Conflict in Sierra Leone
I have been a bodyguard for over 12 years in Nigeria. My VIPs are usually former Nigerian leaders, however one of the expectations of this kind of work in Nigeria– is that you can be assigned to special duty anywhere in the world. Which is how I came to be in Sierra Leone in 1998, along with 16 other men. Our assignment: evacuate overthrown President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah from his villa, where he was held captive by the R.U.F. (Revolutionary United Front, led by Foday Sankoh.) After we were briefed by the CSO, we boarded aircraft and flew to Liberia, and when attempting to get to the Freetown airport, the R.U.F. fired on us. Amidst a good deal of shelling and gunfire, we were able finally to get to the President and evacuated him to neighboring Guinea, where he was in hiding for 3 months–and then reinstated as President.
In the end, we lost 2 bodyguards in that action, but the R.U.F. lost many more–including their leader.
Babangida Yakubu Thank you for sharing this story. It is a reminder to us all that in other parts of the world civil unrest and political climate can mean that being a “bodyguard” is more like being a “soldier,” and that the risks of the job vary widely, depending upon where you are in the world. –Harlan “Hucky” Austin