The United States government has advised its citizens to reconsider travel to Nigeria as a result of the security threats in some parts of the country.
In its latest travel advisory, the government decried the spate of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime, stressing that some areas have increased risk.
“Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, banditry, and rape – is common throughout the country.
“Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit, as well as U.S. citizens with perceived wealth. Kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims on interstate roads,” the U.S. government said.
It was worried that terrorists have continued to plot and carry out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the North East.
According to the government, terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.
It said there has been civil unrest and low-level armed militancy in parts of the South, especially in the Niger Delta region where kidnapping and maritime crime were pervasive.
The U.S. government warned its citizens against violence between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas, as well as maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea.
It decried that it has limited ability to provide emergency services to its citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions.
The travel advisory dated April 20 read:
Borno, Yobe, and Northern Adamawa States – Do Not Travel
The security situation in these states is fluid and unpredictable due to widespread terrorist activity, inter-communal violence, and kidnapping. Security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.
Terrorist groups based in the Northeast routinely target humanitarian camps, security forces, churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, entertainment venues, and road travellers. Approximately two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of the violence in north-east Nigeria.
Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara States – Do Not Travel
The security situation in these states is fluid and unpredictable due to widespread inter-communal violence and armed criminality, especially kidnapping and roadside banditry. Security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.
Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers States (with the exception of Port Harcourt) – Do Not Travel
Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, and there is a heightened risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, especially in the Gulf of Guinea.
Violent civil unrest and armed militancy persist in these areas.