US Cautions Citizens Against Travelling to Nigeria Citing High Levels of Crime, Terrorism, and Kidnapping
The United States Department of State has issued a travel advisory on September 20, 2023, warning its citizens about the potential dangers of visiting Nigeria.
This warning was prompted by rising concerns over crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed gangs prevalent in the country. The advisory specifically discouraged travel to certain states due to their high risk levels.
The advisory singled out Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and northern Adamawa states, citing high levels of terrorism and kidnapping. Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara were also flagged due to rampant kidnapping cases.
The states of Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers were issued warnings due to the prevalence of crime, abduction, and armed gangs, with Port Harcourt being an exception. These states are classified as Level 4, indicating the highest level of risk.
Unpredictable Security Conditions
According to the US, the security conditions in these regions are volatile and uncertain, with a high likelihood of terrorist activity, intercommunal violence, and kidnapping.
Violent crimes such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, hostage-taking, and sexual assault are rampant throughout Nigeria. Kidnappings for ransom often target individuals perceived as affluent, including American citizens and recent visitors with dual nationality. Kidnapping gangs are also known to target victims traveling on interstate routes.
Collaboration Between Terrorists and Local Gangs
The advisory further points out that terrorists often collaborate with local gangs to expand their reach. Areas with large crowds such as shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, and transportation hubs are often targeted.
The advisory also notes that the Niger Delta and Southeast regions of Southern Nigeria frequently experience civil disturbances and armed gang activity.
Violence in Rural Areas and Northeast Nigeria
The advisory also highlighted that farming and herding tribes in rural areas often engage in violent disputes. In addition, terrorist organizations based in the Northeast frequently attack security personnel, churches, schools, mosques, government buildings, educational institutions, amusement parks, and motorists.
Approximately two million people have been displaced due to violence in Northeast Nigeria.
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