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Kuje Prison attack: US, UK issue security warning to citizens in Nigeria

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THE United States (US) government has warned its citizens in Nigeria be security conscious for the next two weeks and avoid unnecessary travel on the Airport Road in Abuja.

The warning is coming barely 24 hours after terrorists orchestrated a jailbreak at Kuje Prison in Abuja, freeing over 500 inmates.

In a statement posted on its website, the US Consulate in Nigeria said, “It is recommended that US citizens should maintain a high state of personal security awareness for the next two weeks and avoid unnecessary travel on the airport road.”


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“Crime is endemic throughout Nigeria and tends to spike after dark. Avoiding locations and situations that increase the likelihood of being victimized is the best defence. Avoid displays of valuables and limit nighttime activity,” the statement added.

According to the statement, terrorist groups and those inspired by such organisations are intent on attacking US citizens abroad.

It observed that terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack — including knives, firearms, and vehicles — to target crowds more effectively.

“Frequently, their aim is focused on unprotected or vulnerable targets.”

The US Consulate offered security tips to be adopted by Americans in Nigeria.

They were told to avoid high-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc, as well as hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists, places of worship, schools, parks, shopping malls and markets.

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“Be aware of your surroundings. Keep a low profile, carry proper identification and monitor local media for updates. Review your personal security plans.

“Always drive with your windows rolled up and the doors locked.

“Avoid large gatherings and protests. Review alternative travel routes in case of unexpected protests or unrest.

“Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests. Always keep the doors to your residence locked, even when at home,” the statement added.

In the same vein, the government of the United Kingdom (UK) warned its citizens against ravelling to 19 states in Nigeria.

The states include Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.

The UK government equally advised its citizens to only embark on essential travel to Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto, Kogi, within 20km of the border with Niger in Kebbi State, Abia and non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Plateau, and Taraba.

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Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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