The United States Government has issued a security alert warning its citizens to exercise caution while travelling and residing in Nigeria.
This follows the existence of crime, which has become endemic, throughout the country, ranging from petty street crime to kidnapping and crime levels which tend to increase during the holidays.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria on Friday, December 17, 2021 and can be seen on its website.
The US in the statement said that it is prudent to exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday events adding that criminals and other elements often infiltrate large gatherings.
It also pointed out that terrorist organizations and individuals inspired by extremist views exist throughout Nigeria and noted that shopping centers, airports, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, street markets, and other public venues visited by Westerners are common attack targets.
The statement reads, ‘’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 kidnapping, and crime levels tend to increase during the holidays. It is prudent to exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday events.
‘’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.’’
In its security advice, the US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria, asked its citizens to take the following actions:
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep a low profile.
- Carry proper identification.
- Stay alert in public places and locations frequented by tourists/foreigners.
- Review your personal security plans.
- Use caution when driving at night and avoid walking after dark.
- Always drive with your windows rolled up and the doors locked.
- Use only trusted transportation and drivers.
- 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.
- Always keep the doors to your residence locked, even when at home.
What you should know
Recall that in April 2021, the United States Government, in a travel advisory report, warned its citizens to reconsider travelling to Nigeria, due to the increased rate of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, maritime crime and other security threats.
The US Department of State had also identified some high-risk zones in the country where kidnapping for ransom, terrorism and other security threats are occurring.
Kidnapping, banditry and other forms of violent crimes have been on the increase in different parts of the country in recent times with foreigners as the victims in some cases.
Despite some level of effort and several promises by the Federal Government to ensure the security of lives and properties, the security challenges still persist and are in fact, getting worse.