ground to forestall any kind of chaos, adding that there had been no record of breakdown of law and order.
Photo above :Police officer set on fire by angry protesters
Meanwhile, in Warri, although the protest was totally enforced, some hoodlums who wanted to disrupt the peaceful nature of the protest were chased away by security agents, while a pro-subsidy group almost clashed with members of the labour unions before it was curtailed by the police.
While the anti-fuel subsidy removal protesters went about condemning the unpopular policy of President Goodluck Jonathan, some unidentified hoodlums took advantage of the protest and set ablaze the school gate of the University of Benin, UNIBEN, just as the central mosque on Ring Road in Benin city was also burnt down by the hoodlums who had hijacked the labour protest to unleash mayhem on unsuspecting Muslims and robbing many persons of their belongings.
In Kano state,huhuonline.com reports that a clash ensued between the police and protesters the governorâ€™s office, leaving 30 wounded, including 18 who were shot.
The protesters had allegedly set two vans ablaze while the police thwarted an attempt to set fire to the home of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, as the police allegedly fired teargas to disperse them.
Red Cross official in Kano Musa Abdullahi, revealed that â€œIn total, we have 30 wounded, 18 of them with gunshot wounds.â€
In Bauchi state, the strike paralyzed health care activities in all the hospitals as many patients had left the hospitals and volunteers from different Non-Governmental Organizations took over the activities of providing emergency health care services to patients under critical conditions. The patients blamed the federal government for bringing untold hardships to people without pity and advised the government to return the fuel to N65 per liter in the interest of the common man.
The Chief medical Director of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Dr Muhammad Alkali disclosed that â€œthe strike had greatly affected our services, we have discharged patients whose conditions are not critical with the little Doctors on the ground and with the help of the volunteers we provide emergency services to patients whose conditions are critical and we didnâ€™t record any bad caseâ€
The State director of the Primary Health Care in the state, Dr Musa Mohammed Dambam, said Government had make adequate arrangement to assist any patient that went to the Hospital will receive emergency services in order to save the lives of the people.â€
The Palace of the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Muhammadu Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu was attacked by thugs who left many persons injured after smashing the glasses of the offices of the emirates including office of the senior council member.
Police spokesman, ASP Mohammed Barau, who confirmed the incident, said â€œthe situation was brought under control, and our men have taken the control of the place, even though I cannot give you the figures of the number of arrest or casualties because our men did not submit their report.â€
Also the Deputy Information Officer of the Bauchi Emirate, Salmanu Yakubu Lame disclosed that â€œSara Suka youths who were mainly criminals attacked the palace, they were not part of the protest but they took the advantage of the protest to carry out their criminal activities, because Labour union visited the palace with respect and honour to the emir they submitted a letter to him in the morning before they passed at that time the emir was inside because they came early in the morning.â€
An eye witness account said, â€œthe thugs converged in front of the emir’s palace at the end of the mass rally organised by various youths organizations at the end of the protest organized by labour, they were armed with sticks they were chanting slogans in solidarity to the rally against the removal of the oil subsidy, even though they burnt tyres near run about few meters away from the emirs palace.â€
Comrade Jonah Kataps and Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, state chairmen of NLC and TUC, led the peaceful protest with placards conveying different messages in Jalingo with placards, some of which read: â€œIf you remove subsidy you remove our lives.â€ Better the Security. Police Join Us Now.â€
There was a total shutdown in Jalingo as shops, business premises, offices, banks, fuel stations and markets remained shut amid heavy security presence and marching along with the protestersâ€™ procession.
Kataps and Kaigama, who addressed protesters said, â€œTwo and half years ago we agreed with government that before subsidy is removed our four refineries must be working at full capacity. It is a shame that even small countries like Niger have built refineries within three years. Refineries should be fixed so that petrol can even come down to N20. 00 per litre.
â€œWhat happens to the budget deficit of nearly N800 billion and about N5 trillion debt burden hanging on the nation?â€ the labour union leader questioned the Jonathan administration.â€
Anti-fuel subsidy removal protesters in the in Nasarawa State pulled down the 2011-era political campaign billboards of President Goodluck Jonathan, and whipping his pictures on them.
The â€œTime for Transformationâ€ billboards which still adorn major roads in Lafia, including Jos Road, UAC Road, Doma Road and Shendam Road were removed by the protesters as angry youths barricaded the roads at various points, grounding vehicular traffic despite the presence of armed policemen.
Protesters marched in Dutse, the Jigawa state capital keeping the markets, offices, motor-parks, banks and business premises under lock and key and led by the NLC state chairman, Comrade Suleiman Adamu Kiyawa and Alhaji Faruk Adamu Aliyu, former House member and CPC gubernatorial candidate in the 2011 general election.
Thousands of protesters marched through Ibrahim Aliyu road, through Dutse Motor Park to Sani Abacha road chanting ‘Bamuayi, Bamuso’, meaning â€œWe are not in support of subsidy. We donâ€™t want subsidyâ€.
According to Faruk Adamu Aliyu, â€œin three daysâ€™ time, if the government fail to revert to N65, we will begin to occupy government house so that they will pressurize Jonathan to revert the fuel price.â€
Also the Jigawa NBA Chairman, Sani Hussaini Garu Gabas, said Jonathanâ€™s administration is the most incompetent administration in history of Nigeria, as it was only an incompetent government that will remove subsidy at the critical time of National security challenge.â€
The world is constantly moving and we tend to move faster now than we have always done. Our lives tend to depend on our ability to transport from one part of the world to the other as quickly and efficient as we can. How fast, efficient and economical our mode of transportation is, clearly have direct impact on the way we live, feed and communicate.
The 20th century ushered in a giant leap in the worldâ€™s automotive technology, making it more convenient, safer and cheaper to transport. However these new modes of transportations have their problems, ranging from political, economical and environmental. The greatest of this problem is the petroleum fuel used to power the vehicles. Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is now very expensive and also nearing its extinction.
On the 1st of January 2011, President Jonathan of Nigeria removed Nigeriaâ€™s petroleum subsidy, which is about the only way, so far that the Government of Nigeria has shown any support for the ordinary citizens of Nigeria to get cheaper PMS. This act has generated many evaluations, some in support and many more against the subsidy removal. Irrespective of everyoneâ€™s opinion on the subsidy removal, it is important that we all started making up our minds about how we transport ourselves around and try alternative modes of transportation that will cut down on our over-dependence on petroleum products as our means of transportation.
As we all know that majority of the cars in Nigeria and Africa of today are totally dependent on Petroleum fuels. We are doing the planet no good if we continue to use the car at the current rate. We all need to start looking at alternative modes of transportation, which is not overly reliant on Petroleum as we presently do.
We need to cut down on the use of petroleum based cars as our only means of transportation.
We need to use more buses, trains and start leaving our cars at home.
Let us start car sharing to work.
We need to use our bicycles more now.
Letâ€™s go back to the Omolankes, Camels, Donkeys and Horses, especially in our rural communities.
Our companies and the governments need to introduce parking quotas and restrictions in our business and commercial areas, so as to encourage car sharing.
Letâ€™s walk more now when we can, itâ€™s the best form of transportation and also very healthy.
The cost of petroleum in the world over has gone up astronomically and until we started embracing ways of cutting down on our dependence on Petroleum fuels, we may not start to enjoy our already congested transportation lifestyles.
The united nation has announced that the worldâ€™s population has reached 7 Billion people at the tail end of 2011 and expects it to eventually stabilize at around 10 billion people. If the numbers do reach 10 billion people and the worldâ€™s economy keeps improving to the point that everyone owns cars, there would be around 6 billion cars or about 8 billion motor vehicles in the world. If everyone drove cars like the Americans that would drain the entire Middle East Oil supplies in just about 5 years.
New technological trends are emerging on a daily basis to cut down on the problems. The world is gradually moving away from Petroleum based mode of transportation and gradually embracing electric based cars, hybrid cars, sky tram, super bus, Autoway, superconducting MAGnetic LEVitation (MAGLEV) mode of transports and many more that are still emerging. These modes of transportation also tend to reduce the production of green house gases partly caused by petroleum motor fuel gas emissions.
It is estimated that there will be over 1.1 Billion motor vehicles in the world by 2020. If all these vehicles are lined up and drove past you at the rate of one vehicle per second, it will take Â£35 years for 1.1 billion vehicles to drive by. If they line up bumper-to-bumper (Acknowledging Wande Coal) for the drive-by, the line would extend 130 times around the world. That is how many vehicles weâ€™ll have to supply with motor fuel by 2020 and that is how much atmospheric pollutant we will be having by the same year
Until we started to embrace alternative mode of transportations, not dependent on petroleum fuel, we may not achieve our drive to lead a cheaper and sustainable life we all dream of. Letâ€™s bring out the bicycles, omolankes, camels and horses; this may just be the way forward.
As written by: Abiola Olaifa (email@example.com, www.abiolla.com )
â€œPeople will have to choose between buying phone airtime and paying for transportation as fuel prices climbâ€, said Khulekani Dlamini, Head of Research at Afena Capital.
Ending the subsidy will more than double petrol prices on the official market, and prices of other goods will climb because of the higher transportation costs. Transportation affects everything,â€ Dlamini said.
What do you think? Do you think the fuel subsidy removal will significantly affect the purchase of airtime by Nigerians?