LONDON – An increased threat of terror attacks in Abuja has seen several nations including the United Kingdom issue advisories on non-essential air travel to Nigeria.
Several nations including the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Denmark and Bulgaria have recently issued advisories warning citizens of the present danger when travelling to Nigeria.
The Nigerian government has responded via its Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed; effectively dismissing the travel advisories and suggesting that the United States was also not safe.
UK travel advisory
The UK government website foreign travel advice for Nigeria cites recent attacks, and refers to Abuja, saying “further attacks are likely”:
“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests, as well as places visited by tourists.”
“There is an increased threat of terrorist attack in Abuja. You should stay alert, avoid non-essential travel and follow the local news and the advice of security authorities. The British High Commission remains open for essential services.”
“Public places where crowds gather have been targeted in the past, including places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, football viewing centres, displacement camps, transport terminals (including train networks), government buildings, security and educational institutions (schools, further education colleges and universities are all regular targets), and international organisations.”
“Attacks have taken place around religious and public holidays in public or crowded places, including places of worship as well as during election periods.”
Most attacks are conducted by Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) and occur in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States in the North East. There have also been significant attacks in other states, including in Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Bauchi and Taraba States.
Between May and July 2022 Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) have conducted a number of attacks in Kogi, Niger, and in the Federal Capital Territory. Further attacks are likely.
Recent British Airways flights cancelled
Two scheduled British Airways flights from London Heathrow (LHR) to Abjua have been cancelled, though it is not clear whether the cancellations relate to the travel advisory. The flights in question were to have operated as Flight B772 yesterday 28 October, and today Saturday 29 October.
An Abuja-bound flight on Thursday 27 is also listed as diverted to Lagos for the carrier.
The Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has also reportedly dismissed the raft of travel warnings, saying that these security alerts were not uncommon to Nigeria.