The United States and the United Kingdom have issued stern warnings to its citizens in Nigeria, especially those resident in the North and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to avoid crowded places as dangerous insurgent group, Boko Haram may carry out its bomb threats during the yuletide.
The two missions in their security advice cautioned their citizens against all but essential travels to Bauchi, Zamfara, Kano; Kaduna; Jigawa; Katsina, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, and Yobe states during the Yuletide.
The two countries stated that the risk of terrorist attacks was still high in the run-up to and throughout the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
“Terrorist groups have threatened to conduct bombings and attacks in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) area during this period. You should avoid places where crowds gather, including religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people,” the UK mission said in the updated travel advisory on its website.
The same security warning was also echoed by the US mission, which asked Americans to review their personal security plans and avoid the states listed in the travel advisory.
The two countries had issued the security advice ahead of the December 1 Id el Maulud holiday, which passed without any eventualities. This had made some members of the public assume that the threat was over.
However, the US Embassy Information Officer, Russell Brooks, said the warning would stand till the end of the year, adding that it was not limited to the last public holiday in the country.
The embassy had issued a warning thus: “The US Mission remains concerned about potential attacks in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, and Yobe; travellers are urged to avoid those states through the end of the year.”
“If you construed the warning as referring to last Friday’s holiday (December 1), you are mistaken,” Brooks stated.
Recall that the police had also on Friday said the plot by Boko Haram to bomb Abuja and other states was real. The FCT Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Bello, however, said the police would work with other security agencies to make sure that the threat was not actualised.
It was gathered that the police had deployed undercover operatives in strategic locations in the FCT to foil any terrorist plot.
Security sources stated that agencies were also stepping up intelligence gathering and surveillance of dark spots which suspected Boko Haram members might infiltrate to carry out their dastardly act.
The police, however, warned Nigerians to avoid extravagance and any act capable of exposing them to unnecessary attacks during and after the festive season.