The United Kingdom has released names of some Nigerian states where visitors could be kidnapped as Nigerians warm up for 2019 General Elections, even though it said there is a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria.
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It also warned its nationals against travelling to the North-East, saying that the security environment in the region deteriorated in 2018, The Punch reported.
North East is one of the geopolitical zones of Nigeria, consisting of the following states:
Except it is really essential, the UK cautioned its citizens against travelling to Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Kano states , among others.
In its foreign travel advice as of December 24, 2018, the British government also observed that protests were becoming increasingly frequent in Abuja as the presidential election in February 2019 approaches.
It predicted that terrorists were very likely to carry out attacks, especially in the North-East, where most attacks had occurred in the country.
“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria continues to protest in central Abuja, which have been held daily since January 7, 2018. While protests are usually peaceful, they have the potential to turn violent,” the UK government said.
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Most attacks occur in the North-East, particularly in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe states, it added.
The UK also asked its nationals – 117,000 of whom visit Nigeria every year – to avoid places of worship, shopping malls, hotels, camps for displaced people, among others.
It added, “There’s a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. Kidnap can be motivated by criminality or terrorism, and could be carried out for financial or political gain.”
As of press time, the Presidency had yet to respond to our correspondent’s request for comments, as calls to Mr Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, were not answered.
A text message sent to his phone had also yet to be replied to as of the time of filing this report
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