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UK, U.S. govt advises citizens against travelling to troubled parts of Nigeria

Valentine Chinyem

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The United Kingdom and United States of America Governments have advised their citizen against travelling to Nigeria, following rising cases of Covid-19 and insecurity.

The travel advisory for United Kingdom citizens residing in Nigeria was publicised on the official website of the UK Foreign Office, stating that “the Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.”

Meanwhile, the U.S government gave the advisory on its Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website.

Both governments specifically advised citizens not to travel to Borno, Yobe, and northern part of Adamawa State due to terrorism.

Also listed are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe States as areas vulnerable to kidnapping.

For maritime crimes, civil unrest, kidnapping and other crimes, the consulate listed the coastal states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) as vulnerable areas.

The statement added Nigeria is known for violent crimes such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape.

The statement by the U.S reads, “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.”

The statement further adds that, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to its citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions.

Meanwhile the statement from the United Kingdom Foreign Office states that, the insecurity in Nigeria necessitated the temporary withdrawal of a small number of UK staff and dependents at the British High Commission in Abuja and the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos.

“Both locations will continue to carry out essential work including providing 24/7 consular assistance and support to British people in Nigeria,” the statement reads.

It added that helicopter gunships had been operating in Kaduna State targeting cross border banditry, noting that, Al Qaeda linked terrorist groups had been reported to be operating in Kaduna.

“Humanitarian hubs have been targeted during attacks in the North east, including Monguno, Borno State on 13 June 2020.

“There have also been significant attacks in Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Jos and Bauchi States and in the Federal capital, Abuja. Further attacks are likely,” the office warned.