President Goodluck Jonathan on May 14 declared a state of emergency in the three states to restore public order, safety and security due to the spate of terrorist activities in the area.
An updated statement released by the U.S. State Department dated June 3 said “the ability of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria to provide assistance to its citizens in those states remains severely limited’’.
It said the department had continued to recommend that citizens avoid all but essential travels to some states in the country due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies and other armed attacks.
The statement listed the states as Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto and Zamfara.
“The Department also warns against travel to the Gulf of Guinea because of the threat of piracy.
“Based on safety and security risk assessments, the Embassy maintains restrictions for travel by U.S. officials to all northern Nigerian states in addition to those listed above.
“Officials must receive advance clearance by the U.S. Mission for any travel deemed as mission-essentia,’’ the statement said.
The alert also cautioned U.S. citizens to be aware that extremists could expand their operations beyond northern Nigeria to the country’s middle and southern states.
It noted that the latest travel warning replaces the travel warning for Nigeria dated Dec. 21, 2012. (NAN)