Hope all is well. Want to give you an update about Nigeria as of today. We have been stuck most of the days inside the house because of a national strike. Even going to Church has been a challenge for us as well as others. The strike started last Monday and as it’s being reported, it’s indefinite. We were warned to buy enough food and petrol for the upcoming strike. What is happening in Nigeria has never happened since Nigeria ‘s Independence in 1960. Can you imagine a whole country’s commerce coming to screaching halt? Airports are closed, and other means of travel is officially closed now. No electricity or water across the country. The shipping ports are closed and so are all banks and some ATMs have stopped dispensing cash. I cannot imagine a whole country of 167 million people forced to stay inside their homes. I am even having a hard time coming to grip of the scope of this strike. It started after New Year’s Day when the President put into law the removal of petrol subsidy which sent the price of petrol from 65.00 naira per litre($1.67 per gallon) to 140.00 naira per litre($3.61 per gallon and in some places, more than $7.00 per gallon). This caused a serious backlash in the country. As a result, It has caused almost everything including food items to more than double in price. The president’s reason is to use the difference to fix the broken down refineries/build new ones, fix the electricity problem, and other issues that is plaguing the country. Because of the gross dishonesty in Nigerian politics, cynicism is prevailing everywhere. The country has several unions who have combined their forces against the President in this matter. Labor Congress Union is representing all the various workers and their unions in Nigeria . And this is the group who also called for the strike. The Labor congress union is wanting the President to return the price back to 65.00 Naira before any kind of negotiation can start. The President wants the strike to end before he will negotiate. So both sides are far apart. To me personally, I would never have thought this group would be strong enough to halt everything in the country. Many people are suffering because of no movement and no food to buy/sell. Many can’t go to work to earn money and shop owners are scared to open their stores for fear of looting. Many depend on what they make that day for the food for that day. Many have gone into crime in order to survive. If this strike continues, we see it becoming very violent because of starvation. It’s worse in the north with greater food crisis and restriction in movement. They also have to contend with the Boko Haram sect bombing churches. Please remember the Pastors and their families at a time like this because it is extremely difficult for them as well. My family is doing ok for now. Several things will begin to be in play for us this week if the strike continues. “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” is taking a real meaning to us this week. The famines in the Bible is a perfect example of the situation we are facing and how God sustained his people has taken a new meaning to us here. I know it is very difficult to imagine what is happening in Nigeria being in America , but the ONLY thing that you can do for us is PRAY! – Pray that the strike will end very soon. – Pray that God will sustain us during this strike. – Pray that Christians will experience many answers to prayers that will strengthen and increase their faith. -Pray for safety and continued good health.
Missionary Yinka Fasinro