US embassy warns of rising crime in Lagos
Cape Town - The United States Consulate General in Nigeria has warned citizens of an increase in general crime in the West African country’s capital, Lagos, amid an ongoing security crisis in the country.
In a statement, the Consulate General said there has been a rise in reports of robberies and smash-and-grabs on the roads by armed men on both Ikoyi and Victoria Island.
“Typically, men on a motorcycle will follow a vehicle until it stops at a traffic light or intersection, then approach the vehicle, present a weapon and rob the occupants,” said the statement.
The embassy said that although most of these incidents happen at night, the Consulate General has received reports of robberies taking place in daylight.
The embassy has called on US citizens in the capital to avoid driving alone at night and not to stop to help strangers on the road. They must also ensure that valuables such as cash, laptops, phones, cameras and bags are kept out of sight.
Meanwhile, Nigeria is also grappling with a rise in kidnapping of students and healthcare workers. Since December, more than 600 students have been kidnapped by gunmen.
In January, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari replaced the heads of the armed forces amid pressure over his response to the country’s security situation. Local observers have said that the ongoing security crisis in the country is out of control and that Buhari has failed to keep Nigerians safe.
On April 27, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken embarked on his first virtual trip to Africa. Buhari told Blinken that the security challenges in Nigeria remain of great concern to him, compounded by conflicts in the Sahel, Central Africa, West Africa as well as the Lake Chad region.
“Compounded as the situation remains, Nigeria and our security forces remain resolutely committed to continuing them and addressing their root causes,” said Buhari.
African News Agency (ANA)