Thousands of people demonstrated in the Nigerian capital Niamey on Sunday against the 2018 finance law been seen as “antisocial”.
The protesters marched at the call of two opposition political coalitions before holding a rally in front of the Parliament building, chanting “down with the finance law”, “down with the government”.
Many demonstrators wore a white ribbon around their neck or wrist.Some women held brooms to symbolize their willingness to sweep the finance bill.
“We went out to mark our shambles” and “denounce the 2018 finance law with serious additional hardships for Nigeriens,” said Soumama Sanda, one of the leaders of the Front for the Restoration of Democracy and Defense of the Republic , the main coalition of the opposition.
Soumama Sanda, also denounced “the umbrella of impunity” enjoyed by “relatives of the regime”. “If you’re close to the regime, it’s total impunity, but when you’re in opposition, it’s jail time, it’s caning,” said Sanda.
“If this law is passed, prices of goods and services will go high and our homes will suffer,” shouted a protester.
The demonstrators dispersed in the late morning of Sunday without incident.
The Nigerien Minister of Finance, Hassoumi Massoudou said ,the 2018 budget law “does not affect the poor” but the “rich”.
At the end of October, a demonstration against the same finance law degenerated into riots. Twenty-three policemen were injured, a police station burned and fourteen vehicles destroyed, including ten police, “according to a report from the Interior Ministry.