The United States and the United Kingdom have warned of a potential terrorist threat to Nigeria. The two countries issued a joint statement on Tuesday last week, urging caution for travellers to the West African nation.
The US and UK advised their citizens to remain vigilant if they must travel to Nigeria, citing recent attacks in the country’s capital, Abuja. In February, suicide bombers killed more than 20 people at a mosque in Abuja. And last month, gunmen attacked a police station in the city, killing at least four officers.
“We also advise against all but essential travel to Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states due to the high risk of terrorist attack and kidnapping,” the statement said. “We urge you to exercise extreme caution if you must travel to these areas.”
Potential targets: shopping mall, church, school, residential area
The US and UK have warned that Nigeria is at high risk for terrorist attacks. The potential targets include shopping malls, churches, schools, and residential areas. These warnings come as the Nigerian government is preparing to launch a military offensive against the terrorist group Boko Haram.
Boko Haram has been responsible for numerous terror attacks in Nigeria over the past several years, including suicide bombings, shootings, and kidnappings. The group has also threatened to carry out attacks in other countries, such as the United States.
The US State Department has advised Americans to exercise caution if travelling to Nigeria. The UK Foreign Office has issued a similar warning, advising British nationals to be vigilant and avoid large crowds and public places.
Both the US and UK are assisting the Nigerian government in its efforts to combat Boko Haram. This includes intelligence sharing and training for security forces.
Suspected Islamist attack frees hundreds of Kuje Prison in Abuja, Nigeria
On 5 July, the Boko Haram breakaway faction Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) led a successful attack on a well-secured prison in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. The group shot its way into the Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre after overpowering security guards in a well-coordinated assault.
The government said 879 detainees escaped, including all 68 imprisoned Boko Haram members. About half the escapees were recaptured, one confirmed to be from the violent extremist group.
The attackers may have responded to Islamic State’s (ISIS) call in April to free jailed fighters. Detained Ansaru (an al-Qaeda affiliate in Nigeria) members are also believed to have escaped.
This is the latest in a string of high-profile strikes that question the government’s ability to protect its citizens. The attack came hours after President Muhammadu Buhari’s convoy was targeted by bandits in his home state of Katsina. Less than a week before, attackers invaded a mine site, killing about 40 security personnel and abducting four Chinese nationals. And a month ago, unknown shooters killed 40 worshippers in a church in Ondo State.
Security agencies in Joint manhunt for ISWAP members
Security agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom are joining forces in a manhunt for members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). The group has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in Nigeria, including the kidnapping of an American citizen earlier this year.
The US State Department has issued a travel warning for Nigeria, advising Americans to avoid non-essential travel to the country due to the “threat of terrorism.” The UK Foreign Office has also advised against all travel to parts of Nigeria.
security agencies are working together to track down members of ISWAP. The group is believed to have splintered from Boko Haram and is now responsible for several terrorist attacks in Nigeria, including the kidnapping of an American citizen earlier this year.
The US State Department has issued a travel warning for Nigeria, advising Americans to avoid non-essential travel to the country due to the threat of terrorism. The UK Foreign Office has also advised against all travel to parts of Nigeria.
Both countries are urging their citizens to exercise caution if they must travel to Nigeria.
Hundreds displaced as terrorists pound 2 LGs in Kebbi State
Hundreds of people have fled their homes in Kebbi State after terrorist groups launched attacks on two local governments.
The terrorists, who are believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State group, attacked the towns of Dikko and Bundurin on Sunday night, killing at least 15 people.
The attacks came just days after the US and UK issued a joint warning about the increased threat of terrorism in Nigeria.
The fleeing residents are now overcrowding camps for internally displaced people in the state capital, Birnin Kebbi.
Local authorities are struggling to provide adequate assistance to the IDPs, as most of them have arrived with nothing but clothes on their backs.
The rise in terrorist activity in Nigeria has been blamed on the Boko Haram insurgency, which has forced over 2 million people to flee their homes since it began in 2009.
Abuja residents reaction to US terror alert
Nigerians in Abuja have reacted with fear and concern to a joint US-UK terror alert warning of a possible attack on the capital.
Residents said they were living in fear and insecurity, with some even sleeping in their clothes in case they had to flee at a moment’s notice.
Many blamed the Nigerian government for its failure to provide security, saying it was sitting on a “landmine” that could explode at any time.
Some expressed anger at the US and UK for issuing the warning, accusing them of trying to scare people away from Nigeria.
Others said they would not be intimidated by the threat and called on the authorities to step up security measures to protect citizens.
Govt must be serious with the lives of Nigerians— CSOs
The recent decision of the United States and United Kingdom governments to issue travel advisories warning their citizens of the risks of travelling to Nigeria due to the terrorist threat posed by Boko Haram is a welcome development. It is an acknowledgement of the seriousness of the security situation in Nigeria and the need for urgent action to address it.
It is also a reminder that the Nigerian government must take the lives of its citizens seriously and do everything in its power to protect them. The security situation in Nigeria has deteriorated rapidly in recent years and Boko Haram has become a major threat to both national and international security.
The Nigerian government has been slow to respond to the threat posed by Boko Haram and has failed to adequately protect its citizens. This must change. The government must take decisive action to address the security situation and protect its citizens from the threat of Boko Haram.