Summary Box: Nigerians strike over gas costs

AP News
Posted: Jan 09, 2012 11:36 AM
Summary Box: Nigerians strike over gas costs

STRIKING: A national strike paralyzed much of Nigeria on Monday, with more than 10,000 demonstrators swarming its commercial capital to protest soaring fuel prices and decades of government corruption in the oil-rich country. Something similar happened in 2003, when strikers over eight days attacked shops, took over air traffic control towers and caused a drop in oil production in a country vital to U.S. energy supplies.

RISING FUEL COSTS: Gas prices have risen from $1.70 per gallon to at least $3.50 per gallon since a government fuel subsidy ended on Jan. 1. That caused a spike in prices for food and transportation across a nation of more than 160 million people, most of whom live on less than $2 a day.

OCCUPY NIGERIA: The strike comes as activists have begun a loose-knit group of protests called "Occupy Nigeria," inspired by Occupy Wall Street in New York. Their anger extends to the government's weak response to ongoing violence in Nigeria by a radical Muslim sect that, according to an Associated Press count, killed at least 510 people last year.