The United Kingdom has advised its citizens in Nigeria to stay away from the North and South South states in the country.
The UK, in a fresh travel advisory published on the website of the UK Foreign Office, said multiple locations in Nigeria are not safe, due to the current spate of insecurity.
Specifically, in the North-East, the UK warned its citizens to avoid travels to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe states.
It also warned against travelling within 20km of Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic.
Other locations which the travel advisory warned against are Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi, Niger, Jigawa, Katsina Kogi, Abia, Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and the Cross River states.
The travel advisory warned British nationals against “all but essential international travel”.
It observed that the insecurity in Nigeria had necessitated the temporal withdrawal of a some UK staff and dependents at the British High Commission in Abuja and the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos.
However, the advisory added that its offices in Abuja and Lagos will continue to carry out essential work, including providing 24/7 consular assistance and support to British people in Nigeria.
Painting a bleak picture of the security situation in Nigeria, the UK, in the advisory, noted that Al Qaeda linked terrorist groups are reportedly operating in Kaduna.
It also warned of further attacks, adding that foreigners in the country risk being kidnapped.
“The al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Jamaat al Ansar al Muslimeen fi Bilad al Sudan, better known as Ansaru, claims to have killed at least 6 people, kidnapped dozens, and destroyed several vehicles during an ambush along the Kaduna-Zaira highway in Kaduna State in mid-January.
“Since January 2018, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has protested regularly in central Abuja and other cities.
“Humanitarian hubs have been targeted during attacks in the northeast, including Monguno, Borno State on 13 June 2020.
“There have also been significant attacks in Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Jos and Bauchi States and in the Federal capital, Abuja.
“Further attacks are likely.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that the risk of kidnap increases after dark.
“The security environment in the northeast has deteriorated since 2018 and there is a heightened risk of kidnap.
“Kidnaps in the northeast have included humanitarian and private-sector workers.”
The advisory warned that Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) are planning to kidnap foreigners.
The the advisory added that, apart from north-east Nigeria, extremist groups also operate in some northern and middle belt states including Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Niger and Adamawa.
Further advising its citizens in Nigeria, the UK said, “Be vigilant at all times and keep others informed of your travel plans.
“If you are working in Nigeria you should follow your employer’s security advice, make sure your accommodation is secure and review your security measures regularly.”
About 117,000 UK citizens visit Nigeria annually, according to the UK Foreign Office.