By Olatunji Buhari
The Lagos state Police Command on Wednesday arrested members of the Joint Action Front (JAF) and civil society groups protesting the recent increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and electricity tariff by the Federal Government.
The activists were arrested along Lawanson Road and taken to Area C Command in Surulere in three police vans and a yellow bus. The police intercepted the protestors in Ojuelegba area of Lagos on the ground that the group does not have police permission to protest. The police immediately began to arrest the organisers one after the other.
The fuel price hike and electricity tariff increase protest which started at about 10.05am from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Secretariat at Yaba involved protesters carrying placards with different inscriptions such as No To IMF and World Bank Loans, Capitalism Breeds Poverty, Fight For Socialism, Build More Refineries To Guarantee Cheap Petrol, Reverse Fuel Price To N87 Per Litre, among others.
Speaking at the event, the Vice Chairman JAF, Achike Chude said the forces that joined the CSOs to organise the Occupy Nigeria in 2012 have today found themselves on the other side and now keeping quiet. He encouraged the protestors to remain resolute and that there is a price to be paid for their consistency adding that the group will continue to do their duty for the country and future generation.
Those arrested include: Barr. Malachy Ugwumadu, former president Committee for Defence of Human Rights,(CDHR) Achike Chude, JAF, Biodun Aremu, JAF General Secretary, Hassan Taiwo Soweto of Socialist Democratic Party (SPN), Alex Omotehinse, President, Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights(CHSR), among others.
This development is coming days after the Lagos police arrested some journalists and CSOs protesting over the fuel and electricity tariff increase.