The United States has advised its nationals against visiting Nigeria due to the country’s increasing danger of crime, terrorism, civil instability, kidnapping, and armed gangs.
Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and northern Adamawa states have a flat “do not travel” warning because of terrorism and kidnapping; Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara states have a kidnapping-related “do not travel” warning.
Due to crime, abduction, and armed gangs, similar warnings were issued for the states of Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers (except for Port Harcourt).
Classifying these states as Level 4, the highest risk category, the US issued a warning that due to widespread terrorist activity, intercommunal violence, and kidnapping, the security situation in the states is unstable and unpredictable and that security operations to counter these threats may take place without prior notice.
The advisory read. “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.
“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 Southeast regions; and armed criminality and gangs, including kidnapping 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” it added.
It claimed that terrorist organizations based in the Northeast frequently attack security personnel, churches, schools, mosques, government buildings, educational institutions, amusement parks, and commuters.
According to the advisory, “Approximately two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of the violence in Northeast Nigeria.”
The State Department warned its nationals that due to security concerns, the government has limited capabilities to offer emergency services to Americans in several areas of Nigeria.