The United States government has issued a security warning to their citizens late Wednesday night not to travel to some states in the northern and southern region of Nigeria due to a potential terrorist attack by the Islamist group, Boko Haram.
This warning became necessary considering the fact that the sect group have initiated another method of attacking innocent people by disguising themselves as Fulani herdsmen in order to cause mayhem. Recent attacks in Borno, Imo, Benue, Yobe, Adamawa, Enugu and Abuja by the Fulani herdsmen have called for serious security tightening.
Boko Haram’s affiliate ISIS, has overtaken regions of Iraq and Syria, but Boko Haram is apparently succeeding them as one of the world’s most deadly terrorist gangs. This is according to a report from the Global terrorism index for 2015, which states that Boko Haram succeeded in killing 6,644 people between 2014 and 2015, surpassing ISIS, who killed a total of 6,073 people.
Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates to “western education is forbidden”, is based in Nigeria’s northeast region and is also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon. The group had alleged links to Al Qaeda, but in March 2015, it announced its allegiance to ISIS. Since the current insurgency started in 2009, it has displaced about 2.9 million from their homes, the majority in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
Despite the Department of State’s readiness to give adequate security to their citizens living in Nigeria, they also “recommend against all but essential travel to the aforementioned states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks such as Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Zamfara”.
“The Department also warns against travel in the Gulf of Guinea, because of the threat of piracy” the advisory published online added.
In addition, the U.S. advised its citizens to be security conscious and avoid visiting government facilities; churches, mosques, and other places of worship; locations where large crowds may gather, such as hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants, markets, shopping malls; and other areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers.
“Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and U.S. citizens may encounter police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.
It added that based on safety and security risk assessments, the embassy maintains restrictions for travel by U.S. officials to the states listed above; officials must receive advance clearance by the U.S. Mission for any travel to those states.