Nigerian international relations experts are concerned about the deteriorating security situation in the country and the apparent inability of the federal government to deal with the threat.
Nigeria is ravaged by relentless terrorist attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram and their allies, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) coupled with banditry that has escalated into a criminal franchise of kidnapping for ransom.
The global community is already concerned about the surge in terrorist activities following last Tuesday’s attack by ISWAP on Kuje Detention Center in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. About 64 hardened commanders of the terrorist sect and more than 1,000 other criminals have reportedly been released. The bold assault on the facility and the ease with which it was carried out by the invaders without any countermeasures from the security forces suggests complicity within the security circle.
These recent developments have prompted some countries in the Nigerian diplomatic community to issue travel alerts to their citizens in the country and, as a result, weaken confidence in the country.
For example, following Tuesday’s attack at Kuje Detention Centre, the US Embassy on Wednesday warned its citizens in Nigeria against travel on the Abuja airport road.
In a similar development, UK citizens have been warned to be careful when traveling to 19 states in Nigeria.
Among the states are Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and the river areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.
They were advised to undertake only essential journeys to Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto, Kogi, within 20 km of the border with Niger in Kebbi State, Abia and non-river areas of the Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Plateau and Taraba. .
In a statement released on Wednesday, titled “Abuja FCT prison break near the airport on July 5, 2022,” the US Embassy noted that crime has become rampant across Nigeria.
The statement read: “On the night of July 5, 2022, an attack on Kuje prison freed a large part of the approximately 1,000 prisoners. The prison is about 27 miles southwest of the central business district.
“An increase in crime is expected in Abuja and surrounding areas. U.S. citizens are recommended to maintain a high level of personal security awareness for the next two weeks and avoid unnecessary travel en route to the airport.
“Crime is endemic throughout Nigeria and tends to increase after dark. Avoiding places and situations that increase the likelihood of being victimized is the best defense. Avoid displays of valuables and limit nighttime activities.
“Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations intend to attack American citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, guns and vehicles – to target crowds more effectively. Often their aim is focused on unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
“Large-scale public events (sports competitions, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, festive gatherings, etc.), hotels, clubs and restaurants frequented by tourists, places of worship, schools, parks, shopping centers and markets and transport shared systems (including subways, buses, trains and scheduled commercial flights).
“Steps to take: Be aware of your surroundings, keep a low profile, wear proper identification, monitor local media for updates, review your personal safety plans, always drive with your windows rolled up and the locked doors, and avoid large gatherings and demonstrations. , consider alternate travel routes in the event of unexpected demonstrations or unrest, exercise caution if you find yourself unexpectedly near large gatherings or demonstrations, always keep the doors to your residence locked, even when at home you.
The Canadian government had earlier warned its citizens to avoid traveling to certain states in Nigeria and advised them to be careful when traveling to Abuja due to increased crime and terrorist activities.
In a similar development, Turkey took action on Thursday to bar Nigerian visa applicants seeking to travel to the Republic of Turkey from accessing e-visa arrangements and advised them to apply through any consulate. Turkish.
LEADERSHIP collected from potential candidates about the sudden change without notice or communication from the Turkish Mission in Nigeria. But it appears the decision was made following the ongoing terror attacks in Nigeria and the high security alert that followed the attacks on the Abuja detention center on Tuesday.
Apparently, one of the concerned Nigerians in a post said, “I just posted this. Someone with a Schengen/UK/US visa might book a ticket to Turkey right now thinking they will be applying for a visa electronically. NOT. Turkey decided last night to remove Nigerians from the electronic visa list. Without prior notice/communication. They clearly don’t rate us. Regardless, all Nigerians must apply through the Consulate wherever they are.
“It turns out that a lot of people are considering/planning to go to Turkey soon. Honestly, just apply through the consulate. There is still no information online. No press release, nothing! They are disrespectful I was told by an agent that she applied on behalf of someone yesterday and within 5 minutes the message on the site changed Apparently it has something to do with “prison break” / terrorism concerns.
“Unfortunately, nationals of the country you have selected are not eligible for the e-visa. Please go to the nearest Turkish mission to apply for a visa application. Please visit http:www.visa.gov.tr for the full list of Turkish embassies and consulates,” the message read.
Another Nigerian whose application was apparently rejected and his payment refunded, posted a message he allegedly received from the Turkish authorities.
Speaking on this worrying scenario, international constitutional law expert Livingston Wechie said Nigeria’s image is at stake as countries will not encourage their citizens to come and invest in the country.
He said: “Serious countries are taking practical steps to assure their citizens of their safety. Today Shinzo Abe was assassinated in Japan and you can see the level of security taken to untangle the factors that led to this assassination, but what we have in Nigeria is the issuing of press releases.
“We have institutionalized insecurity in Nigeria through the commodification of crime. There are known terrorist sponsors of the Nigerian government. Since the attack on the detention center in Kuje and other attacks, no one has been arrested and this reveals a possible complicity of some people in the security circles.
“With the way we are doing things, Nigeria will continue to place itself in an arena of shame and blame. Until we demonstrate commitment, we will continue to suffer from a lack of trust and a lack of influence within the diplomatic circle, which will have a ripple effect on our economy.
‘As a people, we have no new investment from the foreign investment index, we are on a downward trend. Billions of dollars have been voted for security and they cannot be counted. No country will take us seriously to encourage its citizens to invest in Nigeria.
“The damage to our global image is enormous. Our diplomatic image has been seriously challenged and the government is not even taking serious action to redeem that image.