Nigerian kidnappers now target dual citizens, US warns travellers

Nigerian kidnappers now target dual citizens, US warns travellers

The United States has warned travellers to Nigeria, especially US citizens, to reconsider their trip as kidnappers now target citizens with dual nationalities.

The US State Department’s Nigeria Travel Advisory dated January 4, 2022, noted that US citizens with perceived wealth are also targets for kidnappers.

The advisory also stated listed some states US citizens should not travel to or stay vigilant when visiting adding that “Violent crime such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, banditry, and rape is common throughout the country.

“Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit, as well as U.S. citizens with perceived wealth. Kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims on interstate roads.”

The US warned citizens against travelling to Borno, Yobe, and Northern Adamawa states because “The security situation in these states is fluid and unpredictable due to widespread terrorist activity, inter-communal violence, and kidnapping. Security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.

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“Terrorist groups based in the Northeast routinely target humanitarian camps, security forces, churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, entertainment venues, and road travellers.”

It added that travel to Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states should be reconsidered due to roadside banditry and unexpected counter-attacks from security agencies.

“The security situation in these states is fluid and unpredictable due to widespread inter-communal violence and armed criminality, especially kidnapping and roadside banditry. Security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning,” the advisory warned.

The US also warned that the danger is not restricted to the northern part of the country listing coastal areas such as Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) as places US citizens should avoid travelling to.

“Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, and there is a heightened risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, especially in the Gulf of Guinea. Violent civil unrest and armed militancy persist in these areas,” the advisory added.

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