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Terror alert: Canada, Australia warn against travel to Abuja

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CANADIAN and Australian governments have issued security warnings over heightened possibilities of terror attacks in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja.

In an updated travel advisory on Wednesday, the Canadian government advised its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria.

“Avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria, including in Abuja, due to the unpredictable security situation throughout the country and the significant risk of terrorism, crime, inter-communal clashes, armed attacks and kidnappings,” the warning read.

Australia also warned its citizens to reconsider travelling to Nigeria over likely terror attacks.

“The potential for terrorism, kidnapping, crime and civil unrest remains high throughout Nigeria. If, despite our advice, you undertake travel within Nigeria, research routes and get professional security advice and support before departing,” the advisory read.

The warnings come after the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) issued security alerts over likely terror attacks in Abuja.

Residents were warned to avoid crowded areas, government-owned buildings, tourist centres and places of western interest.

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Following the alerts, Nigeria’s Department of State Service (DSS) urged Abuja residents to remain calm while taking necessary security precautions. The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, also ordered security beef up in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and other states.

However, the US ordered the evacuation of its non-essential staff from Nigeria on Tuesday.

Security concerns have heightened in the FCT in recent times over the activities of terrorists and bandits.

On July 5, there was an attack on the Kuje Medium Correctional Facility in the FCT, during which at least 60 terrorists were freed.

Members of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack in a video released subsequently.

The FCT also shut down schools in July due to heightened fears of terror attacks.

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Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org or @ije_le on Twitter.

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