United States has warned its citizens to avoid 14 Nigerian states in its latest travel advisory. The updated advisory urged American citizens to “reconsider travel to Nigeria”.
For those who insist on travelling, the US advises them against visiting 14 states in Nigeria as they are rife with terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
The states listed are: Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa state due to terrorism and kidnapping, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping.
It also banned American citizens from going to Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, kidnapping, and maritime crime.
In a country summary on Nigeria, the U.S. State Department wrote:
“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.
“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. Terrorists are known to work with local gangs to expand their reach.
“There is civil unrest and low-level armed militancy in parts of Southern Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region. Armed criminality, including kidnapping and maritime crime, is also pervasive in this region.
“Violence can flare up between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas.”
The US also offered its citizens security tips, while in Nigeria.
The tips are:
*See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
*Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
*Carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Nigerian visa, if needed.
*Use caution when walking or driving at night.
*Keep a low profile.
*Review travel routes and times to vary your predictability.
*Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
*Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
*Monitor local media for breaking events, and be prepared to adjust your plans.
*Be aware of your surroundings.
*Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
*Avoid demonstrations and large political gatherings.
*Review your personal security plans.
*Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.