Security Reminder – Electoral Campaign Season
January 13, 2011
U.S. Embassy Abuja, Nigeria
The following message is being issued by the U.S. Mission to Nigeria, which includes the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, for United States citizens in Nigeria.
Nigeria has entered into the electoral campaign season, with political conventions, rallies, and voter registration, which will culminate in the general elections on three successive weekends in April. Throughout the electoral campaign period, political parties and candidates can be expected to hold numerous rallies and other events throughout the country. United States citizens are urged to exercise caution and avoid areas where there are political or other large public gatherings.
The U.S. Mission expects large gatherings of people as a result of the increased inflow of persons and dignitaries travelling to the Abuja Federal Capital Territory area for election-related activities on 12 and 13 January, particularly in high traffic congestion areas in and around the Federal Capital Territory, such as Eagle Square, Unity Fountain, Millennium Towers, etc. United States citizens in Abuja are advised that traffic along Shehu Shagari Way, Ahmadu Bello Way, Constitution Avenue, and Independence Avenue may be higher than normal and at times will be completely stopped or blocked. U.S. citizens are encouraged to alter their usual routes to avoid these areas until January 16. The U.S. Mission will provide additional information about these primary election events scheduled for the Federal Capital Territory as soon as it becomes available.
Voter Registration exercises throughout Nigeria beginning on Saturday, January 15, will take place at the voting ward and polling unit level, most notably at schools within each ward.
As part of preparation for the Army Remembrance Day celebration on January 15, 2011, the Nigerian Army has advised the public not to panic during the movement of military equipment in the Federal Capital Territory like helicopters, armored tanks, and various uniformed armed forces in and around the Eagle Square and Federal Capital Territory areas.
We continue to advise all U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings, monitor local news stations for updates, and report specific incidences of targeted violence to the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U. S. Consulate General in Lagos at the numbers below.
You can stay in touch and get U.S. Mission updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Abuja web site (http://nigeria.usembassy.gov/ ). You can also get 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 (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_987.html ). If you don't have internet access, we have a call center for updates -- 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on 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 federal holidays).
If you are going to live in or travel to Nigeria, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP - https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ ). If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date. It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency.
The U.S. Embassy in Abuja ( http://nigeria.usembassy.gov/ ) is located at Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central Business District, Abuja; the local number is 09-461-4000. If you are calling from the United States, please dial 011 (234) (9) 461-4000. E-Mail: ConsularAbuja@state.gov.
For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call: 011 (234) (9) 461-4000 and ask to speak with the duty officer.
The U.S. Consulate General is located at 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos. American citizens can call  (1) 460-3600 during office hours (Monday through Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.). For after-hours emergencies, call  (1) 460-3400 or 0805-301-0268. The e-mail address for the Consular Section in Lagos is Lagosacs@state.gov.
For after-hours emergencies U.S. citizens should call:  (1) 261-1414, 261-0195, 261-0078, 261-0139, or 261-6477 and ask to speak with the duty officer.