The Edo State government is not too pleased with the travel advisory issued by the United States Government to America citizens.
The advisory warns citizens against traveling to Edo, Bayelsa, Delta and 19 Northern states.
The advisory stated, “The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria, particularly during the holiday season, and continues to recommend that U.S. citizens avoid all but essential travel to the following states because of the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks: Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Plateau, Gombe, Yobe, Kaduna, Bauchi, Borno, and Kano states.”
In a sharp and timely response, the Secretary to the Edo State Government, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, said, “it is laughable that Edo State is on the list.”
Ihonvbere added, “ Our attention has been drawn to a travel advisory issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the United States Department of State which listed Edo State as unsafe for visitors during this holiday season. We find it laughable that Edo State is on the list, and this might suggest that the US Department of State is not in tune with events in Nigeria.
“While we are unclear on the parameters used by the Department of State, we however make bold to state, and this can be confirmed from the security agencies in the country, that Edo State is the safest in the South-South region of Nigeria and one of the safest in the country.
“It beats the imagination of discerning minds that while some states which record violent crimes on a daily basis in the country are excluded from the list, Edo State which has been commended by all, including the World Bank which, through its Country Director, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly said: ‘Edo State’s social indicators are above the national average’ and which had earlier through her predecessor, Mr. Onno Ruhl said: ‘Edo State is one of the states in Nigeria where the willingness to change is the fastest in Nigeria’, is included in the offensive US list.