Security Message for U.S. Citizens (July 31, 2012)
July 31, 2012
The U.S. Mission in Nigeria issues this emergency message to update U.S. citizens on the current threat situation in Nigeria.
After reviewing the current threat environment and increased security measures instituted by the Nigerian security forces throughout Abuja, the U.S. Embassy in Abuja has decided to end temporary restrictions on U.S. Mission personnel and families from visiting places of worship and the curfew instituted at the end of June. All U.S. citizens should use caution and discretion when deciding to attend large functions or visit establishments identified as potential targets and respond appropriately, if they detect suspicious activities.
Because of ongoing security concerns within the Federal Capital Territory, U.S. citizens should continue to expect heavy traffic congestion, road blocks, and significant police/security force deployments. All citizens should remain vigilant of their surroundings, limit exposure to large crowds, and keep their cellular telephones in close proximity for use in cases of emergency.
This year, extremists have attacked many locations in Nigeria, killing and injuring hundreds of people. They have threatened churches, mosques, media houses, police stations, immigration and customs offices, financial institutions, large hotels, shopping malls and markets, state government offices, communications centers, beer gardens, and nightclubs. Attackers have also burned and destroyed several public and private schools in Borno, and targeted several educational institutions in Kano and churches in Plateau, Bauchi, Kaduna, Niger, and Borno states. As such, the situation in the country remains fluid and unpredictable. The U.S. Mission in Nigeria strongly urges U.S. citizens in Nigeria to consider their personal security and to keep personal safety in the forefront of their planning.
U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Nigeria are strongly advised to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you in case of emergency.
U.S. citizens should contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos for up-to-date information on any restrictions. The U.S. Embassy in Abuja is open Monday - Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos is open Monday-Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The U.S. Embassy in Abuja can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +234(9) 461-4000. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies at +234(1) 460-3600 or +234 (1) 460-3400.
Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at-1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.