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Reports of massacre of protesters in Lagos

Oyibo

LE
Port Harcourt defies description, really. It's that shite.

Well, the bits I saw on my one and only (and definitely last) visit were, anyway.

Was early noughties when I was young and dumb and unknowing. As NB says, not a good part of the world to be pale-skinned. There were guys working for Total and permanently based there who took being lifted for ransom as a pastime, it happened that often. Only made the news back home if they weren't released on payment or it dragged on for a few days. Total would pay up after a brief negotiation to get the price down to a relative bargain-basement level and they'd usually be released same day or the next. Usually local gang-bangers with all the gear and no idea. Only really a bad day out if MEND or another "serious" outfit lifted them.

Port Harcourt was okay-ish (by local standards) until about 2004/5 when MEND and the copycat groups got serious about violence and kidnapping. @Northern_Biff mentions his company upping sticks at the time, and many others did as well. The net result was a vicious circle of money and jobs leaving the city thus leading to more crime.

Warri (another oil city) had been through a far more violent period not long before, and aside from one oil major had very little in the way of big business. Curiously, this led to the formerly violent youths being so desperate for work that they were hard grafters ('04, '05, '06).
 
Angola is shit and the food in Luanda is ******* expensive.

For anyone to say that it’s better than Nigeria is not paying a compliment to Angola: it is however making it clear how bad Nigeria is.

I ran two training courses in Yola and we provided lunch.

On the first day of the first course I tried the chicken. I have never eaten anything so hot.

But not ‘interesting’ hot like an Indian curry or a Lao laeb. Just ‘tip an entire packet of chilli into that chicken, Blessing’.

Every meal was the same.

It was egg banjos for my lunch after that.
We may have been mollycoddled but we did often drive out into the sticks and eat in local restaurants/cafes and whilst you never had a menu or actually any choice other that take it or leave it, I always found the food to be on a par to some of the best Luanda hotels.
I suppose I was fortunate that the company picked up the hotel tabs. At one stage it was the most expensive country on the planet for hotel stays. The biggest scam was water at the table that they would open a bottle and start pouring before you asked.....$20 a bottle. A bottle of wine was $12. That lasted one night before we came to an arrangement with the floor manager.
 
We may have been mollycoddled but we did often drive out into the sticks and eat in local restaurants/cafes and whilst you never had a menu or actually any choice other that take it or leave it, I always found the food to be on a par to some of the best Luanda hotels.
I suppose I was fortunate that the company picked up the hotel tabs. At one stage it was the most expensive country on the planet for hotel stays. The biggest scam was water at the table that they would open a bottle and start pouring before you asked.....$20 a bottle. A bottle of wine was $12. That lasted one night before we came to an arrangement with the floor manager.

When I arrived in Luanda I was invited out to dinner by the Control Risks country manager. We went out to the lido and had a chinese. It was an average meal and cost well over $150 for two. Luckily CR picked up the tab :)
 

NSP

LE
Met a Danish oil worker who said that when he'd worked out there MEND had got on his rig in the delta one day and they just weren't quick enough getting the citadel door secured so MEND literally had a foot in the door, got in and demanded to know who was in charge. So, having got the OIM - another Dane - they then "punished" him for having the cheek to try and secure his crew and their personal valuables so they couldn't be robbed or abused by taking him out to the nearest catwalk, putting a few mags through an AK on auto and then sticking the muzzle in his mouth.

Then they robbed everyone blind, slapped a few of the locally-hired around for shits and giggles, and to "punish" them for working for whitey and, indirectly, the government, and buggered off.

Lovely bunch of blokes.
 

NSP

LE
Port Harcourt was okay-ish (by local standards) until about 2004/5 when MEND and the copycat groups got serious about violence and kidnapping. @Northern_Biff mentions his company upping sticks at the time, and many others did as well. The net result was a vicious circle of money and jobs leaving the city thus leading to more crime.

Warri (another oil city) had been through a far more violent period not long before, and aside from one oil major had very little in the way of big business. Curiously, this led to the formerly violent youths being so desperate for work that they were hard grafters ('04, '05, '06).
Yeah - that was about the time I was dumb enough to be down that way. Weren't even safe offshore - first time I was shot at was that job. Was shot at by the Hanish-al-Kubra garrison in the southern Red Sea the following year, too.

Yay! Shot at on both sides of the same continent.

I might write a book - "It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet Civvy."
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Port Harcourt was okay-ish (by local standards) until about 2004/5 when MEND and the copycat groups got serious about violence and kidnapping. @Northern_Biff mentions his company upping sticks at the time, and many others did as well. The net result was a vicious circle of money and jobs leaving the city thus leading to more crime.

Warri (another oil city) had been through a far more violent period not long before, and aside from one oil major had very little in the way of big business. Curiously, this led to the formerly violent youths being so desperate for work that they were hard grafters ('04, '05, '06).

