The United States of America has issued a travel alert on 18 states in Nigeria.
Blueprint reports that the do-not-trave alert comes two days after the United States Deputy Treasury Secretary, Wally Adeyemo, visited Nigeria as part of U.S. efforts to strengthen economic ties between both countries.
This is as President Tinubu continues campaign to boost the confidence of the global investment community in Nigeria at the on-going United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in the U.S.
In an updated travel advisory issued on September 20, 2023 by the U.S. Department of State the government warned its citizens to reconsider travelling to Nigeria due to increased risk of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed gangs in the country.
The advisory included a “do-not-travel” warning for Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping; Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping.
Others are Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, kidnapping, and armed gangs.
While placing these states on Level 4, the highest risk category, the U.S. warned that the security situation in the states was fluid and unpredictable due to widespread terrorist activity, inter-communal violence, and kidnapping; and security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.
“Violent crime, such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage taking, roadside 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 advisory read.
“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria. 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 armed gangs in parts of Southern Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta and South-east regions; and armed criminality and gangs, including kidnappings and assaults on Nigerian security services is also pervasive in this region.
“Violence can flare up between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas,” the advisory read.
Similarly, the State Department on January 20, this year, updated its travel advisory to Level 3, Reconsider Travel, noting that terrorist groups based in the North-east routinely target humanitarian camps, security forces, churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, entertainment venues, and road travelers.
The State Department further cautioned its citizens that the government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions.
The State Department had in August issued a travel advisory to the Republic of Niger, one of Nigeria’s neighbouring countries, on same Level 4, following the July 26 coup which deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, a situation that led to the hasty evacuation of non-emergency government employees from the country.