This story came from an Oppo list and as far I know was the only time I made any top 10.
The link to the comment doesn’t really work, so I just posted what I wrote below. TLDR: DO NOT DRIVE A CAR PAINTED IN THE NATIONAL COLOURS OF NIGERIA THROUGH AN ANTI-NIGERIA RIOT.
These are all great stories, but here is one for the ages: Driving from the wonderful city of Lagos Nigeria, to Accra, Ghana, in which I learned an important lesson: Never attempt to drive a car with a Nigerian flag on it through an anti Nigerian riot.
We left early at 6am, because even though the distance is only something like 500 kms, you have Lagosian rush hour traffic (21M+ 3rd world infrastructure) and cross the border into Benin, then a border into Togo, then a border in Ghana. (Lagos...pictured below...)
At the Beninese border, we were stopped for two hours whilst the guards tried to extort us for $20 equivalent in west african francs. That is an outrageous sum for those parts and our papers were in order. We didnt pay but did waste 2.5 hours.
In Ghana (we finally made it by about 2pm), the east of country is bisected by a huge lake (see image), and there is one road you can use to go across. So cross the lake we did, and then we came to a halt.
There was a line of stopped cars ahead of us. We stopped, and our driver being of infinite wisdom, decided, “Hey if there is no oncoming traffic because of a road block, I can wait at the front of the line instead of the back of the line and pass 100+ cars safely”. True.
So we got to the front and were the 5th car in line. We then realized the reason there was a road block was because some car from Nigeria had come and run over two villagers, killed them and then fled. This upset the villagers so they blocked the road and were on a anti Nigerian tirade. Our car, the fifth in line had Nigerian license plates, and a big flag painted on it. Day turned to night, and the road block turned into a road block that was now lit on fire.
The on fire roadblock was a step to far for the Ghanaian police and they decided, this road must open, so they set to dispense the villagers. The villagers decided for their part “f—— da police”
The police started off with flash bangs and smoke bombs. The villagers responded by throwing rocks at the cars and the police, and trying to flip them (with their passengers inside). Our van being painted a distinctive green and white (the colours of Nigeria) was an easy target. Things went from peaceful to insane in about 5 seconds. It is hard to describe the chaos but there was a huge amount of smoke, loud bangs going off everywhere (flash bangs) and our car was being pelted by rocks. All the vehicles in the line tried to turn around at once.
We finally got back behind the safety of another police barricade, and took stock. Our rear window had a 9 inch hole from someone throwing a boulder through it, and a huge part of the car was dented. Cars were showing up behind the rear road block all dented and missing lights etc. Finally a few hours later, the road opened. The side of the road we had lined up on had so much glass you couldnt drive on it, you had to drive in the opposing lane.
Finally we made it back to Accra, I gave the driver a big tip ( we were in some serivce that does this regularly, for more “elite” passengers, I remember our tickets being expensive, but I also remember it included food) if it wasnt for his stupidity we would have been fine, but if it wasnt for his fearlessness after the stupidity in GTFO we would have been dead. Oh yeah, I had had to take a dump really bad since the Beninese border, and eventually had to go to the bush with newspaper.
Live and learn, at least we lived. Our car was a new and A/Ced (rare for africa let me tell you) VW Van.
tl,dr: Moral, Don’t try to drive a car with a Nigerian flag painted on it through an anti Nigeria riot.