January 3, 2012

Angry mobs of protesters stopped petrol station owners from selling fuel while others lit a bonfire on a major highway in protest against the Nigerian government’s removal of subsidies that had kept petrol affordable for more than two decades.

A rapidly growing group of protesters were going from station to station, telling owners not to sell petrol at the spiked prices of about $3.50 (£2.50) a gallon. That is more than double what consumers paid only days ago for the fuel needed to power the generators that keep many businesses running.

On one major highway in Lagos, protesters yelled: “Occupy the express”, as the bonfire that was lit forced scores of drivers to turn around.

The government’s quiet announcement over the long holiday weekend that the subsidy was being ended has led to organising in major cities across the country. Previous attempts to change the subsidy over the last two decades have been met with protests nationwide.

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