Day 50… Tuesday 30th May
It was great to have been able to fill up with fuel yesterday as the new president’s speech mentioned the end of fuel subsidies and started panic buying with long queues at the fuel stations. Hope this situation ends quickly as we wont get very far in a day or two. Started keeping an note of how many police stops – 24 today over a 6 hour drive (averaging 4 an hour) – tedious! Only 2 moments of slight concern. One where a police officer directed us onto a diversion which was on the other side of a fast road separated by a tree bank so we were driving towards speeding traffic coming at us while noticing that all other local traffic had ignored the police officer. Managed to cross back onto the other side after a few hair-raising minutes. The other was in Awka. After the bridge crossing, there was a man with a double-barrelled gun dressed in black with a face covering. Although most police officers carry weapons, this chap looked particularly menacing but luckily there was no attempt to stop us. Drove to Abakallki where our hotel for the night was great. Again no visa payment was possible (despite the fact that they advertise this form of payment) so we drove around town trying 6 ATM’s to get cash. None of them worked so will try again tomorrow.
Much is made about the security concerns within Nigeria, including the recent attack on a US convoy in Awka which we drove through, but we found no problems. Even the police seemed relaxed and raised no issues with where we were heading to. Besides the barmy amount of police stops and the sometimes shocking roads Nigeria seems on the surface to be a country at peace with itself.