The British and the United States governments have warned their citizens of terrorist groups’ threat to carry out bomb attacks in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, during the Yuletide.
In its latest foreign travel advice to British nationals, made available to SUNDAY PUNCH, the country’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated that it would raise the terrorism threat alert in Nigeria during the festive periods.
Around 117,000 British citizens visit Nigeria each year, according to the FCO.
The US government warned its citizens not to travel to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe till the end of the year.
“The risk of terrorist attack increases around religious festivals; so (the threat alert) will be elevated in the run-up to and throughout the Christmas and New Year holiday period. Terrorist groups have threatened to conduct bombings and attacks in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) area during this period.
“You (British nationals) should avoid places where crowds gather, including religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people,” the United Kingdom said in a statement posted on the FCO website.
Last week, the United States Embassy in Nigeria issued a similar warning titled, ‘Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Holiday Security Reminder’.
“The US Mission urges all US citizens to exercise caution in and around shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, and other places where crowds gather in and around the Federal Capital Territory, from now through the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. Terrorist groups have threatened to conduct bombings and attacks in this area during this period.
“The US Mission remains concerned about potential attacks in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe. Travellers are urged to avoid those states through the end of the year.
“Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security,” the US Embassy warned. Punch