It was reported that the United Kingdom (UK) says Boko Haram insurgents are likely to kidnap foreign nationals, banning its citizens against travelling to twelve states in Nigeria.
UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced this on over the weekend in a travel advisory for its nationals.
The UK government said there is a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria for ideological, financial or political gain.
“The groups have previously shown intent and capability to conduct kidnaps in Nigeria. Foreign nationals, including humanitarian workers, are likely targets for kidnap. Humanitarian hubs and humanitarian workers have been targeted during attacks in the North East, including Monguno, Borno State on 13 June 2020,” the advisory reads.
“There’s a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. Kidnaps can be motivated by criminality or terrorism and could be carried out for ideological, financial or political gain. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the risk of kidnap increases after dark.
“The security environment in the North East has deteriorated since 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 Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) are continuing to actively plan to kidnap foreigners.
“As well as in North-East Nigeria, extremist groups operate in some northern and middle belt states including Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Niger and Adamawa states. If you’re working or travelling in these States then you should be aware of the risk of terrorist kidnapping.”
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advise against all travel to:
- Borno State
- Yobe State
- Adamawa State
- Gombe State
- Kaduna State
- Katsina State
- Zamfara state
- riverine areas of Delta
- Akwa Ibom
- Cross River States
Furthermore, the UK government also advised its citizens to be careful as events to mark the one year anniversary of #EndSARS protests may lead to additional protests in Lagos and Abuja.
The government also said the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), scheduled for October 21 may lead to protests and heightened security presence in Abuja and in the south-east.
“Since 9 August, there has been an increase in protests and demonstrations in the South East region of Nigeria. Protests, including “Stay at Home” protests, are likely during October 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,” the advisory further reads.