The United States Department of State has cautioned American citizens about travelling to Nigeria due to various security concerns.
It made this known in its Travel advisory statement released recently which underscores the elevated risks associated with crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and the presence of armed gangs in several areas of the country.
In the warning, specific locations are singled out as heightened risks: Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and northern Adamawa states are flagged for terrorism and kidnapping. Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara states are noted for kidnapping.
Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers states (except for Port Harcourt) are highlighted for crime, kidnapping, and the presence of armed gangs.
The advisory also mentions that violent crimes, such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, roadside banditry, and rape, are common across the country.
Kidnappings for ransom are frequent, often targeting dual-national citizens and perceived affluent U.S. citizens visiting Nigeria.
Terrorist activities are a continued threat, with attacks targeting various locations where crowds gather, such as shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, and transportation hubs. Terrorist groups may collaborate with local gangs to expand their influence.
Additionally, parts of Southern Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta and Southeast regions, are affected by civil unrest and armed gangs.
Armed criminal activities, including kidnapping and assaults on Nigerian security forces, are prevalent in this area. Tensions between farming and herding communities in rural regions can also escalate into violence.
The U.S. government’s capacity to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens is limited in many parts of Nigeria due to security conditions.
According to the advisory for those who still choose to travel to Nigeria, the advisory recommends several precautions.
Such as carrying proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Nigerian visa if required. Staying vigilant, monitoring local media for updates, and being prepared to adjust plans.- as well as steering clear of participating in demonstrations and large political gatherings for safety reasons.