Following the heightened threat of terrorists’ attacks in Nigeria especially Abuja, the nation’s capital, the governments of Germany, Bulgaria, Ireland and Denmark have warned their citizens against non-essential travel to Abuja.
In the last three days, foreign missions in Nigeria have issued a deluge travel advisories. The United States and the UK were the first to alert as Australia, Canada later joined in issuing alerts and asked their citizens to consider leaving Nigeria.
However, the federal government through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed refuted the advisories and specifically said the United States and others are trying to sow panic.
The missions had listed targets to include schools, government buildings, hotels, markets, shopping malls, bars, athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, restaurants, places of worship and international organisations.
In elevated security alert, the US State Department, in the travel advisory issued on Tuesday authorised the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees.
In its latest travel advisory on Abuja on Thursday, the United Kingdom (UK) Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said there is an increased threat of terrorist attacks in the nation’s capital.
In an alert posted on its website, the FCDO said “The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice on 26 October to British nationals. The FCDO now advises against all but essential travel to the Federal Capital Territory, including the city of Abuja.
“British nationals are advised to stay alert, avoid non-essential travel within the city and follow the local news and the advice of security authorities.
“Other states in Nigeria where we advise against all but essential travel include Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto, Kogi, Abia, Plateau, Taraba, within 20km of the border with Niger in Kebbi State and non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states.”
The German Foreign Office, in its latest travel advice, cautioned its nationals against non-essential travel to Abuja at present.
In a travel advisory on its website dated October 27, the German government urged its citizens to limit journeys within Abuja to the absolute minimum, avoid crowds and busy public places, and be extra vigilant and prudent.
The government also urged its nationals not to travel to certain areas of Nigeria, except where necessary.
A travel advisory on the website of Bulgaria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “We recommend that Bulgarian citizens residing short-term or long-term on the territory of Nigeria, and especially in the capital, limit only to urgent cases, refrain from visiting public events and avoid the clusters of people around government institutions, markets, shopping centres and entertainment complexes”.
In the same vein Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement on its website, said Nigeria is experiencing unrest in several parts of the country, and that there are currently reports of an increased risk of terrorist attacks, particularly in Abuja. It, therefore, urged its citizens to exercise caution, especially in and around Abuja.
The ministry also advised its nationals against all travel to the states of Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kogi, Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Cross River.
Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, in a travel alert on its website dated October 24, 2022, urged its nationals in Abuja to review their personal security situation, stay alert, and avoid gatherings and all non-essential movement within the city.
It also advised against all travels to several states in Nigeria citing security concerns and flooding.
LEADERSHIP gathered that many other countries are also said to be planning to issue terror alert.