Nigeria – Border crossing from Seme
Errrmmmm where do I start, firstly I have to honestly say that during this trip, nearly everyone has a similar opinion on Nigeria. Whenever it was mentioned that we would be travelling through Nigeria we heard the following …
“Drive straight through!, It’s a lawless country, Never trust anyone amongst many other things”.
After months and months of this I was having nightmares about what might happen when we drive through.
It was my turn at the border and I was alert and ready for any crap that officials might want to pull on me, within a few minutes I realised that these officials were in fact really nice and they were interested in the journey that I was doing.
One guy even gave me his number and asked me to call him after sometime in Nigeria to let him know what my opinion was of the country and another offered to share his breakfast with me!
Unlike most borders, here there was a logical sequence of guys to see and after my carnet was stamped I was ready to enter Nigeria within 30 min which is very fast (a good start!).
What I wasn’t expecting for the next 100km was hundreds upon hundreds of uniformed police (black uniforms), Drug Enforcement officers (white uniforms), Road Safety (beige uniforms) that would without fail stop us, initially via an aggressive gesture to park to the right followed by one or sometimes several officers approaching our vehicle wanting to know where we have come from and where we are going to.
I have to say that although being stopped by these guys was an inconvenience nearly every officer we met was friendly and happy that we were visiting their country. Even when we stopped at a small roadside makeshift bar, the nearby policeman came and joined us for a drink and we all had a good chat and a laugh. Sadly it seemed though as nice as these officers are, the fact that they are carrying golf clubs, flare guns and AK-47’s shows that fighting crime here is just one of their objectives, obtaining a ‘dash’ (local term for bribe) seems another.