Officials of the Department of State Security, the police and the Ministry of Interior rushed to Wuse market at about 9 a.m. on Wednesday to rescue from a mob a boastful foreigner who had refused to obey normal security procedures.
According to eyewitnesses, the chubby visitor, who described himself as the "head of the Chinese business unit in the embassy" and who was traveling with another Chinese, resisted the order to open the boot of his Honda sedan car, which had diplomatic license plates, upon arrival at the gate of the market.
It is the normal practice, in view of the insecurity in the country, that all vehicles are opened up for inspection before they are allowed to proceed.
According to eye witnesses, the diplomat was very boastful, saying he would call the nation's security chiefs to lock up anyone who threatened him and his fellow Chinese national in the vehicle, but his brittle temper angered the growing mob which then insisted he must comply with the security procedure.
As tempers flared, the mob set out to drag the occupants out of their car, and it took the quick intervention of the Abuja Market Authority Management and Security officials to secure them from being lynched.
In the process, one of them had his shirt torn to pieces. He also claimed the sum of N100,000 was stolen from his car.
The diplomat, who is obviously well connected, bragged to the mob in the presence of a SaharaReporters contributor, and after he made some calls, apparently to top security chiefs, a retinue of security men promptly arrived at the scene. The management of the market was compelled to make available to the diplomat the sum of N100,00 and a new shirt before he stepped out of the car to write a statement, which he did at the police post inside the market.
It is not clear if the diplomat will press further charges, but he seemed to be a bit calmer when he drove out of the market, having demonstrated his connections, several security agencies appearing at the speed of light to rescue him.
One angry witness noted that he enjoyed the full service of the Nigerian state “showing little regard for laws or basic rules and regulations in the market.”