The United States government has cautioned its citizens to avoid all travel to 20 of Nigeria’s 36 states due to security concerns.
The US stated that security remains “fluid and unpredictable” in the listed states.
The US Department of State, specifically warned Americans against travel to Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states, noting that its ability to provide assistance to US citizens in the three states remains severely limited.
In a travel warning on its website on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, the Department of State strongly urged U.S citizens in Nigeria to consider their own personal security and to keep personal safety in the forefront of their travel planning.
The US State Department recommended against all but essential travel to 17 other states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks.
The states are, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Zamfara.
“Based on safety and security risk assessments, the Embassy maintains restrictions for travel by US officials to the states listed above; officials must receive advance clearance by the US Mission for any travel to those states,” it stated.
The Department further advised all U.S citizens to be particularly vigilant around government security facilities, churches, mosques, and other places of worship locations where large crowds may gather, such as hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants, markets, shopping malls, and other areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers.
It explained that security measures in the country is heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and “U.S. citizens may encounter police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.”
The mission pointed out that the Boko Haram group, designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Department of State, had claimed responsibility for many attacks in the country.
It also informed Americans that local government curfews are intermittently in effect in several states in the North.