Demonstrations protesting the removal of the gas subsidy in Nigeria will take place at the World Bank on Monday, January 9th at 11am to 1pm and at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday, January 13th at 10am to 2pm in Washington DC.
"Since being elected into office, the current Nigerian Government has been extremely harsh and insensitive towards the basic needs of its citizens. The Government has turned a deaf ear to the cries of Nigerian citizens. The majority of the Nigerian people cannot afford the removal of this gas subsidy and the domino effect this will cause (the price increase on other goods and services)," Harrison Nwozo, protest organizer said.
This is a part of the Occupy Nigeria movement (Occupy Nigeria DC) which is a series of protests that started in Nigeria on Monday, January 2nd in response to the gas subsidy removal by Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday, January 1st.
On Monday, January 9th, an indefinite nationwide strike will commence in Nigeria until the gas subsidy is reinstated. Protesters in Washington, D.C. are urging the IMF to encourage the reinstatement of the subsidy. Recently, the World Bank and IMF advised African countries to remove all subsidies to reduce their national debts.
“We are conducting this protest in Washington, D.C. because we want to show our solidarity to our Nigerian brothers and sisters back home. The removal of the gas subsidy has not only affected gas prices in Nigeria but has caused a chain reaction on the rest of its economy. Nigeria is a nation where 50% of the people live on less than $2 a day so for the government to not think about our unique challenges before this policy was changed is thoughtless and inconsiderate,” Chika Uwazie, protest organizer said.
Protests have also been reported in other countries including London. In addition to the reversal of the gas subsidy ban, Nigerians want better infrastructure and the elimination of corruption.
The protest on Monday will begin at 11am with a march at McPherson Square to World Bank Headquarters located at 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, D.C. The demonstration will end at 1pm. The protest on Friday will begin at 10am at the International Monetary Fund located at 700 19th street NW with a march to the second International Monetary Fund building at 1900 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
"As far as Nigeria goes, I have never been able to cast a vote. So, what this protest means to me is something very personal. It means an opportunity to be part of something bigger than me; an opportunity to stand with other Nigerians and stand against EVERYTHING wrong with Nigeria. This, for me, is not a choice, it is an obligation," Ifeanyi Nwoko, protest organizer said.
Local protests are being organized by various groups and organizations including Let There Be Light In Nigeria - Nigerian Million March and African Diaspora Institute.