The United Kingdom has asked its citizens in Nigeria or planning to travel down not to visit twelve states in the country over insecurity.
In a travel advisory to its citizens on Friday, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said any of its nationals that travel to these states are likely to be kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists and kidnappers.
The UK government added that foreign nationals, including humanitarian workers, are likely targets for kidnap in the NorthEast, urging its national to be security conscious.
The FCDO listed the 12 states as Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.
The advisory reads: “The groups have previously shown intent and capability to conduct kidnaps in Nigeria. Foreign nationals, including humanitarian workers, are likely targets for kidnap. Humanitarian hubs and humanitarian workers have been targeted during attacks in the North East, including Monguno, Borno State on 13 June 2020.
“There’s a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. Kidnaps can be motivated by criminality or terrorism and could be carried out for ideological, financial or political gain. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the risk of kidnap increases after dark.
“The security environment in the North East has deteriorated since 2018 and there is a heightened risk of kidnap. Kidnaps in the North East have included humanitarian and private-sector workers.
“There are also reports that Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) are continuing to actively plan to kidnap foreigners.
“As well as in North-East Nigeria, extremist groups operate in some northern and middle belt states including Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Niger and Adamawa states. If you’re working or travelling in these States then you should be aware of the risk of terrorist kidnapping.”
The UK government also advised its citizens to be careful as events to mark the one year anniversary of #EndSARS protests may lead to additional protests in Lagos and Abuja.
The government also said the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, scheduled for October 21 may lead to protests and heightened security presence in Abuja and in the south-east.
It added: “Since 9 August, there has been an increase in protests and demonstrations in the South East region of Nigeria. Protests, including “Stay at Home” protests, are likely during October in the South East region. There have been reports of violence during Stay at Home protests previously. You should monitor local media, avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings and follow any instructions from local police and security forces.
“There have been a number of attacks and targeted killings in the South-east and Southsouth regions of Nigeria, including in the states of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Edo and Ebonyi. Some of these attacks have been on isolated roads and in remote locations, but there is a chance that they could occur in metropolitan areas. There is also a heightened risk of indiscriminate attacks on police and security infrastructure, which may inadvertently affect bystanders.
“A number of states have imposed curfews. Travellers to these regions are advised to exercise caution if travelling in remote areas at night and follow local news and information outlets for further information, including on local curfews.”