The United States Government has warned its citizens to reconsider travelling to Nigeria, due to the increased rate of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, maritime crime and other security threats. The US Department of State also identified some high-risk zones in the country where kidnapping for ransom, terrorism and other security threats are occurring.
This disclosure is contained in a travel advisory report issued by the US Department of State on April 20, 2021, which can be seen on its website.
The identified high-risk areas include Borno, Yobe and northern Adamawa due to terrorism and kidnapping, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Zamfara states due to kidnapping, 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.
The US government stated that violent crimes such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, banditry, and rape, are common throughout the country.
It also said that kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual-national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit, as well as US citizens with perceived wealth. Kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims on interstate roads.
The statement from the US Department of State partly reads, “Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime. Some areas have increased risk.
Do Not Travel to: Borno, Yobe, and northern Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping, 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.’’
Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centres, 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 advisory acknowledged the U.S. government’s limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions.
Kidnapping, banditry and other forms of violent crimes have been on the increase in different parts of the country in recent times with foreigners as the victims in some cases.
Despite some level of efforts and several promises by the Federal Government to ensure the security of lives and properties, the security challenges still persist and are in fact, getting worse.
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