The United States of America has warned its citizens to avoid some 14 Nigerian states rife with acts of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
The US in it’s latest advisory adviced citizens to “Reconsider travel to Nigeria”.
The U.S. State Department in its advisory, 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.
Nigeria is categorised as Level 3.
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.
Borno, Yobe, and northern Adamawa states were added due to terrorism and kidnapping. Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping.
American citizens were also banned 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.
The advisory read in part; “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.
“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast.
“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather. Terrorists are known to work with local gangs to expand their reach.