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THE United States has issued a security warning to its citizens residing in and traveling to Nigeria to be security conscious especially during this yuletide season.
This was contained in a holiday security alert statement issued by the Lagos office of the US embassy on Thursday.
In the statement, the embassy said that crime is endemic throughout Nigeria and terrorist organisations and individuals inspired by extremist ideology exist throughout Nigeria.
“The U.S. Embassy in Abuja and Consulate General in Lagos remind U.S. citizens to exercise caution while traveling and residing in Nigeria. Crime is endemic throughout Nigeria, ranging from petty street crime to carjacking, and crime levels tend to increase during the holidays. It is prudent to exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday events,” it said.
“Demonstrations are relatively commonplace in Nigeria and generally affect traffic flow, especially if they progress along major thoroughfares. Criminal and other elements often infiltrate large gatherings. Terrorist organizations and individuals inspired by extremist ideology exist throughout Nigeria. Shopping centers, airports, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, street markets, and other public venues frequented by Westerners are common attack targets.”
The embassy charges its citizens to take actions to be aware of their surroundings, keep a low profile, carry proper identification, stay alert in public places and locations frequented by tourists/Westerners, review personal security plans, use caution when driving at night and avoid walking after dark.
Others are to always drive with windows rolled up and the doors locked, review and alter travel routes and times to reduce time and place predictability, avoid large gatherings and protests, exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests, monitor local media for updates and to always keep the doors to your residence locked, even when at home.
Attempts to get the Nigerian police force to react was futile as calls repeatedly put across to Frank Mba, the force spokesperson was not picked or returned as time of filing this report.
He did not reply to an sms that was sent to his phone around 1:27pm.
Emma Okeh, spokesperson for Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), was not available to make comments. His phone was switched off when contacted.