Terrorist Attacks & Electoral Violence: UK & Australia Warns Citizens Against Travel To Nigeria
UK and Australia have warned their citizens against travelling to Nigeria due to electoral violence and terrorist attacks.
This is stated in statements issued by the commonwealth nations, alerting their citizens to how unsafe it is to travel to Nigeria.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) categorically ruled out travelling to Borno State, Yobe State, Adamawa State, Gombe State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Zamfara State, riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.
The UK agency added that their citizens should only travel to Bauchi State, Kano State, Jigawa State, Niger State, Sokoto State, Kogi State, within 20km of the border with Niger in Kebbi State, Abia State non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States, Plateau State, Taraba State for essential purposes.
FCDO’s statement reads further:
“Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for Nigeria’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.
“If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. Around 117,000 British tourists visit Nigeria every year. Most visits are trouble-free, but a small number of British people encounter problems. You should take sensible precautions to protect your safety.
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. See Terrorism. 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.
“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. Nationwide elections will take place in Nigeria in February 2023, and there is a heightened risk of protests during this period.
“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, Monkey pox, Poliomyelitis and Ebola virus transmission”.
In addition, an official statement issued by the Australian government that SaharaReporters obtained advised Australians to avoid all political gatherings and election-related assemblies.
“Nigeria is scheduled to hold national and state elections between 25 February and 11 March. The risk of election related violence is high. You should avoid all political gatherings and election related sites in the lead up to, during and after this period. We’ve reviewed our travel advice for Nigeria and now advise ‘reconsider your need to travel’ to Abuja. We continue to advise ‘reconsider your need to travel’ to Nigeria overall. Higher levels apply.”
“Reconsider your need to travel to Nigeria overall due to high threats of terrorist attack and kidnapping, the volatile security situation, possible violent civil unrest and high levels of violent crime”.