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US, Taiwan & Canada Warn Citizens Against Non-Essential Travel to Nigeria



Following increased terrorist attacks in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria, the United States, Canadian and Taiwanese governments have warned their nationals against non-essential travel to Nigeria.

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?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Speak2

    December 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm


  2. Soraya

    December 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Well, I can’t blame foreign governments for warning their citizens not to visit Nigeria- it is a DANGEROUS, I repeat, DAANGEROUS and very CORRUPT country! Moreover, immigration, custom and drug enforcement all hassle you in the hope that you will pay them off, not exactly the best way of showing Nigeria to the rest of the world. Hopefully, this will be the warning to our own government to seat up and take the security challenges seriously as well as making life more tolerable for Nigerians.

  3. John

    December 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Nigeria continues to make all the bad list in the world – gradually sliding towards the abyss. Let me see. We now have kidnappings, armed robbery, terrorism, corruption, death traps called roads, pipeline vandalism and piracy, no potable drinking water, collapsing educational system, little or no electricity, drug trafficking, high unemployment, and the list goes on. How bad can a country get? I don’t know what it would take to get the attention of the government that things are not okay.

    Anyway, happy holidays everyone!!

  4. Iris

    December 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    LOL first of all, this is nothing new. The US has been warning their citizens about visits to Nigeria since the nineties at least. Secondly, what else do you want them to do? Just because the Nigerian government doesn’t care about its citizens doesn’t mean other countries won’t care about theirs. If they had their way their citizens probably wouldn’t come here at all, but among other things, unfortunately for them that oil just keeps calling…


    December 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    BN, my take on violence has always been that it drives away investors! My grandma always told us this old Igbo adage which says,” if one has to choose between a cow and a way, he/she should take the way because the cow would only give you an instant gratification (you eat it and it is over). But when you follow the way, it opens up so many avenues for you., though you do not enjoy it immediately.”
    The only way to attract investors, even our very own people in diaspora , is to be nice,trustworthy, and diligent. CHINA is a typical example.

    • brittany

      December 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      see ure mouth like China!

    • John

      December 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      I totally agree with you (and I like your Igbo adage…), but how do we pull back from the precipice? There is just so much bad news coming out of Nigeria. What I am about to say may sound callous, but I think the government needs to bring back the death penalty. I’m not completely sure but I think Nigeria joined a group of nations that abolished the death penalty some years ago, but my feeling is that we are not ready for it. Our people are too difficult to govern and unless there is a threat to life for some of the crimes being committed like kidnappings, terrorism, grand corruption and vandalism of pipelines and oil bunkering, which I consider economic sabotage that threatens the existence of the state; it is only a matter of time before the country collapses. I read some place, where the government said that there has being 774 vandalized pipelines in the last five or six months of 2012. There are fuel shortages all over the country as a result and the government cannot fix the broken pipes fast enough. I am talking about people siphoning off the primary source of revenue for the country with tankers and selling in the black market. And this is not counting what is happening out at sea. Doesn’t this sound like something that happens in a failed state? If everyone continues to help themselves to the oil, what does the future hold for Nigeria?

  6. Jia

    December 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I don’t blame those ones but who will want to sit down in those deep freezer countries when there’s money to be made elsewhere.
    Now, this warning will not change shit because Nigerian leaders are shameless. Change cannot be made in Nigeria because the goats have no integrity and have their brain clouded with fat and greed. Those people that you call leaders all look like sacks of rice wrapped in traditional attires.
    One of the main solutions has been said before! I’m not talking about running to your spiritual daddies for prayer. Nigeria will continue to be a failure until the citizens fully understand they have the power to change Nigeria’s situation. What is the point of going back home these degrees from top schools and our country looks like a Sri Lanka and we still act like cavemen.

