Wednesday, January 11, 2012
iReporters on the frontlines as protests in Nigeria continue

 

On January 3, Nigerians took to the streets over the removal of a fuel subsidy, which effectively doubled fuel prices in the country. Less than a week later, protests swelled on January 9 when several major trade unions mobilized demonstrators against the government of president Goodluck Jonathan for alleged corruption and lack of access to basic services like electricity and clean water.

 

Nigerian iReporters gave CNN an on-the-ground look at the general strike currently underway in Nigeria before most news organizations had cameras on the scene. And as the protests continue, iReporters in the country are sharing their stories and perspectives.

 

 

Web designer Oladapo Bamidele, who shot the above photo, joined in non-violent demonstrations in Lagos, Nigeria's capital, this week. Bamidele, 38, said he's angered by the Nigerian government's refusal to reinstate the fuel subsidy. He added that Nigerians have lost faith in their government, and have mobilized to replace it. Bamidele cited the need for improved infrastructure as one of the main reasons behind the ongoing protests.

 

 

Freelance journalist Tina Armstrong-Ogbonna said that the increase in cost of living and the subsequent protests have brought Lagos to a standstill. She believes the Nigerian government should reinstate the subsidy and "cut the cost of governance, check corruption among political officeholders, [and] tackle the insecurity in the country due to the incessant attacks of the Islamic sect Boko Haram that has led to loss of lives and properties."

 

 

Demonstrations also took place outside of the capital, with protesters gathering in Nigeria's major cities. Patrick Gbenga, a student in Akure, shot photos of an anti-government rally on Monday morning. He said he is participating in the protests because "as a student leader in school, it is part of me to fight against injustice."

 

Several African musicians have now leant their name to the ongoing protests. Eromo Egbejule attended a January 10 concert in Lagos where Femi Kuti, son of the legendary afrobeat protest musician Fela Kuti, performed. Egbejule shared the following video: "I was proud to be a Nigerian and proud that [Femi] and his brother, Seun have carried on with their father's legacy," he said.

 

 

"Nigeria loves peace and this is why we are peacefully protesting, even though the Nigerian police and army have inflicted injuries and in some cases, killed innocent people. Revolution has come to Nigeria and the youth will spearhead it. Until our demands are met, we are ready to protest every day and make sacrifices."

 

Each of these iReporters' stories, along with several others, are part of our Open Story, which documents the Nigeria protests on an interactive map and timeline. If you're protesting in Nigeria right now, help us tell your story, but please stay safe and avoid hazardous or life-threatening situations.

5 Comments
January 11, 2012
Click to view bernardwsley's profile

iReporters: "FIRST" - to get shot

January 11, 2012
Click to view Ade89's profile

Our president has said the International communities(IMF & World Bank)has applauded him on his imperialist decision at the detriment of his people's comfort i wonder if the President has his brain under his new found shoes.

January 13, 2012
Click to view Mourice's profile

The protest is good and great on but we should also remember that the so called Islamic Militant Group may use this This opportunities to plant Bombs and other Explosive weapons , please we must be very careful, this Protesting is good but also distracting our Securities from carrying out their Jobs on Boko Harams, we are the Citizens Protesting for Susidy's removal but let's be careful.. Love you My peoples

January 13, 2012
Click to view Mourice's profile

The protest is good and great one, but we should also remember that the so called Islamic Militant Group may use this This opportunities to plant Bombs and other Explosive weapons , please we the Christans and Southerners must be very careful, this Protesting is good but also distracting our Securities from carrying out their Jobs on Boko Harams, we are the Citizens Protesting for Subsidy's removal but let's be careful.. Love you My peoples

January 13, 2012
Click to view Mourice's profile

The protest is good and great on but we should also remember that the so called Islamic Militant Group may use this This opportunities to plant Bombs and other Explosive weapons , please we must be very careful, this Protesting is good but also distracting our Securities from carrying out their Jobs on Boko Harams, we are the Citizens Protesting for Subsidy's removal but let's be careful.. Love you My peoples  ...Email: lordmore101@yahoo.com

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