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US Government Issues Travel Warning for Nigeria, Citing High Crime and Terrorism Risks

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The United States government has warned its citizens about travel to Nigeria, citing a significant escalation in crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and cult-related activities.

In a Friday travel advisory and security alert, the U.S. government strongly discouraged its citizens from visiting states categorized as Level 4, denoting the highest risk level.

The advisory pinpointed specific Nigerian states that pose elevated risks of terrorism and kidnapping, urging American citizens to avoid these areas.

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Additionally, the U.S. government highlighted its limited capacity to provide emergency services due to the precarious security situation in Nigeria.

The states specifically advised against visiting include Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and Adamawa (in the northern region), and Bauchi, Gombe, and Kaduna.

Furthermore, the advisory encompassed Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Rivers (except for Port Harcourt).

Numerous crimes, including widespread terrorist activities, inter-communal violence, and kidnappings, were cited as prevalent issues in these states.

The advisory emphasized the volatile and unpredictable security situation in these areas, where security operations to combat these threats may occur without prior notice.

It read, “Violent crime such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, roadside banditry, and rape is rampant throughout the country. Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual-national citizens visiting Nigeria or perceived wealthy U.S. citizens. Kidnapping gangs have also targeted victims on interstate roads.”

Terrorist threats and attacks persist in Nigeria, with terrorists frequently targeting places where crowds gather, including shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, and transportation hubs. The advisory highlighted the collaboration between terrorists and local gangs to extend their influence.

Southern Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta and Southeast regions, experiences civil unrest and the presence of armed gangs, resulting in kidnappings and assaults on Nigerian security forces. Similar criminality and gang activities, including kidnapping and attacks on Nigerian security services, are prevalent in these areas, with violence erupting between farming and herder communities in rural zones.

The advisory also noted that terrorist organizations in the Northeast often target security personnel, religious institutions, educational facilities, government buildings, amusement parks, and commuters. The violence in Northeast Nigeria has led to the displacement of approximately two million Nigerians.

Given these circumstances, the U.S. government strongly urged its citizens to exercise extreme caution and reconsider travel plans to Nigeria.


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