The US Department of State on Tuesday issued a stern warning to its citizen not to visit Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States during the February elections.
It said in a statement on its website tagged ‘Nigeria Travel Warning’ that the security situation in North-East Nigeria “remains fluid and unpredictable.”
“The US Department of State strongly urges US citizens in Nigeria to consider their own personal security and to keep personal safety in the forefront of their travel plans. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated August 11, 2014,” the statement read.
The US said based on safety and security risk assessments, the Embassy maintains restrictions for travel by US officials to those states listed, warning that officials must receive advance clearance by the US Mission for any travel deemed as mission essential.
The US Mission also advised all US citizens to be particularly vigilant around government security facilities, churches, mosques, and other places of worship, adding that the ability of the Mission to provide assistance to US citizens in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states remains severely limited.
The statement read, “The Department continues to recommend against all but essential travel to the following states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks: Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. The Department also warns against travel in the Gulf of Guinea because of the threat of piracy.
Recalling that although the general elections held in 2011 were peaceful, violence erupted in many northern states after the announcement of results in the presidential race.
The statement partly read, “All US citizens should remain aware of current situations including curfews, travel restrictions, and states of emergency in the areas they are in or plan to visit. This information is commonly announced via the news media, but at times it can change with very little notice. Please take the time to find out this information for your area.
“Cell phone service has, at times, been disrupted in Nigeria, particularly in areas where a State of Emergency has been declared, and when extremists have attacked cellular telephone towers. US citizens should attempt to arrange for multiple means of communication in case of need during emergencies.”