United States has issued an alert to its citizens against travelling to Nigeria warning them of a threat by Nigerian kidnappers who now target citizens with dual nationalities.

This was contained in the US State Department’s Nigeria Travel Advisory dated January 4, 2022, stressing that the US citizens perceived to be wealthy are at greater risk of being kidnapped.

The alert also mentioned some states US citizens should not travel to or stay vigilant when visiting saying, “Violent crime such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, banditry, and rape is common throughout the country.

“Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit, as well as U.S. citizens with perceived wealth. Kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims on interstate roads.”

According to the Advisory, the northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa are among the states the US citizens were warned to stay away from.

“The security situation in these states is fluid and unpredictable due to widespread terrorist activity, inter-communal violence, and kidnapping. Security operations to counter these threats may occur without warning.

“Terrorist groups based in the Northeast routinely target humanitarian camps, security forces, churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, entertainment venues, and road travelers,” the Advisory said.

Other northern states that came under the travel alert include; Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara following roadside banditry and unexpected counter-attacks from security agencies.

The US also warned that the threat of kidnapping and violence extended to  the southern parts of Nigeria, listing coastal areas such as Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) as places US citizens should avoid travelling to.

“Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, and there is a heightened risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, especially in the Gulf of Guinea. Violent civil unrest and armed militancy persist in these areas,” the advisory warned.

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