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Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to COVID-19, US warns citizens

The United States of America has warned its citizens against travelling to Nigeria over the coronavirus pandemic.

The warning was contained in a travel advisory obtained on its website.

The advisory, which was dated August 6, also cautioned US citizens from travelling to 12 states in Nigeria over security challenges.

“Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to COVID-19. Some areas have increased risk,” it noted.

Among the security challenges listed in the advisory are terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime.

In a statement, titled, “Country Summary”, the US citizens were warned not to travel to Borno and Yobe and Adamawa states due to terrorism.

They were also asked to avoid Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe states due to kidnapping

Other states listed are  Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime.

“Do not travel to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe states. The security situation in Northwest and Northeast Nigeria is fluid and unpredictable, particularly in the states listed above due to widespread inter-communal violence and kidnapping.

“Terrorist groups based in the Northeast target churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, and entertainment venues. Approximately two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of the violence in Northeast Nigeria.

“Do not travel to coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) – Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, and there is a heightened risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, along with violent civil unrest and attacks against expatriate oil workers and facilities,” it read.

While giving a summary of security situation in Nigeria, it added, “Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape – is common throughout the country. Exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence.

“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.

“Sporadic violence occurs between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas. There is maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea.”

The statement also warned that “the US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions.”

It listed over 12 checklists to the US citizens who decide to travel to Nigeria.

Among the precautions are “carry proper identification, including a US passport with a current Nigerian visa if needed.

“Exercise caution when walking or driving at night.  Review travel routes and times to vary your predictability.

“Do not physically resist any robbery attempt. Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.

“Monitor local media for breaking events, and be prepared to adjust your plans. Be aware of your surroundings.

“Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners. Avoid demonstrations and large political gatherings.

“Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Nigeria.”

Copyright – Punch

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