Nigerian government warns citizens they could be attacked in the US and UK

New York City. Picture: EPA/KERIM OKTEN.

New York City. Picture: EPA/KERIM OKTEN.

Published Nov 29, 2022


Nigeria says the travel advisory issued by Nigeria was prompted by attacks on Nigerians in London and stealing of their belongings, including passports, the authorities said.

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, told journalists at a news conference in Abuja on Monday.

“It has come to the attention of the government that Nigerian travellers to the United States and some countries in Europe are having their belongings, especially money and international passports, stolen at an increasingly high rate,” citing a quote by Vanguard News.

“The most recent victims of this are travellers to the UK, most of whom were dispossessed of their belongings at high brow shops, particularly in the high street of Oxford.”

“We have therefore decided to advise Nigerians travelling to Europe and the United States to take extra precautions to avoid being dispossessed of their belongings.

The 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) estimated that 461,695 US residents were of Nigerian ancestry. However, the actual number of Nigerians living in the United States at this moment is unknown.

Research by the Pew Research Centre found that as of 2016, around six-in-ten black Nigerian immigrants in the U.S. (59%) had a bachelor’s degree or more education – a share roughly double that of the overall American population.

America’s gun crisis

The US is currently being plagued by a gun violence crisis, as deadly shootings continue to rock the nation almost on a weekly basis.

According to real-time U.S. gun violence statistics for 2022 provided by Gun Violence Archive, as of 28 November

– 18,351 gun deaths

– 36,662 gun injuries

– 617 mass shootings

– 932 children shot

– 4,712 teenagers shot

– 1,060 defensive use incidents

– 1,444 unintentional shootings

In October, the United States and the United Kingdom both issued travel advisories to Nigeria, warning of a heightened risk of terrorist attacks in the West African country.

The US also cited a high risk of kidnapping, the volatile security situation, possible violent civil unrest and high levels of violent crime as reasons for the travel advisory.

However, the Nigerian government hit back in October, insisting that the country, including the capital Abuja, is safe for citizens and foreigners, contrary to an advisory by the US and UK governments.

The government also criticised the updated advisory by the US government, saying each country has its security challenges.

Recently, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa criticised the US for failing to discuss a terror alert issued by the American Embassy with local authorities.

The embassy warned in October that one of South Africa’s wealthiest suburbs, Sandton, may be the target of an attack and advised its staff to avoid crowds of people and other large public gatherings, days ahead of Johannesburg Pride, which was expected to draw crowds in their thousands.