Quasi-News and Commentary

by Wordworks2001

Colonel Moammar Gaddafi, Chief of the State of Libya, arrived at the international airport in Abuja, Nigeria on Tuesday, to attend the African Union Peace & Security Council on Wednesday and the African South American Summit on Thursday. The colonel, who is not unknown for his elan and flamboyance, came prepared to give the Nigerians quite a show.

His entourage and security force arrived in five aiircraft. He brought with him, a 300 man security force that was to augment the 200 who had arrived in advance to prepare for Gaadafi’s grand arrival. Not only did this security force bring enough weapons to army a company of soldiers, they brought enough ammunition to hold off 5000 of Santa Ana’s troops attacking the Alamo.

When the Nigerian airport security men and women saw all of this fire power being loaded into the 50 car convoy waiting to transport Gaadafi and his Army to the center of the city, the small army was halted and told they could not bring all of those weapons and ammunitions to town. A rhetorical battle ensued, in which the Libyans demanded to be allowed to enter Abuja and the Nigerians said, “Podner, if you want to set foot in our town, you’ll have to leave your guns here.”

Gaadafi did not take too kindly to his authority being questioned and not accustomed to having his desires granted. He had a hissy fit. At one point during the tense negotiations, the volitile Libyan leader decided to get out of his car and walk to Abuja. And that’s just what he started doing, until President Obasanjo, passing by the other direction in his limo, stopped and picked up the recalictrant Gaadafi.

The two returned to the scene where leaders of Nigerian and Libyan security forces were still hammering out a deal. It must have been like the nuclear weapon proliferation talks, with one side agreeing to not taking machine guns into Abuja as long as they could take their automatic pistols. At one point, the Libyan ambassador to Nigeria lost his cool and very undiplomatically threatened that if they did not get their way, the entire Libyan delegation would return home.

That threat didn’t seem to phase the Nigerians and in the end, Gaadafi was allowed eight armed men withh a limited amount of ammunition, to accompany him in to Abuja. The rest of the arms, ammunition and most of the Libyan security personnel were put back on the waiting five aircraft and Nigerian security forces surrounded the planes so nothing untoward would happen.
Now this incident begs a myriad of questions. Does Gaadafi ordinarily travel with a 200 man advance security team and 300 heavily armed body guards? If not, why suddenly does he decide he needs this heavy security on his visit to Abuja? Was there some other actiivity on nhis mind other than attending two conferences?

It’s been long thought that Gaadafi isn’t as mentally sound as most of us would like a world leader to be. Perhaps his paranoia requires a huge security force to make him feel safe and comfortable. Perhaps he plans to spend some time in Lagos and heard it was one of the most dangerous cities on earth so he wants to be prepared. Maybe,, just maybe, he realized the poltitical upheavel the country was experiencing and he feared the delicate Nigerian government might fall apart in a coup attempt while he was here. Or could it be Goofy Gaadafi thought he could take over the country with a 500 man force.


BBC News

This Day Newspaper (Lagos)

Wordworks2001 is a retired US Army masyer sergeant who lives in Indiana and works in Nigeria. His personal blog is wordworks2001

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