This is the number of times the U.S. sent security messages to its citizens in Nigeria in 2015

On Friday, the United States Mission to Nigeria sent a security message to its citizens in the country warning them to stay away from areas, which westerners visit frequently. The message emphasized the need to be cautious.  It is worthy to note that this is not the first time a message of its kind has been sent to citizens in the country as the US mission has sent about nine alerts this year. However, this message is worrisome since it did not specify any specific location, timing or method of attack.

These messages include travel warning, travel alert, worldwide travel warning and warning attack on hotels to its citizens.

Ventures Africa has outlined a timeline and excerpts of security messages sent to US citizens in Nigeria till date.

January

On the 12th of January, the Department of State sent a security message, which replaced the Worldwide Caution of 2014. The message stated that the Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas.

February

In February 2nd 2015, the US mission warned of the risks of travel to Nigeria and recommended that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states because the security situation in northeast Nigeria remains fluid and unpredictable. The mission also issued a warning of kidnapping which was on the rise in southern Nigeria.

The ability of the Mission to provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states remains severely limited,” the message reads.

“The Department continues to recommend against all but essential travel to the following states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks:  Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.”

“U.S. citizens should be aware that extremists could expand their operations beyond northern Nigeria to other areas of the country.

In the same month a travel alert message was also sent to its citizens in the country on the 26th of February warning them to be cautious when travelling to Nigeria ahead of its general elections which took place in  March.

“The upcoming elections are closely contested.  Nigeria last held national elections in April 2011 and, although the elections themselves remained largely peaceful, violence temporarily erupted in many northern states after the announcement of results in the presidential race,” the message reads.

“The 2015 elections again present a possibility of violence. U.S. citizens are encouraged to exercise caution during the election process, particularly in and around polling locations in the weeks before and after the elections.”

“There is presently no reason to believe that U.S. citizens would be specifically targeted in the event of election-related violence.”

March

The message sent in March 26 2015 was in view of Nigeria government’s announcement that all land and sea borders would be closed from 12:01 a.m. on March 26 until 11:59 p.m. on March 28 as a precautionary measure ahead of the elections.

June

On June 16 2015, U. S. mission sent a security message ahead of the Ramadan asking its citizens to remain vigilant during this period. This is particularly around places of worship and locations where large crowds may gather. As well as government facilities, and areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

“Be particularly vigilant around places of worship, locations where large crowds may gather, government facilities, and areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. ”

“Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups.  Based on past experience, U.S. citizens should expect additional police and military checkpoints, increased security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.”

July

In July 15th  US citizens were informed that Nigeria had declared the Eid-El-Fitr. It urged its citizens living and travelling in Nigeria to be extra vigilant and avoid locations where large crowds gathered.

“The U.S. Mission advises U.S. citizens to be particularly vigilant around churches and other places of worship, locations where large crowds may gather, government facilities, and areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers during the upcoming weekend. the message reads,”

“Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups.  Based on past experience, U.S. citizens should expect additional police and military checkpoints, increased security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.”

September

On the 23 of September, U.S .citizens in the country received an Id-El-Kabir security message warning them to be vigilant around large crowd of gathering particularly churches, mosques. The Mission also provided a check-list to evaluate the daily habit and practice of its citizens to improve their security.

” Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security,” reads the message.

November

On the 19th of November, the US mission in Nigeria issued a reminder to its citizens cautioning them to maintain a high level of vigilance and be aware of local events to strengthen to strengthen their personal security during public holidays of Christmas and Boxing Day. The Mission also said they should be on guard against heightened robbery and home invasion during this period.

December

This is the recent message sent to its citizens informing them that the US mission in Nigeria has received information of planned attacks against hotels and around areas where westerner and expatriates visit frequently.

“The U.S. Mission advises all U.S. citizens to be vigilant when at hotels and around areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers; e.g., churches, mosques, and other places of worship; locations where large crowds may gather; and government facilities,”   the message states.

“Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and U.S. citizens should expect additional police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.”

The post This is the number of times the U.S. sent security messages to its citizens in Nigeria in 2015 appeared first on Ventures Africa.