– As AL-QAEDA insurgent group threatens attack on Southern Nigeria
The United Kingdom (UK) has issued a travel advisory to its citizens in Nigeria against travelling to Kaduna and some other states in the country, including Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers States, over insecurity challenges.
The advisory posted on the official website of the UK Foreign Office stated that “the Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.”
UK Government stated that all but essential travels to Kaduna, Bauchi, Zamfara, and Kano states should be avoided by Britons in Nigeria.
According to the UK Government, its citizens should avoid travelling to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe states.
The riverside of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states within 20 kilometre of the border with Niger in Zamfara State were also among the states on the red flag by the UK Foreign Office.
The UK Foreign Office further stated that the current insecurity in Nigeria has necessitated the temporal withdrawal of a small number of UK staff and dependants at the British High Commission in Abuja and the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos.
“Both locations will continue to carry out essential work including providing 24/7 consular assistance and support to British people in Nigeria,” the statement reads.
The British Government noted that 1st News had reported that a spokesman to the Presidency, Garba Shehu announced that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered airstrikes in Niger State against criminal groups operating out of the Dogon Gona forest area bordering Zamfara and Kaduna states.
It was further garnered that such missions are yet to be approved in Niger State, however, helicopter gunships have reportedly been operating in Kaduna State targeting cross border banditry, the UK Foreign Office confirmed.
“The al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Jamaat al Ansar al Muslimeen fi Bilad al Sudan, better known as Ansaru, claims to have killed at least six people, kidnapped dozens, and destroyed several vehicles during an ambush along the Kaduna-Zaira highway in Kaduna State in mid-January.”
Since January 2018, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has protested regularly in central Abuja and other cities.
According to the UK advisory, terrorist attacks often happen in the Northeast, particularly in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
“Humanitarian hubs have been targeted during attacks in the northeast, including Monguno, Borno State on June 13, 2020.
“There have also been significant attacks in Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Jos and Bauchi states and in the Federal Capital, Abuja. Further attacks are likely,” the UK Office warned.
The UK Foreign Office noted that before the rise in the spate of violent attacks in the country, “about 117,000 British nationals visit Nigeria each year and most visits are trouble-free.”
Meanwhile, the United States of America has reportedly revealed how the AL-QAEDA insurgent group is making some inroads in Borno State, North-Western and Southern parts of Nigeria.
The Commander, US Special Operations Command, Africa Dagvin Anderson gave the revelation in a digital briefing on US contributions to the fight against terrorism in Africa and Nigeria in general during the COVID-19 crisis.