  7. Toyin

    December 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Even before Boko Haram, American and European government warn their citizens not to ever set their foot in all of Africa. It’s all propaganda. It’s a way to put Africa down. But then they are always over there eating up our natural resources, and doing business with the same corrupt government that they speak evil of. So, it’s all a game. It’s just up until recent that Nigerian entertainment industry became more popular, and Americans see that, Nigeria is so much more than the negative stories that they hear all the time. I mean, evil is everywhere and no where is 100% safe. However, Nigerian government is also a FAILED ONE, and they refuse to see that the whole country is downhill. Forget about the big houses, the rich is getting more and more rich, the government is more and more corrupt everyday, while a lot of average Nigerians are suffering everyday. It’s extremely sad because Nigeria, Nigerians as a whole have the power to make a difference but no, they will rather see the country be in shambles. All I know is, it’s a shame to see a country full of so called educated people 20 degrees but they all act like idiots.

    • errrr

      December 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      This is not about putting Africa down but making sure that their citizens do not get robbed, kidnapped or killed. They will still invest in our economy (or economies) if they want to- afterall they haven’t pulled out all their businesses.

      So because of entertainment industry, we’ll ignore Boko Haram and the kidnappers in the East?

      You are mixing issues up.

    • HABBA

      December 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      i do believe some of it is to discourage people from looking for investment opportunities in Africa. there are many talents in nigeria and also many nigerians outside of nigeria that have never even step foot in their country for 30years. Nigerian children are abroad and they dont even know their own culture. OBVIOUSLY we dont want ppl to go to the BOKO HARAM places but com on lagos is not bad. and TAIWAN needs to SHUT UP!

    • Soraya

      December 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm

      No Toyin, please move away from that anti-colonialist argument about this being a propaganda to put Africa down- we Africans pretty much do well on this ourselves and we have no one to pay but ourselves! I don’t know about the rest of Africa but Nigeria is a very dangerous country. I visited Ethiopia a few months ago and everything functions there, even though it is supposed to be a poor country, poorer than Nigeria!

    • Toyin

      December 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      People, need to read wisely before they comment. Where in my comment did I say to ignore Boko Haram? My point is, sometimes Americans and Europeans exaggerate things going on in Africa. Boko Haram is one section, it’s not the whole of Nigeria. Of course, Boko Haram should be addressed, unfortunately the Nigerian government do nothing to protect and provide for their citizens. I do understand other countries need to protect their citizens, I’m all for it but sometimes the western world also have misinformation when it comes to Africa. Nigeria is not Somalia, it’s not as dangerous and bad as the western world is making it out to be. And, I also hold the Nigerians and the Nigerian government responsible, so my comment is not bashing others for wanting to protect their citizens.

  8. e-bukun

    December 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I cannot blame other governments for doing their job to ensure the safety of their people, that’s what they are in power to do.

    I do not belong to the school of thought of comparisons so I won’t even start. We as citizens are also guilty, not just our leaders. I had a conversation with a youth corper who couldn’t wait to finish NYSC so that he could get into government and “ba won ko wo je” (chop money). The culture of corruption runs deep and we continue to reinforce is, I mean we pay people to do their jobs (bribe) because that’s the kind of system we run right? Yes, someone will come and say it is so because the government doesn’t pay well, so the bribes are supplementary payments. Then please by all means continue. If the government has failed us, should we then fail ourselves.

    As far as the kidnappings go, it is an issue of morality. Where are our morals? When we fail to see the next person as part of us, they become fair game to our wicked intents. I’m not talking about religion or being sanctimonious. Nigeria is one of the most religious nations in the world, yet our hearts are far from God. We are the epitome of Matthew 15:8 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” We are well rehearsed on the theatrics of religion, and would win first place if it were a contest, but we are so false. Calling God everyday will not bring change with our passive faith and wicked hearts. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Christian but I am anything but religious. (This is not the place to go into that, but feel free to ask what i mean)

    The bombings are a combination of lack of morality, blind religion and the quest for power. I mean these killers will justify their actions with scriptures taken and read out of context, because people will buy into the cover of religion. It’s a sham perpetuated by power hungry politicians and brainwashed bigots who are quite ignorant.

