Latest News in Nigeria on US Travel Advisory for Its Citizens.
In a recent travel advisory update, the U.S. Department of State has strongly urged its citizens to reconsider traveling to Nigeria due to various security concerns, including crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and the presence of armed gangs.
The advisory, issued on Wednesday, highlighted specific areas within Nigeria that pose an increased risk to travelers. It strongly discouraged travel to certain states, citing specific reasons:
- Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and Northern Adamawa States: Travel to these areas is not advised due to the heightened risk of terrorism and kidnapping.
- Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara States: These states should be avoided due to the threat of kidnapping.
- Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers States (except Port Harcourt): Travelers should exercise caution when visiting these states due to high levels of crime, kidnapping, and the presence of armed gangs.
The advisory also noted that violent crimes such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, roadside banditry, and rape are common throughout Nigeria. Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, targeting both dual national citizens and U.S. citizens perceived to have wealth. Kidnapping gangs have also been known to stop victims on interstate roads.
The U.S. government cautioned about the ongoing threat of terrorist attacks in Nigeria. Terrorists may strike with little or no warning, targeting areas where crowds gather, including shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, and transportation hubs. These terrorist groups sometimes collaborate with local gangs, expanding their reach.
In addition, the advisory highlighted civil unrest and the presence of armed gangs in parts of Southern Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta and Southeast regions. Armed criminality, kidnappings, and assaults on Nigerian security services are prevalent in this area. Tensions between farming and herder communities in rural areas can also lead to violence.
The U.S. government emphasized its limited ability to provide emergency services to its citizens in many parts of Nigeria due to security conditions.
Despite these warnings, the advisory provided some guidance for U.S. citizens who still choose to travel to Nigeria, including carrying proper identification, using caution when moving at night, staying alert in areas frequented by Westerners, and avoiding demonstrations and large political gatherings. Travelers were also advised to review their personal security plans and establish protocols with loved ones for proof of life in the event of a hostage situation.
Regarding the high-risk states, the advisory described the security situation as fluid and unpredictable, with widespread terrorist activity, inter-communal violence, and kidnapping. Security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.
The U.S. Department of State’s travel advisory serves as a reminder of the challenging security landscape in parts of Nigeria and the need for caution when considering travel plans to these areas