Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens - Security Update (January 21, 2012)
The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General issue the following emergency message for U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Nigeria.
Due to recent significant events throughout Nigeria, notably the kidnapping of a U.S. citizen in the Niger Delta and the bombings in Kano by alleged elements of Boko Haram, the U.S. Embassy would like to remind all U.S. citizens to review personal security measures. Due to ongoing security concerns, the U.S. Mission to Nigeria has temporarily deferred travel of government personnel to Northern Nigeria.
On January 20, 2012, a U.S. citizen was kidnapped while leaving a bank in Warri, Delta state. According to media reports, investigators believe the assailants trailed the man to the bank and waited outside before kidnapping him. In November two U.S. citizens, along with a Mexican national, were kidnapped off the Nigerian coast and held captive for over two weeks in the Niger Delta.
Also on January 20, elements of Boko Haram claimed responsibility for multiple explosive attacks and assaults against various Nigerian government facilities in Kano. The attacks lasted several hours and caused numerous casualties. Several citizens from various countries, including the United States, stated they secured themselves in their residences during the ordeal, communicated their accountability to wardens or supervisors, and monitored media reports to stay abreast of the situation. Kano is now on a 24 hour curfew and heavy security presence should be expected once the curfew is lifted. Curfews are still in place in the cities of Gusau (Zamfara State), Maiduguri (Borno State), Minna (Niger State), Potiskum (Yobe State), and Yola (Adamawa State).
The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor closely the ongoing threat posed by a Nigerian extremist group and various criminal elements and their intentions to carry out attacks against the Nigerian Government and western interests in Nigeria. Locations where large crowds may gather, including large hotels, places of worship, shopping centers, and areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers could be potential targets. Be advised that Nigerian police and military units may establish additional police checkpoints, security, and road blocks in major cities for the foreseeable future.
Please review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, 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-
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 operation 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) 460-3400 or +234 (1) 460-3600 , or via email at LagosACS@state.gov. The hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Friday from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM, except holidays.