As a negotiator I have been involved in the most daring face to face confrontations with Area Boys, basically these are thugs who have their own turfs in different streets, bus stops, part of the city in Lagos, Nigeria. Politicians in Nigerian use them and dump them like a park of cards for thuggery and when the ‘politricking’ is over they head back to the streets, they lurk in corners and have a vantage point of view on what is going on in environment. They are best to know from the top, not from the down up. Hence my stay for 3 years in the most notorious street in the city of Lagos, Taiwo Street, Idi Araba was indeed the best thing that happened to me, no one dare to rob anyone, the only thing was the shoot out by rival gangs #Mushin vs #IdiAraba it was like a modern day version of the movie Gangs of New York.
Thankful to God I survived that. I had to get to the point where I meet the head, greeted him anytime I saw him and we sent him drinks, on one lovely day I was negotiating with an area boy in Surulere over the phone to allow us work on our construction site, he refused saying we had to pay half a million naira to him, the project was barely N2m. How do we factor that into our cost my associate pondered we begged him to take N 100,000.
He refused and threatened to deal with our project manager and workers, swiftly we called our very own head of area boys in Idi Araba who called the head of Area boys in Surulere and in 30 mins we moved to site and were never disturbed. Negotiations were concluded at N 50,000.00. I have used the same strategy to deal with business in places I can’t be from Abuja to Dubai, New York to London, I know the head of the cabal of most of the cities I do business in. I have closed deals without being there, and I have transferred funds to brokers who have never been to my own locality, but we closed a deal for. It is awesome just doing what you can, to make sure that stakeholder are happy.