The United States of America on Thursday issued a security warning to its citizens residing or travelling to Nigeria, telling them to be conscious of endemic crime throughout the country especially during this Christmas and New Year season.
In a holiday security alert statement issued by the Lagos office of the US Embassy in Nigeria, the U.S. said that apart from the crime which it labelled as endemic throughout the country, there are in existence terrorist organisations and individuals inspired by extremist ideology exist throughout Nigeria.
According to the statement, “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 carjacking, and crime levels tend to increase during the holidays. It is prudent to exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday events,” it said.
“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.”
The embassy charged its citizens to take actions to be aware of their surroundings, keep a low profile, carry proper identification, stay alert in public places and locations frequented by tourists/Westerners, review personal security plans, use caution when driving at night and avoid walking after dark.
Others are to always drive with windows rolled up and the doors locked, 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 and to always keep the doors to your residence locked, even when at home.