Arrived at MMIA last week with a friend from the UK. He was met in the arrivals hall by a protocol officer to help smooth his way through. As we were waiting for our luggage the chap asked him how many bags he had. "Four", he replied, "will this be a problem with the Customs people?". Without missing a beat the chap said "no, we will just tell them that you are a pastor returning from a crusade". Huh?
Sure enough after collecting the bags they made their way to the exit door where they were met by a stern looking Custom's official. He put his hand on the trolley and told them they had to step to one side for inspection. The protocol office then said to him "Oga, this man is a pastor with the Redeemed Church and he is just returning from a crusade abroad" all the while flashing my friend's Nigerian passport in the man's face. The Customs officer then took one look at my friend and waved them through.
Outside they burst out laughing. Why? Well if he had checked the Custom's man would have seen that my friend's name was Abdul Hammed XXXXXXX. Surely even in Nigeria this would have roused some suspicions? Or maybe not? Is there some law that I have missed that says members of the clergy (regardless of their faith) are immune from Customs checks? What if the bags were filled with guns, drugs, body parts? Na wa o.