The United States, in its latest travel advisories has warned its citizens to avoid some 14 Nigerian states, rife with terrorism, banditry and kidnapping while in Nigeria.
These are: Borno, Yobe, and northern Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping.
It also banned American citizens from going to Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, kidnapping, and maritime crime.
It stated that the security situation in these states is fluid and unpredictable due to widespread terrorist activity, inter-communal violence, and kidnapping. Security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.
In a country summary on Nigeria, the U.S. State Department wrote:
“Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage taking, banditry, and rape – is common throughout the country.
“Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit, as well as U.S. citizens with perceived wealth. Kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims on interstate roads.
In the updated advisory, the U.S. State Department added at least 116 countries this week to its “Level Four: Do Not Travel” advisory list.
The UK, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Germany and others are on the list, citing a “very high level of COVID-19.”
Before Tuesday, the State Department listed 34 out of about 200 countries as “Do Not Travel.” The State Department now lists 150 countries at Level Four.
Unlike countries categorised as Level 4, based on the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nigeria has a good rating on COVID-19 prevalence.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19, indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the country”, the State Department said.