7, February 2017
Hundreds of Nigerians have taken to the streets in the country’s most populous city of Lagos to protest against the government’s handling of the West African country’s economic crisis. Some 500 angry protesters gathered from early morning at the National Stadium in the commercial capital to protest against the prevailing economic hardships, high cost of living and poor government handling of the economic crisis in the country.
The demonstrators, who marched through the streets to the rhythm of drums and trumpets, demanded solutions to the ongoing crippling recession. Protesters held placards and banners that read, “The unemployed are hungry and angry” and “I will not be silent.” They also chanted slogans such as “enough is enough.”
Elias Ozikpu, a student who attended the rally in Lagos, complained about skyrocketing prices. “Everything is very expensive today: the price of food, the price of gasoline has increased. We suffer but politicians do not care,” Ozikpu said, adding, “Two years ago we elected a new government because the previous one was corrupt but we don’t see any change, it’s even worse now.”
Meanwhile, in the administrative capital of Abuja, dozens of people also marched to the presidential villa in protest at President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic policies. The protest rallies took place despite warnings by the police not to assemble because of fears of a “breakdown of law and order with attendant loss of lives and property.” Responding to Monday’s rallies, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the protest was noted.
“We hear you loud and clear, those who are on the streets protesting the economic situation and even those who are not, but feel the pain of economic hardship,” Osinbajo said.
“We hear you loud and clear. You deserve a decent life and we are working night and day to make life easier.” Nigerians have been suffering after a fall in oil prices since mid-2014 slashed government revenue. The developments have pushed up inflation to more than 20 percent and weakened the naira currency.