Dec 19, 2012 – British Government Warns Citizens To Avoid Nigeria Over Insecurity
Following the spate of terrorist attacks, kidnappings, armed robbery and petty crimes in the country, the British government has warned its citizens to avoid Nigeria if possible.
In a statement detailing major crimes against foreigners in the country between 2011 and 2012 released and updated on Monday, the British government said where its citizens’ travel to Nigeria is unavoidable, they should be very conscious and be at alert.
The statement said around 117,000 British nationals visit Nigeria each year, but due to the high rate of criminal activities, these foreigners must think twice before embarking on trips to the country, especially at this festive period.
The foreigners were told to maintain constant communication with their people so that their movements could be monitored.
Some of the places the British government, through its Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website, described as no-go areas for British citizens include Borno, Yobe, riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, Warri City and Kano City.
The country further stated: “we advise against all but essential travel to: Bauchi State, Jos city, Riyom and Barkin Ladi local government areas in Plateau State, Gombe State, Mubi Town in Adamawa State and the area north of Mubi Town that borders Borno State, non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, Abia State, Kaduna City, Zaria City.
“There is a high threat from terrorism in Nigeria.
“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including government, security and educational institutions, international organisations as well as public venues and areas such as restaurants, bars, markets, hotels, shopping centres, places of worship and other areas frequented by expatriates, foreign tourists and business travellers.
“You should avoid affected areas in the immediate aftermath of an attack.
“There have been regular attacks on churches in northern Nigeria at times of worship.
“We cannot therefore rule out further attacks taking place.”
The country’s government further said attacks occurred frequently on religious and public holidays.
“You should be particularly vigilant during Christmas and New Year; attacks have occurred during these periods in the past,” it warned, adding that some international news events could sometime trigger anti-Western demonstrations.
“Western diplomatic missions, interests and citizens could be the focus for protests. There is the potential for increased tension on Fridays.
“These news events may also present some opportunities for terrorist groups to exploit.
“We advise particular caution and vigilance at these times, including maintaining a low profile, varying routines and not setting regular patterns of movement whilst travelling.
“If you become aware of any nearby protests you should leave the area immediately,” the government said.
Though the British government did not warn its citizens against visiting Lagos State, it however advised them to be mindful of violent crime which it said was prevalent in the south of the country, including Lagos.
“There is an increased risk of street robberies or thefts from motor vehicles in the run up to Christmas.
“This is particularly the case in the major towns and cities.
“Take extra care with your personal belongings when travelling-even during the day. Keep windows closed and doors locked when driving in heavy traffic,” the government warned. [source]