Nigeria Unions Suspend Strike Over Gas Prices

Source: AP / CBS News

LAGOS, Nigeria — Unions suspended their nationwide strike on Monday, hours after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan partially reinstated subsidies to keep gasoline prices low and deployed soldiers in the streets to halt widening demonstrations.

Union leaders described their decision as a victory for labor, allowing its leaders to guide the country’s policy on fuel subsidies in the future while having gas prices drop to about $2.27 a gallon.

However, many protesters joined the demonstrations with hopes of seeing gas return to its previous price of about $1.70 per gallon, while also speaking out against a culture of government corruption in Africa’s most populous nation. Deploying soldiers to the streets stopped demonstrators from gathering on Monday. At one point soldiers fired over the heads of marchers.

But Jonathan may still have to deal with populist rage that swept the country in recent days, and the use of the military in a nation with a history of military coups stoked immediate controversy.

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