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Terror alert: US authorises departure of non-emergency staff from Nigeria

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THE United States (US) government has authorised the departure of its non-emergency staff and their family members from Nigeria.

According to a travel advisory issued by the US Department of State, the authorisation was due to heightened risk of terror attacks in parts of Nigeria, particularly Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“On October 25, 2022, the Department authorised the departure of non-emergency US government employees and family members due to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks,” the travel advisory said.

The travel advisory also stated that the US Embassy in Abuja was experiencing difficulties providing emergency assistance to its citizens in Nigeria.

“The US Embassy Abuja continues to have limited ability to provide emergency assistance to US citizens in Nigeria. The US Consulate in Lagos is providing all routine and emergency services to US citizens in Nigeria.”

US citizens were urged to reconsider travel plans to Nigeria due to “crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime”.

On Sunday, the US Embassy issued a warning over likely terror attacks in Abuja.

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Residents were urged to be more alert and avoid crowded areas, government-owned buildings and unnecessary movement.

“There is an elevated risk of terror attacks in Nigeria, specifically in Abuja. Targets may include but are not limited to, government buildings, places of worship, schools, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, and international organisations,” the security alert read.

The British High Commission also warned that terrorists might launch indiscriminate attacks in Abuja in the coming days.

“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests, as well as places visited by tourists,” the UK said in a travel advisory posted on its website.

Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) were identified as the likely perpetrators of the 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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