The United States (U.S.) has revised its travel alert on Nigeria, warning its citizens against travelling to 16 states in the country, including Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
The three North-East states have been under emergency rule after a presidential declaration on May 14, 2013, aimed at restoring safety and security due to insurgent activities in the area.
The revised alert released by the State Department and dated January 8 advised U.S. citizens to avoid all but essential travels to Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Gombe and Jigawa states.
The other states on the list, which the U.S. said are prone to kidnappings, robberies and other armed attacks are Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.
Abia, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Imo and Rivers states, which were in an earlier list issued in June 2013, are not on the latest travel alert list.
The U.S. described the security situation in Nigeria as “fluid and unpredictable,’’ and warned against travel to the Gulf of Guinea because of the threat of piracy.
It also advised all U.S. citizens to be particularly vigilant around government security facilities, “places of worship and locations where large crowds may gather’’.
“Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups.
“Boko Haram, an extremist group based in northeast Nigeria designated as a Foreign Terrorist organisation by the Department of State, has claimed responsibility for many attacks, mainly in northern Nigeria,’’ the statement read.
According to the State Department, the Ansaru group, an offshoot of Boko Haram, has carried out several kidnappings targeting foreigners in Nigeria.
It noted that the group also claimed responsibility for other violent acts in the past year.