24th January, 2012
Soldiers who were deployed by President Goodluck Jonathan to crush protests in Lagos against the removal of fuel subsidy have left the streets of Lagos, southwest Nigeria, eyewitnesses said Tuesday.
The soldiers, armed with machine guns and armoured tanks were deployed to Lagos streets in the wee hours of Monday, 16 January as the mass action gathered momentum in Nigeria’s most populous city and inspired millions of protesters around the country.
Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers were withdrawn early Tuesday.
The decision to deploy soldiers to Lagos streets came under heavy criticisms from human rights groups and elder statesmen, including, Prof. Wole Soyinka, but the calls for their withdrawal were not heeded.
The soldiers were deployed along Ikorodu Road and Gani Fawehinmi Park, the epicenter of the protests against the removal of fuel subsidy by Jonathan.
They were also in Agege, Oshodi and other suburbs of Lagos.
The Army remained at Ojota even after the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, called off mass actions and strike in the evening of 16 January.