The United Kingdom has issued a statement saying that kidnap threats in Nigeria have increased. In the statement, the former colonial masters of Nigeria advised their nationals against travelling to certain parts of the country especially the North-East region.
According to them, the security environment has deteriorated in 2018. The UK government said that their nationals must not travel to Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano and among others except it is necessary.
The travel advisory for December 24th the government of the UK warned that protests are increasing in the Federal Capital Territory as Nigeria draws closer to another election in February 2019. They also predicted that there might be attacks by terrorists in the North-East region.
“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria continues to protest in central Abuja, which have been held daily since January 7, 2018. While protests are usually peaceful, they have the potential to turn violent,” the UK government said.
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Most attacks occur in the North-East, particularly in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe states.”
The UK also asked its nationals – 117,000 of whom visit Nigeria every year – to avoid places of worship, shopping malls, hotels, camps for displaced people, among others.
It added, “There’s a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. Kidnap can be motivated by criminality or terrorism and could be carried out for financial or political gain.
“The security environment in the North-East has deteriorated in 2018 and there is a heightened risk of kidnap. Kidnaps in the North-East have included humanitarian and private sector workers.
“There are also reports that Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa (a faction of the sect) are continuing to actively plan to kidnap foreigners.”
The Presidency is yet to respond to this advisory by the UK government as efforts to reach Presidential media aide Garba Shehu received no response or feedback.