Following the call for a nationwide strike and mass rallies to protest a controversial government decision to end fuel subsidies, the northern Nigeria's Kaduna State government has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew in an attempt to prevent further outbreaks of violence.
The strike was called by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trades Union Congress after it urged the government to restore the subsidies promptly. In absence of a restoration, unions say, a strike will paralyze Africa's third-biggest economy.
Gas prices more than doubled following the removal of the subsidies, and economists warn that the increase in fuel rates is likely to push up prices for food and household items in the country of 167 million people, 70 percent of whom live on $2 a day or less, according to the Wall Street Journal.
According to the statement from the Kaduna state government, the declaration of the dusk-to-dawn curfew became necessary because some miscreants hijacked the peaceful protest as people were harassed and intimidated while properties were vandalized.
The 12-hour curfew was put into effect Monday.
Governor Abiola Ajimboi of Oyo States has also declared a 12-hour curfew. Zamfara state invoked the curfew only in the state's capital of Gusau.
The labor union has encouraged the people to obey the curfew and sit at home to change the strategy from street protest to sit at home, according to Africanews.com.