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Hotels are at risk of terror threats—U.S.

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By Abraham Adekunle

Security agencies are actively countering identified threats, US intel says.

The United States government has informed Nigerian nationals of increased terrorism threats against prominent hotels located in “large” cities in the country. This was said in an emergency alert for U.S. citizens that was published on the website of the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria on November 3, 2023. It was subsequently seen in the Nigerian newsmedia. The alert claims that Nigerian security agencies are acting to neutralize the threat. According to the U.S. government, the report is from reliable intelligence, and it notes that there is a greater threat to well-known hotels in Nigerian main cities.

As it has usually done, the Department of State advises Americans to keep this information in mind while making travel plans or staying at renowned hotels in Nigeria. The notice, which was posted by the U.S. Mission Nigeria, reads, “The U.S. Government is aware of credible information that there is an elevated threat to major hotels in Nigeria larger cities. The Nigerian security services are working diligently to counter the threat. The U.S. Department of State advises U.S. citizens to consider this information when arranging lodging or visiting major hotels in Nigeria.”

A helpful resource for American citizens in need.

In addition, the website provided contact details for the U.S. consulate in Lagos as well as the U.S. embassy in Abuja, making it a helpful resource for any American citizen in need of assistance. The American government released a global travel alert in October, advising its nationals to exercise caution while making travel plans to many locations across the world. Nigeria was placed in the third category of extreme caution, advising travellers to reconsider their plans.

This was after the United States Deputy Treasury Secretary, Wally Adeyemo, visited Nigeria as part of the US efforts to strengthen economic ties between Nigeria and the U.S. A day after Tinubu, at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2023, advised Nigerians in the diaspora to return home, the U.S. government has warned its citizens to reconsider traveling to Nigeria due to increased risk of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed gangs in the country.

Advisory gave specific details on certain states.

On the travel advisory, it stated that American citizens should not travel to Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and northern Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping; should not travel to Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping; and should not travel to Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, kidnapping, and armed gangs. It further said that violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage taking, roadside banditry, and rape – is common throughout the country.

Furthermore, the advisory stated that 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. It stated that different terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria and 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. They are known to work with local gangs to expand their reach.

Precautions against insecurity in the country.

Finally, as part of the precaution if any American decides to travel to Nigeria, the advisory lists a number of steps to take. They include: carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Nigerian visa, if needed; using caution when walking or driving at night; keeping a low profile; reviewing travel routes and times to vary predictability; not physically resisting any robbery attempts; monitoring local media for breaking events and being prepared to adjust plans; staying alert in locations frequented by Westerners; and more.

Related Link

U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria: Website

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