NPR : News

Filed Under:

Nigeria Faces Double-Edged Crisis In Protests, Militant Group

Parts of Nigeria are under a 24-hour curfew, after demonstrations against a government policy to end fuel subsidies turned into a fiery rampage in the city of Minna. The BBC reports that "hundreds of rioters set fire to government and political party offices and also targeted the homes of local politicians."

The AP lays out the basics of how we got here:

"President Goodluck Jonathan removed subsidies on Jan. 1 that had kept gasoline prices low for more than two decades. Overnight, prices at the pump more than doubled, from $1.70 per gallon (45 cents per liter) to at least $3.50 per gallon (94 cents per liter). The costs of food and transportation also doubled."

Those changes sparked widespread strikes and protests in Nigeria, which imports most of its gasoline. And as Eyder wrote in a post Monday, there has been debate over why the subsidies were ceased.

Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria is also the continent's largest oil exporter. But key unions representing workers in the petroleum industry are now saying they might halt oil and natural gas production to support the broader protests.

And Nigeria's leaders also face a serious problem in the form of the Boko Haram Islamist movement — whose name translates to "non-Islamic education is sacrilege," according to UK's The Guardian.

On Wednesday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a YouTube video in which he said his group was "at war with Christians."

Gunmen from the group are suspected in two attacks in a rural town in the country's northern region. An attack Tuesday killed eight people in a bar — half of them police officers — and on Wednesday, four people were killed at a gas station, according to Reuters.

The news agency adds that officials in Yobe, the state where the attacks occurred, have "banned the use of motorbikes, which have often been used in Boko Haram attacks, in volatile areas of the state."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Oliver Sacks: A Neurologist At The 'Intersection Of Fact And Fable'

The neurologist, who died Sunday, saw "infinitely moving, dramatic, romantic situations" during his decades studying the human brain. Fresh Air remembers Sacks with two interviews from 1985 and 2012.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Man Turning Waste Heat Into Rooftop Greenhouses

How can the U.S. improve food security? One Charlottesville native is pioneering the construction of greenhouses on buildings to take advantage of their waste heat.

NPR

Notorious Cocaine Dealers' Release Requests Test New Sentencing Guidelines

A man who helped flood Washington DC with drugs in the 1980s wants to reduce his sentence using guidelines that help drug offenders secure early release. But a federal judge doesn't seem convinced.
NPR

China Arrests Nearly 200 Over 'Online Rumors'

The rumors ranged from a man leaping to his death in Beijing over stock losses to highly inflated death tolls in the Tianjin industrial blasts.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.