By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
“The US Embassy in Abuja and Consulate General in Lagos remind U.S. citizens to exercise caution while traveling and residing in Nigeria.
The United States Government has issued a security alert warning its citizens to exercise caution while travelling in and around Nigeria during the Yuletide and New Year. The warning came on the heels of likely rising crime and criminalities during the holiday. The U.S. Embassy noted that shopping centres, airports, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, street markets and other public venues visited by Westerners are common attack targets, adding that “criminals and other elements often infiltrate large gatherings.”
“The U.S. Embassy in Abuja and Consulate General in Lagos remind U.S. citizens to exercise caution while traveling and residing in Nigeria.
“Crime is endemic throughout Nigeria, ranging from petty street crime to kidnapping, and crime levels tend to increase during the holidays. It is prudent to exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday events.
“Demonstrations are relatively commonplace in Nigeria and generally affect traffic flow, especially if they progress along major thoroughfares. Criminal and other elements often infiltrate large gatherings.
“Terrorist organizations and individuals inspired by extremist ideology exist throughout Nigeria. Shopping centers, airports, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, street markets, and other public venues frequented by Westerners are common attack targets,’’ a statement issued by the US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria said on Friday.
The US embassy asked its citizens to be conscious of their environment, keep a low profile and carry proper identification.
It further advised: “Stay alert in public places and locations frequented by tourists/foreigners; use caution when driving at night and avoid walking after dark; and avoid large gatherings and protests.
“Always drive with your windows rolled up and the doors locked; Use only trusted transportation and drivers; Review and alter travel routes and times to reduce time and place predictability.
Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests; monitor local media for updates; and always keep the doors to your residence locked, even when at home.’’