NAIROBI, Kenya — Further to our new series "Nigeria on the Brink" there is an excellent opinion piece in today's New York Times by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus.
Adichie, a celebrated Nigerian novelist, describes the frustrations of the Nigerian people toward their government.
Read more on GlobalPost: Nigeria fuel strike ends after Goodluck Jonathan cuts gas prices (VIDEO)
In the opinion piece she writes: "Like many Nigerians, I am infuriated — and puzzled — by the actions of a government that appears to be indifferent to if not contemptuous of its people."
"Nigeria, one of the world’s biggest exporters of crude oil, does not have adequate refineries and so it imports most of its petrol. The government claims that it pays a subsidy to importers to keep the prices low, and that these companies defraud the government by inflating their costs. Perhaps that is true, but it is a strange reason for raising prices, as though the government is incapable of policing fraud. Politicians have long discussed ending the subsidy, but no one expected it to happen when and how it did. There was something frightening about the abruptness of such a dramatic change, a sense of lurching, a violent uncertainty that captured the general mood in Nigeria."
President Goodluck Jonathan seems to have succeeded in defusing the protests by reinstating a portion of the fuel subsidy and the strikes have been called off, but people have got a taste of rebellion and this may not be the end of the challenge to the government.
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Here is a video of Adichie's TED talk in July 2009: