Commercial Activities Paralysed Nationwide


Just like the situation in Lagos, commercial activities were paralysed nationwide today as the strike over the removal of fuel subsidy ended today.

Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, southwest Nigeria was calm and peaceful this morning.

According to our correspondent, most residents stayed at home even as economic activities were totally grounded. Banks, offices, shops and markets were shut as the nationwide strike entered the sixth day.

Dugbe, a commercial nerve centre of the city, was a shadow of itself today. A few vehicles were on the road, while filling stations were not dispensing fuel.

There was no threat to security. But joint patrol teams of policemen, soldiers and civil defence and security corps continued to patrol the streets.

From Kaduna, Kaduna State, P.M.NEWS correspondent reports that former governor of the state, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and Shehu Sanni led civil society groups to protest the N97 pump price of petrol announced by President Jonathan. The protesters insisted on N65.

Vehicles were not on the streets but the few ones were turned back by the protesters. While some workers returned to their places of work, offices and shops were not opened as traders stayed at home.

The state chairman of NLC, Comrade Adamu Angu led other officials of labour at a meeting this morning to discuss the next line of action as they insisted on sit-at-home strike.

In Kano, Kano State, there was no street protests today. But economic activities were stalled as banks, shops and markets were closed. Only a few shops at Sabongari area of Kano were opened. Even then, there were no customers to patronise the few traders who opened their shops.

Children were playing football on the streets of Kano while many adults who stayed in their homes engaged in indoor games like playing cards or draughts.

In Enugu, capital of Enugu State, workers expressed mixed feelings, with some saying NLC should accept the N97 per litre of petrol as announced by the government.

There are more people on the streets especially traders who claimed they had to go out for survival. But offices and banks were not opened and the lull in commercial activities have continued.

The government secretariat, banks, offices in Jalingo, Taraba State were under lock and key this morning. Workers did not report for work.

Chairman of Taraba State NLC, Comrade Jonah Kataphs addressed protesters/workers. He advised them to go back to their houses and await further directives from the NLC.

In Ilorin, Kwara State, protesters gathered at NLC secretariat in Ilorin today. After a deliberation, they moved to the Post Office Roundabout which had been renamed Mustapha Muhideen Opobiyi Road after the youth who was killed during an earlier protest.

Many residents complied with the sit-at-home order by the NLC. But a large crowd converged on the NLC secretariat for the latest directive from labour leaders.

The protesters were addressed by the secretary, Ilorin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Abaiya Suleiman, Dr. Mrs. Omotayo Oloruntoba-Oju, a lecturer at the University of Ilorin and Mallam Agboola Ibrahim who said the N97 was not acceptable. They urged government to revert to N65 per litre.

Suleiman said Nigerians no longer have confidence in the Jonathan administration, adding that if the government cannot stop the killing of protesters, he should be dragged before the International Court of Justice to account for his misdeed.

The situation was peaceful. Soldiers were not drafted to the streets, but the usual police patrol teams were on the streets to ensure peace.

Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, was devoid of commercial activities today. Residents remained largely indoors. Offices, banks and markets were shut. A few offices opened were not patronised by customers.

There was no presence of soldiers on the streets. There was no tension as the few people on the streets moved about their businesses in a peaceful manner.

By Our Correspondents

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