Following growing concerns on the possibility of terrorists carrying out attacks in Nigeria, the United Kingdom government has warned its citizens in Nigeria against visiting 12 states in the country over possible terror attacks.
The advisory was made by the UK through its Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
In a statement published on its website “still current at October 16, 2021,” it expressed concern over protests and a heightened security presence in major cities due to the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr Nnamdi Kanu.
The foreign government also urged its citizens to monitor local media, and avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings.
The UK listed the Nigerian states as: Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara.
Other states are Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.
The FCDO also advised against all but essential travel to Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto and Kogi and within 20kilometres of the border with Niger in Kebbi State, and Abia State.
It also cautioned UK citizens against travelling to the non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states.
According to the advisory, events to mark the one year anniversary of #EndSARS protests are likely to take place nationally, a week commencing October 18.
“There may be protests and a heightened security presence in major cities such as Lagos and Abuja. In parallel, the high profile trial date of a separatist leader is also scheduled for 21 October in Abuja. There may be additional protests and a heightened security presence in Abuja and the South-east for this reason. In all areas affected, you should monitor local media, and avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings,” the advisory stated.
FCDO noted that from September 3, 2021, the Nigerian government had mandated for all telecommunication operators in Nigeria to stop extending services to Zamfara State.
This, according to the FCDO, includes a suspension of all mobile telecommunications, including WiFi.
It added that a number of other state governments, including Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger had also implemented a partial shutdown of telecom services.
“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 Southeast region. There have been reports of violence during Sit-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 explained.
It noted a number of attacks and targeted killings in the South-east and South-south regions, including in the states of Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Delta, Edo and Ebonyi.
According to the FCDO, some of these attacks have been on isolated roads and in remote locations.
It, however, added that there is a chance that they could occur in metropolitan areas.
“There is also a heightened risk of indiscriminate attacks on police and security infrastructure, which may inadvertently affect bystanders. A number of states have imposed curfews. Travellers to these regions are advised to exercise caution if travelling in remote areas at night and follow local news and information outlets for further information, including on local curfews,” the advisory added.