Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nigeria Strike a Flashback to the Military Era

ABC News (AP)
17 January 2012

By JON GAMBRELL Associated Press

The music blared through Nigeria's streets, calling for a revolution of the people against a heavy-handed government fueled by oil money and blinded by greed. It called for change for a people being suppressed by soldiers in the streets.

It also came out 25 years ago.

"Dem-o-cr-azy be the deal," late Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti sang then.

Older Nigerians may have experienced a flashback this week as soldiers took to the streets again to stop protests over a hike in fuel prices as nationwide strikes paralyzed Africa's most populous nation. Back then, the military ruled country. Today, a civilian president does, but he now faces criticism for turning his back on the same impoverished class he came from, and for using troops to suppress dissent.

Gasoline stations opened for business on Tuesday throughout Nigeria, posting a newly compromised price at the pump of about $2.27 a gallon (60 cents a liter). Fuel prices sparked the six-day strike by labor unions who were angered by an increase in gas price from the previous subsidized price of $1.70 per gallon (45 cents per liter).

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