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UK: Beware of terrorists, kidnappers in Nigeria, warns citizens against all travels to 6 Northern, 4 Niger Delta States

  • Warns of IPOB protests in South East

The United Kingdom (UK) on Monday updated its travel advisory to its citizens resident in Nigeria, warning of the possibility of violence by terrorists and kidnappers in some parts of the country.

Specifically, it UK citizens of threat of attacks by terrorist groups and abductions by bandits in six States of Northern Nigeria and four States of the Niger Delta.

It therefore warned all UK citizens against all forms of travel to Borno, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara as well as Niger Delta States of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.

It noted that only “essential travel” should be embarked to Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto, Kogi; as well as within 20km of the border with Niger in Kebbi State’ Abia State and non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States.

According to the advisory, “terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Most attacks are conducted by Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) and occur in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States in the North East.

”The groups have previously shown intent and capability to conduct kidnaps in Nigeria. Foreign nationals, including humanitarian workers, are likely targets for kidnap. Humanitarian hubs and humanitarian workers have been targeted during attacks in the North East; including Monguno, Borno State on 13 June 2020.

”There have also been significant attacks in Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Jos and Bauchi States and in … Abuja. Further attacks are likely. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests; as well as places visited by tourists. You should avoid places where crowds gather; including political meetings, religious gatherings and places of worship; markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people.

”The al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Jamaat al Ansar al Muslimeen fi Bilad al Sudan; better known as Ansaru, claims to have killed at least 6 people, kidnapped dozens, and destroyed several vehicles; during an ambush along the Kaduna-Zaira highway in Kaduna State in mid-January 2020. If you decide to travel to Kaduna State; you should avoid regular patterns of travel or movement, and aim to only travel during daylight hours.

”There’s a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. Kidnaps can be motivated by criminality or terrorism, and could be carried out for ideological, financial or political gain. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the risk of kidnap increases after dark. The security environment in the North East has deteriorated since 2018…There is a heightened risk of kidnap.

”Kidnaps in the North East have included humanitarian and private sector workers. There are also reports that Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) are continuing to actively plan to kidnap foreigners. As well as in North-East Nigeria; extremist groups operate in some northern and middle belt states; including Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Niger and Adamawa States. If you’re working or travelling in these States then you should be aware of the risk of terrorist kidnapping,” the advisory warned.

In addition, the directive by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which mandated telecommunication operators to cease services in Zamfara State for two weeks was referenced. Further, it noted that there is an increased likelihood of protests and demonstrations in the South East that may also affect other regions.

‘’You should monitor local media, avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings and follow any instructions from local police and security forces. There have been a number of attacks and targeted killings in the South East and South South regions of Nigeria; including in the states of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Edo and Ebonyi. Some of these attacks have been on isolated roads and in remote locations; but there is a chance that they could occur in metropolitan areas.

”There is also a heightened risk of indiscriminate attacks on police and security infrastructure; which may inadvertently affect bystanders. A number of states have imposed curfews. Travelers to these regions are advised to exercise caution if travelling in remote areas at night and follow local news and information outlets for further information, including on local curfews.”

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