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Police disperse petrol price hike protesters in Lagos


By Precious Igbonwelundu and Toba Adedeji, Osogbo

The police in Lagos on Wednesday dispersed protesters against the increase in pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

The protesters under the umbrella of the Joint Action Front (JAF) converged on Ojuelegba, Lagos to demand a reversal of the hike in fuel price and electricity tariff. Armed security operatives dispersed the crowd.

They carried placards with inscriptions such as “Buhari’s regime hiked petrol price in 2016 from N86.50 to N145 now hiked again to N162″; “Reject hike in electricity tariff now”; and “Capitalist policies of privatisation and deregulation create mass suffering”.

They urged other Nigerians to join the struggle to “end puppet regime of IMF and World Bank”.

The police said the protesters were dispersed peacefully. Police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi  said  none of the protesters was arrested and there was no use of force.

“None was arrested. The protesters were talked to and dispersed peaceably. They were not attacked nor harassed. We always urge protesters to inform the police to provide adequate security for them any time they want to protest. “They have their rights to protest but such must be guided and not be hijacked by hoodlums to foment troubles or extort innocent Lagosians,” he said.

In Osogbo, the Osun State capital, protesters under the aegis of Osun Civil Society Coalition hit the streets demanding the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari for not reducing the hike in electricity tariff and petrol prices.

The protesters converged on the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Old Garage area yesterday morning.

They matched through Oke-Fia Junction, Alekuwodo, Ola-Iya Junction and eventually terminated the protest in front of the NUJ Correspondent Chapel, Fagbewesa.

They were armed with banners and placards chanting anti-government slogans. The inscriptions read: “Nationalise the oil sector under workers democratic control”, “no to fuel, electricity tariff”, “Buhari govt anti-poor” and others.

One of the leaders of the protesters, the convener of Dialogue 360, Comrade Waheed Saka, said:  ”Nigerians have never had it so bad like we are under the current administration. We are here to protest against the hike in price which is not affecting businesses.”

A human right activist and lawyer, Comrade Alfred Adegoke, said: “We are on the streets today to call for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari for his refusal to revert the electricity tariff and petrol price.”

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