Richard Ginika Izuora
The United States (US), has issued a travel advisory to Americans coming to Nigeria.
The US Consulars Office website gave the warning in a statement which described Nigeria as a high-risk region due to COVID-19, crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime.
In the warning it noted that Borno and Yobe States and Northern Adamawa State are high risk terrorism enclave, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe states are known for kidnapping and Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) prone to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime.
Giving Country Summary it noted Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape – is common throughout the country.
It therefore urged citizens to exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence.
Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.
The US Consular also warned about sporadic violence between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas.
It cautioned the US Government has limited ability to provide emergency services to citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions.
Towards this end, the Consular implored US citizens to take the following precautions:
- Review your personal security plans.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Nigeria.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- Borno and Yobe states and Northern Adamawa State – Do Not Travel
“Terrorist groups based in the Northeast target churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, and entertainment venues.
“Approximately two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of the violence in Northeast Nigeria,” it warns.
“Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, and there is a heightened risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, along with violent civil unrest and attacks against expatriate oil workers and facilities.”
Meanwhile, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19.
“Nigeria has resumed domestic and international commercial air travel. National land borders are not yet opened. Business operations (including daycares and religious institutions) are slowly reopening in phases,” the statement warns.