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Insecurity: Like Canada, US warns citizens against travelling to Nigeria

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THE United States government has warned and advised its citizens to reconsider travelling to Nigeria as a result of insecurity in some parts of the country.

The US State Department, in a statement on its website, https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/nigeria-travel-advisory.html, urged its citizens to reconsider travelling to Nigeria due to high level of crimes such as terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping. The government stressed that some areas in Nigeria had increased risks.

“Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, banditry, and rape – is common throughout the country,” the US said.

“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,” the U.S. government further said.

The US said it was worried that terrorists had continued to plot and carry out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the North-East part of the country.

According to the government, terrorists might 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 gathered.

It said there had been civil unrest and low-level armed militancy in parts of the South, especially in the Niger Delta region where kidnapping and maritime crimes were pervasive.

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The US government warned its citizens against violence between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas as well as maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea.

The US government said that it had limited ability to provide emergency services to its citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions.

In February, Canada had warned its citizens against non-essential travels to Nigeria due to the same reason -high level of insecurity and crimes in the West African country.

Canadians who happened to be in Nigeria were advised to exercise a ‘high degree of caution.’

In the travel advisory posted on travel.gc.ca</, a website of the Canadian government, Canadians were advised to “avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria due to the unpredictable security situation throughout the country and the significant risk of terrorism, crime, inter-communal clashes, armed attacks and kidnappings.”

But the Canadian authorities specifically warned the country’s nationals to “avoid all travel” to some parts of Nigeria, particularly the North-Western states of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara, as well as the North-Eastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe.

Canadians were also advised to avoid Plateau in the North-Central zone, and Niger Delta states – Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers.

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Two South-Eastern states – Imo and Anambra – were equally classified as ‘no go’ areas for Canadians in Nigeria.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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