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30th June 2003

Strike and protests: a massive rejection of an unpopular policy

Joint Action Council Against Hike in Fuel Price (JACAHFP)
Press release

The Joint Action Council Against Hike In Fuel Price (JACAHFP) wishes to salute the Nigerian working people for their observation today of the nation-wide strike action called by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the mass protests organised by JACAHFP against the callous and inhuman increase in fuel price by the Obasanjo regime.

Reports from Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Port-Harcourt and other parts of the country have revealed that the strike and protests were well-observed. Workers, transporters, market traders, public and private sector employees stayed away from work and markets to show their vehement resentment and disapproval for this anti-poor increment.

The massive response to the strike action and the numerous mass demonstrations are an irrefutable and the most convincing proof that the fuel price increase is unjust and unpopular. Therefore, JACAHFP once again calls on the Obasanjo regime to cancel the increment totally and immediately.

JACAHFP equally call on the Nigerian working masses to continue to resist this fuel price hike by continuing the strike action and staging peaceful mass protests in their communities until this cruel and heartless decision is reversed by the Obasanjo regime. Action Committees should be formed in every neighbourhood and street to organise the action, further mobilise people and ensure that our protests are not hijacked by hoodlums.

Finally, JACAHPF strongly condemns the violent attacks by the Nigeria Police against peaceful protesters in some parts of Lagos. This morning in Ikeja, Agege, Iyana Ipaja, Onipanu, Yaba, Alausa and other locations in Lagos, armed policemen shot teargas canisters and used excessive force to disperse people who have gathered peacefully for a rally organised by JACAHPF. In the process, scores of people sustained injuries. This is a gross violation of the democratic rights of Nigerians to peaceful assembly and protest. It equally reveals that the present civil rule in the country is nothing but sheer dictatorship with a democratic veneer. We demand an immediate end to this senseless police brutality.

Segun Sango

For: Joint Action Council Against Hike In Fuel Price (JACAHFP)