January 9, 2012 saw the economic activities in the federal republic of Nigeria come to a halt as a result of the protest/strike against the sudden increase in the price of petrol on January 1, 2012 by the President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan from N65 per liter to N140 per liter. The call for strike by a coalition of labor unionists came days following the President’s refusal to heed the call/plea to reverse the hike in fuel prices – along with the refusal of the President to heed the request by the house of representative to suspend the price hike.
In Anambra State, the state labor leaders held a rally at the state capital, Awka, at the popular city center called Aroma Junction where an estimated 200 protesters showed up. The banks, filling stations, and government offices were closed. The major market in Awka was open along with private businesses.
In Bayelsa State, there were no protest rallies. But the strike was in effect. Banks, filling stations and government offices were closed. Commercial vehicular movement was unrestricted. Private business activities was not interrupted either.
In Adamawa State, the economic activity was at a halt. The government imposed statewide curfew had added to the slowed economic activity. Government offices, Banks, filling stations, and other social economic activities was closed. Small patches of protests were observed.
In Delta State, there were protest activities concentrated in the cities of Warri and Asaba. Some violence between the police and the protesters were recorded in Warri. The protest rally in Asaba was reported to be impressive. The banks, filling stations and major markets were closed. Commercial vehicular movement was limited.
In Plateau State, the labor leaders asked the protesters to stay at home and out of the streets. This was to avert unsettling the sensitive violent situation in Jos, the state capital. Offices, Banks, filling stations, state secretariat and other commercial activities were closed. Commercial vehicular activities was restricted. The Local Government Area secretariat in Jos was closed.
In Abia State, the impact of the strike action was limited. Many of the filling stations were open. There were no rallies or protests in the state capital, Umuahia or at the commercial capital, Aba. Banks were closedbut offered limited services through the back entrance. There were no restrictions in commercial vehicular movement.
In Enugu State, a similar case as in Abia State played out. Their were no evidence of protests in Enugu State. Public offices were shut but private offices were open for business. Banks were closed and some filling stations were open.
In Imo State, there were rallies around the government house. Banks and other public offices were closed. The markets were open. The govenor of Imo was said to have addressed the rally. A heavy presence of police men were observed.
Already, casualties have been recorded due to the police heavy handedness in cities like Lagos and Kano. Sources confirm that five innocent protesters were gundown in Ogba/Agege by a DPO by the name Segun. One of the gundown victims was said to go by the name Ademola. He was shot as he played football along the street in Ogba. The other four were shut as they gathered near a newspaper vendor to read the day’s news. The DPO has been arrested.
In Kano State, seven defenseless youths were reported to have been gundown by the police in Kano.