Metro

November 8, 2022

Reasons UK asked its citizens to avoid 12 states, Abuja

Sunak
By Biodun Busari

Following the warning of the United Kingdom to its citizens against travelling to 12 states in Nigeria, including the nation’s capital, Abuja, some Nigerians are agitated and questioning the directives.

The UK, on Monday, said warned their citizens to avoid essential Nigerian travel and avoid crowded places in places like Abuja, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross River.

Travel advisory

According to a travel advisory update published by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the UK government warned that from ‘Amber’ the citizens are ‘advised against all but essential travel’, urging the citizens to check the travel advisory regularly.

“The FCDO no longer advises against all but essential travel to the Federal Capital Territory, including the city of Abuja, but risks remain, and further details about the continued threat from terrorism in this region has been added. The FCDO advice against travelling to other areas of Nigeria remains in place.

“The FCDO advises against all travel to Borno State, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, and the riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states,” it said in the reviewed advisory on Monday, published on its site.

“The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Bauchi State, Kano Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto, Kogi, within 20km of the border with Niger in Kebbi State, Abia, non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states, Plateau, and Taraba states,” the UK said.

Reasons for the travel advisory

However, the reasons why the UK gave the red flags were based on a number of current life-threatening issues in these parts of the most populous black nation.

These include terrorism, banditry, protesting, rioting and others as most of the northern part of Nigeria is vulnerable to banditry and terrorism engineered by ISWAP, Boko Haram and killer Fulani herders perpetrating evil of killing, kidnapping and raping of women.  

Also, the Southern part of Nigeria has its own share of this insecurity surge like kidnapping and attacks on government infrastructures including recent floodings that hit East and South-South regions.

Terrorism

About terrorism, the UK said, “The risk of terrorism across Nigeria includes the capital city Abuja, and the surrounding Federal Capital Territory area. This risk has increased in 2022.

“This risk has increased in 2022. Between May and July 2022 Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) have conducted a number of attacks in Kogi, Niger, and in the Federal Capital Territory. Further attacks are likely and could occur at any time

“Most attacks are conducted by Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) and occur in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States in the North East. There have also been significant attacks in other states, including in Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Bauchi and Taraba States. Between May and July 2022 Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) have conducted a number of attacks in Kogi, Niger, and in the Federal Capital Territory.”

Attacks and protests

Detailing terror attacks in the Southern part of Nigeria, the UK said, “On 5 June 2022, there was a gun attack at a church in Owo, Ondo State, causing at least 40 deaths. The High Commission are in contact with the local authorities. If you are in the area, you should monitor local media, exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities.

“Since 9 August 2021, there has been an increase in protests and demonstrations in the South East region of Nigeria. Protests, including “Stay at Home” protests, remain likely in the South East region.

“There have been reports of violence during Stay at Home protests previously. You should monitor local media, avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings and follow any instructions from local police and security forces.

“There have been a number of attacks and targeted killings in the South East and South South regions of Nigeria, including in the states of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Edo and Ebonyi.

“Some of these attacks have been on isolated roads and in remote locations, but there is a chance that they could occur in metropolitan areas. There is also a heightened risk of indiscriminate attacks on police and security infrastructure, which may inadvertently affect bystanders.

“A number of states have imposed curfews. Travellers to these regions are advised to exercise caution if travelling in remote areas at night and follow local news and information outlets for further information, including on local curfews.”