Let Them Chop Cassava!

In Nigeria chop means to eat, it can also mean to eat with immoral or criminal greed.

Cassava is a root carbohydrate staple. Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava and the 6th largest oil producer in the world. 

On January 1st 2012 the Nigerian Government shocked its citizens by announcing a 117% rise in the price of fuel. As 70% of Nigerians live on less than $1 a day, for many the price hike was a serious threat to their very survival.

The government argued it could no longer afford a subsidy that kept the price of petrol artificially low, ministers admitted there was rampant corruption in the petroleum industry and claimed subsidy removal would thwart the activities of a shadowy "cabal" of oil marketers and politicians who profited from the status quo and over whom they were powerless.

Incensed that their notoriously profligate and highly paid leaders, (some four hundred senators and representatives earn substantially more than President Obama,) had done nothing to tackle corruption, Nigerians of all classes took to the streets demanding a reversal to the original 65 Naira per litre price.

As the protests developed, the profligacy, corruption and ethnic divisions that have blighted the country's development came into sharp focus.




Whats Happening on Twitter

Jan 17 - The Last Meeting (05:51)


Amidst accusations of under table deals and sell out agreements, the city staggers back to a semblance of order keenly overseen by soldiers who remain on the streets despite the protests of the State Governor. Freedom Park is ringed by several tanks and there are reports of raids on the CNN and BBC offices by the State Security Service (SSS.)

The repression works and the notorious Lagos gridlock re-establishes itself as if the protests never happened. Chopcassava go to the Victoria Island home of statesman and former presidential candidate, Dr Tunji Braithwaithes, where a meeting of civil society groups, activists and elder statesmen has been called to plan a response to the deployment of soldiers. 

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Reader Comments (1)

This video and some others cannot be viewed due to restrictions on permission, pls kindly rectify this issue. Thanks

June 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTosin

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