Travelers to Nigeria, particularly US citizens, have been advised to reconsider their plans because kidnappers are increasingly targeting dual nationals.
The US State Department’s Nigeria Travel Advisory, dated January 4, 2022, stated that kidnappers are targeting US citizens with a perceived wealth.
“Violent crime such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, banditry, and rape is common throughout the country,” the advisory stated, adding that “Violent crime such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, banditry, and rape is common throughout the country.”
“Ransom kidnappings are common, and they frequently target dual nationals returning to Nigeria for a visit, as well as U.S. citizens with a perceived wealth. On interstate highways, kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims.”
Because “the security situation in these states is fluid and unpredictable due to widespread terrorist activity, intercommunal violence, and kidnapping,” the US warned citizens against visiting Borno, Yobe, and Northern Adamawa. Security operations to counter these threats could happen at any time.
“In the Northeast, terrorist groups routinely target humanitarian camps, security forces, churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, entertainment venues, and road users.”
Due to roadside banditry and unexpected counter-attacks from security agencies, travel to Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states should be reconsidered, according to the report.
“Due to widespread inter-communal violence and armed criminality, particularly kidnapping and roadside banditry, the security situation in these states is fluid and unpredictable.” The advisory warned that “security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.”
The US also warned that the threat is not limited to the northern part of the country, recommending that US citizens avoid coastal areas such as Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt).
“Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, with an increased risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea. The advisory went on to say that “violent civil unrest and armed militancy persist in these areas.”