THE United Kingdom has cautioned her against trips around Nigeria warning that “There is a high threat of criminal and terrorist kidnap throughout Nigeria.”
In particular, the United Kingdom also warned its citizens against embarking on trips to 14 Nigerian states noting that there is the likelihood of terrorist attacks including indiscriminate attacks against crowded public locations in those states.
It listed the states to include Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, and Zamfara states, and riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.
In the advice by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Britons were also advised against undertaking non-essential trips to Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto, Kogi states and within 20km of the border with Niger in Kebbi states, Abia State, non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States, Plateau State, Taraba State, Anambra State and Imo State
The advice read that around 117,000 British tourists visit Nigeria every year, noting that most visits are trouble-free, but a small number of British people encounter problems. “You should take sensible precautions to protect your safety,” it urged.
The advice further read that: “On 3 November 2023, the US Embassy in Nigeria issued notice of an increased threat to major hotels in Nigeria’s larger cities. UK Travel Advice notes that terrorists are very likely to attempt attacks in Nigeria, including indiscriminate attacks against crowded public locations. Discretion and judgement should be used with regard to activity in public places including large hotels, with visitors encouraged to remain vigilant and alert while paying attention to their surroundings at all times.
“Off-cycle state-level elections will take place in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi on 11 November 2023. Based on past election practice it is likely that movement restrictions will be enforced within those three states from midnight to 6 PM on 11 November. Movement restrictions may be extended at any time. Personal vehicles will likely be blocked from attempted road movement on Election Day. There is a heightened risk of rallies and demonstrations which could turn violent.
“The Nigeria-Niger land border has been closed and commercial flights between Nigeria and Niger have been prohibited by the Nigerian authorities, in response to the political situation in Niger. Flight times between Nigeria and other neighbouring countries may also be affected.
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Most attacks occur in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the North-East. There have also been significant attacks in other states, including in Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Kogi, Niger, and the Federal Capital Territory. Further attacks are likely and could occur at any time. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect Western interests as well as places visited by tourists. Attacks are more likely to attack crowded locations or symbolic targets, such as places of worship. There is a heightened risk during religious events, public holidays or election periods.”
The advice added that: “There is a high threat of criminal and terrorist kidnap throughout Nigeria.
“Incidents of banditry and inter-communal violence occur frequently throughout Nigeria. Attacks can occur without warning.
“Political rallies, protests and violent demonstrations can occur with little notice throughout the country. International news events can sometimes trigger anti-Western demonstrations. There is the potential for increased tension on Fridays.
“Throughout Nigeria, there are high levels of violent street crime including muggings, car-jackings and armed robbery in Nigeria. You should be vigilant at all times.
“UK health authorities have classified Nigeria as having a risk of Zika virus, Cholera, Lassa fever, Yellow fever, Monkeypox, Poliomyelitis and Ebola virus transmission.
“It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover.
“Before considering travel to areas to which the FCDO advise against all or all but essential travel you should take professional security advice. Be vigilant at all times and keep others informed of your travel plans. If you’re working in Nigeria you should follow your employer’s security advice, make sure your accommodation is secure and review your security measures regularly.”