Hotel has been threatened by terrorists – stay or find another one?

Home Forum Chat Forum Hotel has been threatened by terrorists – stay or find another one?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 71 total)
  • Hotel has been threatened by terrorists – stay or find another one?
  • Do it. What’s the worst that could happen?

    Premier Icon boxelder
    Subscriber

    I’d be thinking whether the job is worth the risk.
    Or seek expert guidance on a cycling forum inhabited by ne’erdowells and dullards.

    JulianA
    Member

    Find a job that offers less life-threatening travel?

    In the light of what you’ve said I’d be thinking of a way to get out of it, including resigning!

    globalti
    Member

    Resign? And find another job with the same terms and conditions at my age? Ha ha.

    piemonster
    Member

    I read the OP as Procol Harum.

    Premier Icon paladin
    Subscriber

    So if their current plan has been detected, they may target a different hotel? Or the same one…

    Your jobs terms and conditions must mean a lot to you, I wouldn’t like to be the one tossing the coin on where to stay.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    If crawling with soldiers could well be the safer bet now?

    Good luck and keep your head down.

    globalti
    Member

    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.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/03/us-nigeria-violence-idUSBREA4204Q20140503

    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.

    Any thoughts?

    Danny79
    Member

    During your trip will you be relying on police and army as your only protection or will you have any additional security? Do you have a good local fixer or is your expat colleague your only source of information? Does company have a contingency plan in place for kidnapping with regard to negotiation/rescue or will they be handing off to embassy at first opportunity? I believe there is such a thing as kidnap survival training which I believe covers preparing you for stress kidnapping and possible rescue research and request work sends you on it probably not going to be in time for this trip but useful for next time.

    globalti
    Member

    No extra security and we wouldn’t really want to involve anybody locally. We believe that the best security is no security at all; we move around discretely and irregularly and just get on with the job. We’ve already stopped visiting the east and the north and so far the Lagos area hasn’t suffered from the terrorism although kidnapping for cash has been around for a while, though that is usually done by cash-strapped students and targeted at wealthy locals in the Lagos area.

    cheekyboy
    Member

    I was at the Sheraton Ikeja last Saturday, the buffet has gone right downhill !!! some of the Lagos boys are saying the same re the security, we tend to stay in low key hotels, I`m surprised the Sheraton has remained untouched for so long, try the Regent in Ikeja GRA.

    globalti
    Member

    The Regent looks OK, I will get my colleague to go and check it out next week. There are a couple of of decent restaurants in GRA.

    Jamie
    Member

    If crawling with soldiers could well be the safer bet now?

    Unless some of the soldiers are in on it?

    grum
    Member

    Just make sure you’ve got really good travel insurance. 🙂

    No extra security and we wouldn’t really want to involve anybody locally. We believe that the best security is no security at all

    Shouldn’t you at least have some sort of security advisers/consultants, rather than having to ask on a mountain bike forum?

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    If worst comes to the worst, just make sure you are always wearing a white vest.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    I’d phone in sick.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Surely this is a H&S issue?

    It’s about the balance between the severity of a n event (in terms of injury) against the liklihood of the event happening.

    Eg, there is a risk of death if you are hit by a meteor but that event, although possible, is pretty unlikely so we accept the risk.

    Now, you need to ask yourself, if I were to be kidnapped, would it just mean I’d get a paper cut, a bit of a bruise, suffer mental trauma every day for the rest of my life, have your life shortened dramatically by a bullet in the back of the head? I don’t know but whatever happens when you are kidnapped, the possibility of the kidnapping has just gone from unlikely to likely, maybe even very likely.

    I’m sure any injury suffered would be pretty severe too be it physical or mental and it’s certainly going to affect the rest of your life, no matter how long or short that is going to be.

    Quick risk assessment:
    Severity x likely hood of being kidnapped in Lagos
    On a scale of 1-10

    9 x 5 = 45

    To contrast that, staying in a hotel in London and the risk of being kidnapped!

    9 x 1 = 9

    Where it’s possible you could be kidnapped in a hotel in London and if you were, the severity would still be pretty similar but the likely hood has decreased to an acceptable level.

    You decide but I don’t think I’d be going.

    hora
    Member

    Boko Haram?

    OP why would you even ask the question? Bizarre.

    nealglover
    Member

    No extra security and we wouldn’t really want to involve anybody locally. We believe that the best security is no security at all

    I Agree.

    Far better to ask random strangers on the internet about this sort of trivial stuff, than to get actual informed advice from experts.

    maxtorque
    Member

    Set up your own terrorist organisation, and take over the hotel yourself first.

    I mean, what are the chances of TWO terror groups wanting to take over the same hotel at the same time!

    (attack is the best form of defense and all that)

    😉

    tpbiker
    Member

    screw that, no way I’d be going.

    As above, Im assuming you work in oil & gas, and your firm surely consults with security experts in the region?
    They should be advising you. There’s no way my firm would be sending someone to a hotel that’d recently had a terrorist threat made against it.

    samuri
    Member

    If you don’t go to that hotel you’ll be letting the terrorists win.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Your company has been very lucky. How ever lagos is pretty safe if your sensible but once they start making threats its. Sign of things changing , your company should adapt to this really. Burying head in sand is not a defence.

    What worrys me more than the risk of being kidnapped is what will they do after you have been kidnapped , what have they got in place ?

    Hope your life insurance and death in service is sufficiant.

