We made it back safe and sound on Sunday just in time before the fuel subsidy strike started in Nigeria at midnight on Monday morning. It is eerily quiet outside...no horns....no okadas....no yelling vendors...just quiet..at least near our compound. There is a nation wide Nigerian protest against President Goodluck Jonathan's decision to take away the fuel subsidy for Nigeria. Nigeria pays billions of dollars each year for the fuel subsidy and this subsidy has kept fuel prices low for Nigerians. Without the fuel subsidy, the cost of fuel will sky rocket for Nigerian people. Since about 70 percent of Nigerian live on less than 2 dollars a day, this is a very significant increase. Also take into account, many do not have a dependable power source and buy fuel for generators, this decision is impacting almost every single Nigerian. Goodluck Jonathan wants to take the money being spent on the subsidy and put it into improving hospitals and schools (which definitely do need improvement), but in a country where so many people are so very poor, they are living day to day and are not thinking of how to make the country better 10 years from now. several protesters have said that they don't think that the money would really be used for the country to improve. They believe that the money will be put back into corrupt politicians pockets. (Which is a very good point based on Nigeria's track record):)
So far, from what Guy and I have seen from watching the local Lagos news, the protests have been fairly organized. the airports are closed down and there hasn't been school for two days. ( which has actually helped us to readjust to Lagos time from U.S. time...so there is always a bright side, I guess). Guy's company has advised everyone not to go out on the roads because it is not safe right now. Happiness tried to come to work today to see the kids, but the bus she was on was blocked and forced to turn around. Yesterday, there were protesters burning tires on Lekki expressway which is her route to come to work.
We have not heard any more word about if school will be open tomorrow or not, but from what I have seen o the news, the Nigerian people are VERY serious about protesting the taking away of the fuel subsidy. To read some more about this nationwide strike, click here
We are safe and are hunkering down in our compound. Jeremy and Elizabeth's friends also came back this weekend, so they are catching up with their friends after not seeing them for a month.
I will try to keep updating as I find things out, but we have had very spotty Internet service since the strike started. Please know we are safe and sound.:)