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article imageNigeria: Police officers protest removal of fuel subsidy

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jan 3, 2012 in World
Ibadan - An unexpected twist in the mass protests against removal of fuel subsidy left Lagosians stunned. A group of police officers numbering about 200 staged a peaceful demonstration against removal of fuel subsidy early on Tuesday morning.
Eyewitness accounts say the police officers marched along Oregun Road area of Ikeja towards Lagos Government House in Alausa, chanting anti-government slogans. According to a report by Vanguard Nigeria, the group had planned to march all the way to the office of Governor Babatunde Fashola, but dispersed along the way.
Vanguard reports that one of the protesters who asked that his name should not be mentioned said that police officers and their families are among the most vulnerable to the effects of removal of subsidy. The officer said: "Our salary is paltry, how do we make up for the corresponding consequences on the economy and subsequently on our pockets. We are against the fuel subsidy removal."
Meanwhile in Ibadan, the police aborted mass demonstrations in U.I., Agbowo and Agodi when thousands of youths took to the streets. Banks and businesses in Agbowo and U.I area were closed to customers. PM News Nigeria reported that Tokunbo Salako, President of the Students' Union, University of Ibadan, in a statement addressed to the state governor, said:
“We, the youths in Ibadan, in consonant with the yearnings of the masses who voted for you, hereby reject the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. We see this as an attempt to aggravate poverty, cripple small and medium scale businesses and throw the masses into perpetual economic chaos. However, we are aware of the position of the Governors’ Forum, which you are part of. We see this as a cruel betrayal of the mandate the masses sweated, toiled and laboured to give the governors during the April 2011 election. We are also aware that majority of the opposition parties shared the same position with the ruling party on this issue. Thus, we youths have taken a stand to reject removal of fuel subsidy and we shall mobilise all youths, traders, students, artisans, and all citizens of the state to demonstrate our anger until our governor pronounces publicly that the people of Oyo State reject fuel subsidy removal and relay this position to the Presidency. We voted you as our governor and that demands that your position at all levels should be representative of our groaning."
Digital Journal reporter visited Basorun and Bodija. Banks and businesses were open to customers at the Awolowo Avenue area.
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