    One day the company are going to get a shock for being lax

    I work in port harcourt alot , we have security services in place and expat in country security advisors , for the most part i would be happy walking about in ph and dont feel threatened at all , the odd occasion there has been hassle(riots or a wedding im not sure) ive been very glad they have been there.

    Mean while in other parts of africa we arrive into country and are handed the keys to a pick up and told to get on with it .

    Rogan Josh
    Member

    Yes agreed, shouldn’t really be your call if it’s enough to be worried about, which in this case it is, no two ways of looking at it. The company should be speaking with in country security consultants which would (should) negate your need to worry/ask, as they’ll either say it’s ok or not and the company cancel your trip.

    It’s one thing not using BGs in country but surely your company can consult someone better informed than stw. Do they have insurance for the k&r? Suppose a little different if you’re contracting to the company, in which case yes it’s difficult!

    Edit – I suppose the insurance is hardly irrelevant to you, I’m sure you’d prefer it not to get that far!

    globalti
    Member

    Well it’s all about likelihood I guess. For example I used to go to Pakistan regularly on business until the whole Al Qaeda thing kicked off and now I haven’t been there for about 8 years. My agent there regrets me not being able to go but says it’s definitely too dangerous because an obvious westerner would be targeted – remember Daniel Pearl?

    However Lagos is an immense city and despite the fact of being white in a black country you can move around pretty discretely thanks to the massive numbers of people and cars on the road. People who have been kidnapped in Lagos have been taken for cash and have been targeted because they were flashing the cash in nightclubs for example. My colleague who lives there is as obvious as any white man but he lives in a 100% Nigerian estate and moves discretely in Nigerian social and business circles so in fact he’s not very visible.

    Now that this threat has been detected the balance has moved more towards the likelihood of being caught up in a random act of terrorism designed to strike at a place where lots of Americans and Europeans congregate. What I was trying to get at in my original post was: a bit like lightening never striking twice in the same place; now that visible security has been increased and the numbers of guests will plummet, is the Sheraton actually the safest place to be?

    iolo
    Member

    OP, The money must be alright to even condider it.
    Just two things to ponder on, rich and dead in Nigeria or minimum wage and happy in uk.
    The decision is yours.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Narrow life you live there iolo.

    I know some brilliant nigerians from my trips there , i enjoy going there , on my terms not the companies.

    Ive always said , ill go anywhere once , if i dont like it i wont be going back.

    Ps as for lightening never striking twice , have you seen captain phillips ?

    iolo
    Member

    Not narrow. I’m not actually picking on Nigeria. I worked with a really funny guy called Umo from Lagos. I realise financially you can be made for life and able to retire very young there. This money does not come for nothing mind.
    Why do European workers get such big wages?Because it’s not so safe. Can a white guy walk down the street? Can a white woman sit in a cafe?

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Sounds like your risk assessment is based on occasional events at random locations. You now have a specific threat at your location. You need a new risk assessment to suit the new circumstances.

    I can’t cancel the trip

    Unless you’re Liam Neeson bringing back family, this just isn’t true.

    cheekyboy
    Member

    In reality as the Sheraton is the main overnight stop off for all of the major aircrews I would bet on the security being very high, the real issue in Nigeria is not the safety of ex-pats but the fate of the missing school girls in the North East.

    globalti
    Member

    Sensible post and two points well made.

    …and as Trail Rat and iolo say, I actually enjoy my job and enjoy Nigeria and its people.

    markcurtains
    Member

    maxtorque – Member

    Set up your own terrorist organisation, and take over the hotel yourself first.

    I mean, what are the chances of TWO terror groups wanting to take over the same hotel at the same time!

    Why is by far the best suggestion on here being ignored?

    falkirk-mark
    Member

    Who would you get to play you in the film ?

    cheekyboy
    Member

    @ Iolo

    I have never seen a white woman on her own walking around Lagos, I met a couple of Canadian nurses in Benin City last year they had an armed escort at all times, I think the main reason being that movement around the place is very difficult if you are not local, I have never heard of anyone being randomly attacked by a local, we are regularly stopped by the police who are normally afer a 500 naira dash – about 2 quid, met a Lebanese guy who was kidnapped and held for 5 days, he was released after his brother paid half the ransom, he claimed his kidnappers treated him very well and even promised not to kidnap him again ! So its not all bad really the best thing to take there is a good sense of humour and a big bag of patience, it can be a good laugh.

    globalti
    Member

    ….and they brew damned good beer! The biggest Guinness brewery in the world is not in Dublin but in Lagos.

    Different Guinness tho isn’t it!? I’m sure I listened to a business podcast once (don’t ask) where the CEO of Diaggio (?) was saying the Guinness brewed for Nigeria is sweeter than the Irish / European Guinness??

    globalti
    Member

    Yes, very different. Nigerian Guinness is darker and richer and has a more malty flavour. It took me a while to figure out how Guinness got to West Africa; the answer is that the Irish missionaries took it with them!

    Guinness’s main rival is Nigerian Breweries who brew the very excellent Star and Gulder lagers. I don’t normally drink Euro-fizz but when in Rome…. and they are both very good, refreshing beers with plenty of flavour to balance the alcohol.

    hora
    Member

    Heres a sensible post- do you know the quality of the security?

    Under focused and vicious attack will security run?

    Yes you can cancel. When your dead on a slab would you be happy?

    Manage your risk. Your job cant pay enough unless it allows you to carry like for like weapons.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    …it can be a good laugh

    Sounds hilarious.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 71 total)

The topic ‘Hotel has been threatened by terrorists – stay or find another one?’ is closed to new replies.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks are open.

Skip to top