I knew the port director of Warri around that time who was a good man and was trying to grow his business and promote the place, but he needed Chevron's support to become a supply hub and it never materialised.
 

Oyibo

LE
I knew the port director of Warri around that time who was a good man and was trying to grow his business and promote the place, but he needed Chevron's support to become a supply hub and it never materialised.

Sadly for him (as I'm sure you know) the Escravos and Forcados rivers/estuaries were kidnap / armed attack central at the time. If he'd got the job ten years earlier...
 

NSP

LE
I remember arriving and the immigration hall was down an escalator but the queue moved so slowly due to people "negotiating" the size of the "gift" for the immigration officers that it stretched back up the escalator and beyond so you had to mark time in reverse whilst on the escalator. Can't remember where the fuck it was/is, though - Lagos or Luanda ring bells; certainly feeling it began with an L.
 
I remember arriving and the immigration hall was down an escalator but the queue moved so slowly due to people "negotiating" the size of the "gift" for the immigration officers that it stretched back up the escalator and beyond so you had to mark time in reverse whilst on the escalator. Can't remember where the **** it was/is, though - Lagos or Luanda ring bells; certainly feeling it began with an L.

Luanda was the place with the yellow fever scam in the way in and the local currency scam on the way out.
 

Oyibo

LE
I remember arriving and the immigration hall was down an escalator but the queue moved so slowly due to people "negotiating" the size of the "gift" for the immigration officers that it stretched back up the escalator and beyond so you had to mark time in reverse whilst on the escalator. Can't remember where the **** it was/is, though - Lagos or Luanda ring bells; certainly feeling it began with an L.

That was Lagos international arrivals
 
When I arrived in Luanda I was invited out to dinner by the Control Risks country manager. We went out to the lido and had a chinese. It was an average meal and cost well over $150 for two. Luckily CR picked up the tab :)
In all my time with the industry, I don't recall CR ever picking up the tab, the cheapskate w@nkers.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Sadly for him (as I'm sure you know) the Escravos and Forcados rivers/estuaries were kidnap / armed attack central at the time. If he'd got the job ten years earlier...

Camp 5 and Tompolo spring to mind...

I still think it could have worked with a bit of patience.
 

NSP

LE
Look on the upside: now it's not in CA a true picture of the place can be painted in quite plain and emphasising terms.

Personally, I found the locals to be on the whole friendly. Apart from all the ones who were criminally-inclined, armed to the teeth and - worse of them all - political (stand fast MEND; you know it's you).

I miss my monthly death threat from MEND.
Most of it is a blur for me now. It was a long time ago when I was a very different person and, like Sheppey, I've worked at putting it far, far behind me and trying not to give it all much thought.

Mind you, listening to a Tornado pilot talking to a Turkish warship that was harassing us off of southern Cyprus about eight - ten years ago still sticks in my mind quite clearly. Turkish WS: "Rant, rant, snarl, Cyprus is ours, etc." Tornado jockey: "Listen, Pugwash. fuck off like a good little matelot right now or we'll be pleased to assist in your transition from a surface vessel to a submarine, over." Or, at least, that sounded like what he was saying, reading between the lines.

In any event:-

Turkish WS: "Okay, Biggles. We go now. Have a nice day. [Phew!]"

TCG Bandırma in the process of foxtrot oscar'ing:-

Turkish warship01.jpg
 
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Oyibo

LE
Camp 5 and Tompolo spring to mind...

I still think it could have worked with a bit of patience.

Yup. Although his name was really Government Ekpempolo, but the Western companies adopted the name Tompolo.

I think it would have been really difficult for Warri port to make themselves a big player - it would have required a huge amount of money at a very high risk of no return.
 
Yup. Although his name was really Government Ekpempolo, but the Western companies adopted the name Tompolo.

I think it would have been really difficult for Warri port to make themselves a big player - it would have required a huge amount of money at a very high risk of no return.
I also recall that Warri is quite a bit inshore from the high seas.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
That was Lagos international arrivals
Christ, i've only just started sleeping properly after the last 'worst....' thread. Strangely it's Africa, again.
 

Oyibo

LE
I also recall that Warri is quite a bit inshore from the high seas.

It would probably require quite a bit of dredging and massive infrastructure work for anything other than lighters.

Plus, it's on the border of the Ijaws and Istekiris which can sometimes lead to issues:

 
I remember arriving and the immigration hall was down an escalator but the queue moved so slowly due to people "negotiating" the size of the "gift" for the immigration officers that it stretched back up the escalator and beyond so you had to mark time in reverse whilst on the escalator. Can't remember where the **** it was/is, though - Lagos or Luanda ring bells; certainly feeling it began with an L.
Could have been Luton...
 

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