Nigerians protest fuel price hike, graft

 Angry youths erected a burning roadblock outside luxury enclaves in Nigeria’s commercial capital on Tuesday as a paralysing national strike over fuel prices and government corruption entered its second day.

The flaming tires and debris sent thick, dark smoke over part of Ikoyi Island, home to diplomats and many of the oil-rich nation's wealthy elite. It also signaled the danger of spiraling violence as protests continue in the country of more than 160 million people. Police shot at least three protesters to death on Monday.

“This is oligarchy, this is not a democracy!” shouted Danjuma Mohammed, as he stood before the fire holding rocks in his hands. “We are no longer afraid of you! We are ready for war!”

The strike started on Monday by labour unions upset over high fuel prices in Africa’s most populous nation. Gas prices have risen from $1.70 per gallon (45 cents per litre) to at least $3.50 per gallon (94 cents per litre) since the subsidy on fuel ended January 1 at the orders of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. That spurred a spike in food and transportation prices across a country where most live on less than $2 a day
More than 10,000 people attended one rally in Lagos as the strike started on Monday, while tens of thousands more marched in streets across the country. Activists also wore shirts bearing symbols for a loose-knit group called “Occupy Nigeria”, inspired by those near Wall Street in New York.

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