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Tariff increase: Police arrest protesters in Lagos

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IPC, JAF condemn arrest of journalists, others
Eighteen persons, including four journalists, were yesterday arrested at Ojuelegba area of Lagos State, during a protest against increase in fuel pump price and electricity tariff by the Federal Government.

Members of the Social Party of Nigeria (SPN) had staged a protest that kicked off at the Labour House, Yaba, before being accosted by policemen at Ojuelegba axis.

The protesters carried placards and banners with the inscriptions “INEC must reinstate SPN and other Parties”,  “ NLC &TUC should mobilise for general strike and mass protest”, No to electricity tariff, revert to N13 per KWH.”

MEANWHILE, the SPN has condemned the disruption of the protest by the security operatives and arrest of journalists.

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The party, in a statement signed by its National Chairperson, Abiodun Bamigboye, said: “We in the Socialist Party of Nigeria reiterate our rejection of the inhumane increase in fuel price and the hike in electricity tariff.

“This sad development further shows that a system designed to meet the profit interest of the few over the well-being of the vast majority is incompatible with human development.

“We join Nigerians to reject this vicious anti-people policy of increments in fuel price and electricity tariff and the horrific condition that the ruling class has thrown the country into.
 
“We demand immediate release of all those arrested, public apology from the police and payment of medical bills and other damages to those arrested.

ALSO, the leadership of the International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned the arrest of media practitioners covering a peaceful protest over hike in pump price of petrol.

In a statement signed by the Programme Officer/Safety Desk Officer of the Centre, Melody Akinjiyan and made available to media practitioners in Jalingo, Taraba State, the IPC condemned the harassment and brutalisation of the journalists, demanding their immediate and unconditional release.

IN a related development, members of Joint Action Front (JAF), led by its Secretary, Abiodun Aremu and Chairperson, Dr. Dipo Fashina, have joined other Nigerians in condemning recent hike in fuel price, electricity tariff and Valued Added Tax (VAT).

Addressing journalists in Lagos yesterday, JAF, which urged reversal of the increase, said the Federal Government should make moribund refineries work and build new ones to ensure that petroleum products are cheap and affordable to all.

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