Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens - General Strike Update (January 12, 2012)
January 12, 2012
The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General issue the following emergency message for U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Nigeria.
International and domestic air travel remain disrupted on day three of a nationwide strike protesting the Nigerian government’s decision to end its subsidy on gasoline. While the international airports in both Abuja and Lagos remain open, most airlines have cancelled incoming and departing flights. All domestic airports nationwide have closed, with all domestic flights grounded. Given the fluid situation, we advise U.S. citizens to confirm flight schedules directly with airlines before they travel to the airport.
Travelers between the airports serving Abuja and Lagos and their respective city centers periodically experience blockages. We advise U.S. citizens to avoid or minimize road travel for the duration of the strike. Demonstrations continue in various cities in Nigeria. Large demonstrations may occur Thursday, January 12, on Victoria and Ikoyi Islands in Lagos and in the center of Abuja. Authorities have established curfews of varying lengths in the cities of Kaduna (Kaduna State), Kano (Kano State), Minna (Niger state), Oyo (Oyo State), Potiskum (Yobe State), Yola (Adamawa State), Gusau (Zamfara state).
Even though organizers pledged to stage peaceful strikes and protests, the potential exists for some events to become confrontational and escalate suddenly into violence. We therefore urge U.S. citizens to avoid areas of such protests and maintain low profiles. U.S. citizens should monitor news reports regarding the location of demonstrations. During the general strike, U.S. citizens should expect continued closure of shops, gas stations, and banks.
Please review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, monitor local news stations for updates, and report specific incidents of targeted violence to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos at the numbers listed below. For additional safety and security information, please refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad."
You can stay in touch and obtain Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria web site. You can also obtain global updates at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information. Current information on safety and security is also available by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or for callers from other countries, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
If you plan to reside in or visit Nigeria, please take the time to tell us about your travel by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family contact you in an emergency. Please remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date. During enrollment or updating of information, please include your current telephone number and e-mail address for reaching you in case of an emergency.
The U.S. Embassy in Abuja is located at 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central Area, Abuja. The Consular Section can be contacted, including during after-hours emergencies, at +234 (9) 461-4000 , or via e-mail at ConsularAbuja@state.gov. The hours of operations are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM and Friday from 7:30 AM to 1:30 PM, except holidays.
The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos is located at 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos can be reached by telephone, including during after-hours emergencies at +234 (1) 460-3600 or +234 (1) 460-3400 , or via email at LagosACS@state.gov. The hours of operations are Monday through Thursday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Friday from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM, except holidays.