Celebrating Ibara Day in Abeokuta


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We had all been expecting the worst when it came to corruption and hustling in Nigeria, which is why we chose to cross into the country at a tiny and peaceful border town called Ilawa. There were not even a customs office at the border so we had to drive into a Nigerian town to get our truck stamper in. Once we were in the country we got our suspections confirmed-every ten kilometers or so there were real police, military and even fake police aka bandits trying to stop us and trying to get some money. I have never in my life seen as many ununiformed men with guns as that day and it was more to be seen in the night which we spent in a fancy hotel in Abeokuta. Apparently there was an annual event called Ibara Day where hundreds of people were gathered to watch a masked man speak on a stage while people from the audience were holding their guns up and shooting wildly in the air. We had security guards with us, which was the only way that the hotel would let us go there, but it did not feel unsafe at all. The people were all very welcoming and set up a table for us at the front and occasionally came over with free drinks for us. It was all super weird, but quite an interesting first night in Nigeria.
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