*Specifically cautions them from travelling to 12 states of the country
*Says they should also reconsider trip to Nigeria due to COVID-19
*Insists security situation in Northern Nigeria fluid, unpredictable
Amidst rising cases of violent crimes across the country, the United States of America has warned its citizens against travelling to some states of Nigeria over security challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the warning which was contained in a travel advisory obtained on its website dated August 6, 2020, US citizens were specifically warned not to travel to 12 out of 36 states of the country due to high rate of violent crimes in the areas.
US further warned her citizens against travelling to Nigeria because of the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that some areas have increased risk of contracting the deadly disease.
In a statement titled ‘Country Summary,’ US citizens were warned not to travel to Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states due to terrorism, stressing that the security challenges prevalent in Nigeria includes terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime.
They were also asked to avoid Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna amd Kano states due to kidnapping while states like Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta and Rivers (with the exception of Port Harcourt) should be avoided due to civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime.
“Do not travel to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe states. The security situation in Northwest and Northeast Nigeria is fluid and unpredictable, particularly in the states listed above due to widespread inter-communal violence and kidnapping.
“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.
“Do not travel to coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) – 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”, the advisory read in part.
While giving a summary of security situation in Nigeria, it added, “Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape – is common throughout the country. 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.
“Sporadic violence occurs between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas. There is maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea”, it added.
Furthermore, the statement warned that “the US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions” as it listed over 12 checklists to the citizens who decide to travel to Nigeria.
They were told to, among others, carry proper identification including a US passport with current Nigerian visa if needed and also to exercise caution when walking or driving at night while travel routes and times should be reviewed to vary their predictability.
The US citizens planning to visit Nigeria were also warned not to physically resist any robbery attempt, be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs as well as monitor local media for breaking events, and be prepared to adjust their plans and to be aware of their surroundings.
“Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners. Avoid demonstrations and large political gatherings. Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Nigeria,” they were further warned.
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