The Government of the United States says “crime is endemic throughout Nigeria”, warning US citizens to exercise caution while travelling and residing in the West African nation.
The US Mission in Nigeria stated this in a Holiday Security Alert issued on Wednesday, December 16.
The alert came barely a week after 333 students were abducted at Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara in Katsina State.
It read, “The U.S. Embassy in Abuja and Consulate General in Lagos remind U.S. citizens to exercise caution while traveling and residing in Nigeria.
“Crime is endemic throughout Nigeria, ranging from petty street crime to carjacking, and crime levels tend to increase during the holidays.
“It is prudent to exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday events.
“Demonstrations are relatively commonplace in Nigeria and generally affect traffic flow, especially if they progress along major thoroughfares.
“Criminal and other elements often infiltrate large gatherings. Terrorist organizations and individuals inspired by extremist ideology exist throughout Nigeria.
“Shopping centers, airports, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, street markets, and other public venues frequented by Westerners are common attack targets.”
The US government added that citizens resident in Nigeria must: Be aware of your surroundings, keep a low profile, carry proper identification, stay alert in public places and locations frequented by tourists/Westerners, review your personal security plans, and use caution when driving at night and avoid walking after dark.
It added that they must also: Always drive with your windows rolled up and the doors locked, review and alter travel routes and times to reduce time and place predictability, avoid large gatherings and protests, exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests, monitor local media for updates, and always keep the doors to your residence locked, even when at home.