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Airport Adventures: Lagos Airport

by David Hartman

The gunman shot into the car multiple times, we were in three accidents...

"On August 5th 2001 I went to Nigeria to set up an emergency medical services system when I was less than 1-2 miles from the airport in a government vehicle headed for Ibadan when we were ambushed by 2 cars that had a person in each car with a machine gun. The gunman shot into the car multiple times, we were in three accidents, the last accident involved the driver being shot in the back of the head through my window ( my friend and I had our heads down in the back seat ) we had a head on collision then the car rolled over onto its roof. My friend and I went running from the scene and made it back to the airport with the help of some policemen. I asked to go to the British Airways office and a very nice manager helped book us on a flight to London and then back to the USA. When I was in Nigeria in April 2001 I had a military escort to Ibadan and had no problems until I tried to return to the USA on KLM which the ticket agent gave away my seat for bribes. KLM stated no seats available and took me to 3 different hotels in Lagos at 12:30am ( all hotels were booked except the roach infested airport hotel ). The next KLM flight was 2 days later with no available seats. I had to fly out on Lufthansa first class ( no other seats available on any airlines ) to get out of Nigeria. When I was leaving in April 2001 the immigration "official" tried to get a bribe for these simple wood carvings I had bought from a shop for my children because they were "national treasures". The government driver who was killed during the ambush left a wife and three kids. I would not recommend ever going to Nigeria. It is one of the most corrupt and dangerous countries I have ever been to."

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