A few days ago, the United States and Canadian Embassies, in their travel advisories updates, urged their citizens to avoid all but essential visits to certain parts of Nigeria. The Taiwanese government cited fear of another terror attack on Abuja, Nigeria’s capital for its security alert and urged its nationals to avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria, especially during the coming week.
According to Punch, the travel warning issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the United States Department of State dated December 21, 2012 also warned of increased kidnapping in the Niger Delta and armed attacks in parts of the North.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria, particularly during the holiday season, and continues to recommend that U.S. citizens avoid all but essential travel to the following states because of the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks – Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Plateau, Gombe, Yobe, Kaduna, Bauchi, Borno, and Kano states.
The Department also warns against travel to the Gulf of Guinea because of the threat of piracy. Based on safety and security risk assessments, the Embassy has placed further restrictions for travel by US officials to all Northern Nigerian states (in addition to those listed above); officials must receive advance clearance by the US Mission for travel as being mission-essential.
US citizens should be aware that, in light of the continuing violence, extremists may expand their operations beyond Northern Nigeria to the country’s middle and Southern states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated June 21, 2012.
Punch also reported that additional security measures have been provided around major hotels including Transcorp, Sheraton and NICON Luxury Hotels. Plain-cloth police as well as private guards were seen scrutinizing vehicles and frisking visitors at the hotel.
This only increases people’s fear of travelling to Nigeria, especially first time visitors to the country. What do you think about the warning made by the embassies against non-essential travelling to Nigeria?