I'm due to spend 8 nights at the Sheraton Hotel in Lagos in a month. Now the US embassy's listening equipment has picked up a plan by Boko Haram (who kidnapped the 200 schoolgirls) to attack a Sheraton Hotel, of which there are two in Lagos, my regular one in inland Ikeja and a newer one in Ikoyi, which is on an island.
Now my British colleague there tells me the Ikeja hotel is crawling with armed soldiers an everybody expects bookings to plummet to nothing.
There are plenty of alternatives but Sheraton being the oldest around, it has space and decent facilities and isn't too bad a place to be if you have to spend eight nights there. Others are on small plots in noisy locations on busy streets.
I have a strong feeling that now that the threat has been detected, Boko Haram will give up on the idea as being too risky for possibly too little reward and a Sheraton hotel could actually be the safest place to be, given that they could easily turn their attention to another hotel. My guess is that they could be planning a bomb or another mass kidnapping.
I can't cancel the trip - my British colleague lives there so he's exposed to the threat of kidnapping and violence every day. My boss travels around Latin America so he is unimpressed by kidnap threats as an excuse for cancelling. One thing is for sure: the Police and Army in Lagos are totally unprepared for a terrorist attack, they are shambolic and disorganised and they lounge around all day with rusty weapons hanging from tattered bits of rope so if anything did happen, you couldn't count on them preventing it.