Friday, January 13, 2012

One week later in Jimeta

One week after the shooting in Yola and on the 4th day of the fuel subsidy strike, the Yola-Jimeta area is remarkably quiet. My family went shopping and saw that there were far fewer vehicles on the road, many shops were closed - in some cases whole streets of shops gated and locked up - and the main market itself was quieter than usual, though there still a decent amount of traffic around the stalls. It was very strange to see so little activity.

I carefully wrote down the prices of everything we bought and noted that nothing had gone up significantly. The small pouch of water that in other cities had doubled or trebled in price was still the same N5 as ever. Our huge block of mozzarella cheese was even down N500 since last time.

There were two big differences. Faro Water, the local bottling plant owned by AUN Founder Atiku Abubakar, has joined the strike, so there were no refill water jugs. One shop did still have cartons of water bottles we could buy.

Second, a couple key intersections now sport dedicated police searching every car. Each motorcyclist had to stop, dismount, and walk their bike through. Pedestrians passed with their hands in the air. Each car had to show what was in the trunk and sometimes answer questions. I may post some of it later. Most of the travellers, and our driver, laughed at most of it.

The road to the church where the shooting took place is blocked to all traffic.

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