    What we need as a nation is a reorientation. We have been scarred on so many levels that our tolerance for corruption, and injustice is high. To go any higher will be chronic. I’ll pause on my rantings because even though I am as frustrated as the next person, I will not open my mouth to curse the nation that I so hope to restore. I will not open my mouth to destroy the nation that I am working hard to help rebuild, so that my children will grown up in the Nigeria that I dream for them. Maybe it’s the idealist in me, but i think it will be counterproductive to do so.

    • Mimi sode

      December 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Hi e-bukun,
      Great comment and the scripture was also a good one.
      Change indeed starts from the individual.

    • Dudi K

      December 29, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Well said! I agree completely

  9. Miss K

    December 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    You hit the nail on the head E-bukun. Couldn’t have said it better!

  10. primrose

    December 28, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    To further illustrate the disbenefits of bad news – many countries are reaching out to Africa because it is the next economic frontier. While everyone recognizes Nigeria’s huge potential, if you mention this at a board meeting, they start treating you as if you aint serious. First, they have difficulty getting security or insurance clearance going to Nigeria. Unless you are a die hard one man business, Nigeria is not on your radar because of the enormity of the bad news wafting out of there. You cannot even convince governments to send their staff for anything other than essential travel, which will require approval at the highest levels and through state department. It is terrible. All the money available for aid and development is skipping Nigeria for this reason. We should not fold our hands and sigh. Our leaders should ask themselves what kind of end is in sight from their vintage point for this crime crisis?

  11. Princess

    December 29, 2012 at 1:32 am

    It is quite simple, d same way u wudnt want any of ur family member traveling to d north or delta state because of the recent rise in violence

  12. brittany

    December 29, 2012 at 3:47 am

    all of u should stop all these stories…only God can change Nigeria

    • e-bukun

      December 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Ah! But God is not going to come down from heaven to change Nigeria now. Even if you want to play the God card, think of this:
      “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours,
      yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion is to look out to the earth,
      yours are the feet by which He is to go about doing good and yours are the hands by which He is to bless us now. St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)”
      So you see, it is up to us. Heaven helps those who CANNOT help themselves, not those who WILL NOT help themselves. And frankly in my opinion, saying only God can help us is an excuse to do nothing. God may bless the works of our hands, but if there’s nothing to bless then what then?

    • brittany

      December 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      you’re absolutely right!!but for how long has mankind tried so hard to govern themselves? some of these rulers have good intentions but when they come in what do they achieve?no single person can come and do it all or even the majority…thus, we should seek God’s about Jeremiah 10:23…also???

    • e-bukun

      January 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

      @brittany: Men won’t govern themselves? Well we’re bad at it really. Seeking God’s kingdom? Pardon me, do you mean here on earth?
      If you want to follow the scriptures to the T then surely you accept the wickedness of man as well. There is so much that can be said on this if we want to get scriptural, however not everyone buys into that. Frankly i think it is an unrealistic expectation that one day there’ll be no problems here on earth. I won’t delude myself and envision Nigeria as Utopia, but i’ll pursue the best life possible.

  13. BeautyFULL

    December 30, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Hi e-bukun,can I add you on facebook?ur amazing

    • brittany

      December 31, 2012 at 3:09 am

      na so!u wan use this as a platform to set p..

    • e-bukun

      January 1, 2013 at 8:50 am

      lol! Thank you

    • brittany

      January 3, 2013 at 2:30 am

      see your mouth like “utopia” in the last post

  14. Tom Volts

    December 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Nigeria has its issues yes no doubt but its not as bad as you guys paint it and certainly not as bad as its portrayed by the international communities. All this negative energy will never bring the solution u all want. We should stop listening to the international community cos they are clearly no authority in the matter. The light at the end of the tunel is going to come from us not an abstract thing as many think. its time to wake up.

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