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UK expresses security concerns in Nigeria

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Cautions citizens against visiting 21 states

BRITISH nationals have been warned against traveling to  21 states in Nigeria by their embassy over security concerns.

The United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Abuja cited deteriorating security situation as reason to keep their nationals away from harms line and warns them to avoid as much as possible travels to 21 states in Nigeria currently.

This was made known through a statement in their official website,  “worsening security situation” occasioned by the Boko Haram terrorists attacks in the northeast, armed banditry in the northwest and militancy in the south-south constitute high risk to nationals of the United Kingdom. All travels to Borno, Yobe; Adamawa, Gombe, and the riverine areas of Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States should be avoided for now.”

The British government also cautioned against trips to within 20 kilometres of the border areas with Niger and Zamfara States.

The FCO further advised against all but essential travel to Bauchi, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Kogi and within 20km of the border with Niger in Sokoto and Kebbi States including the non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Abia States.

The Advisory further cautioned British nationals to avoid crowds, including political meetings, religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced persons.

According to the UK Commission’s office, “attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests, as well as places visited by tourists. Besides Abuja, other major towns and cities remain particularly at risk, including Kano and Kaduna,” it stated.

The embassy noted that there was a high threat of kidnap throughout the country, adding that abductions could be motivated by criminality or terrorism, and could be carried out for financial or political gain.

“The security environment in the northeast has deteriorated since 2018 and there is a heightened risk of kidnap.

There is also a high threat of criminal kidnap in the Niger Delta region and Kogi State. If you travel to areas to which the Foreign Commonwealth Office advise against travel, you are particularly at risk and will need a high level of security,” the Advisory read.

No statement to this effect has been issued by the Nigerian government as at the time of filing this report.

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