Mohammed Idris, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and National Orientation, said the UK’s travel advice for its people visiting Nigeria will cause unwarranted alarm.
Remember that because of the upcoming gubernatorial elections in the United States on November 11, the United Kingdom advised its people to avoid traveling to the states of Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa.
The potential for violence during the governorship elections has prompted increased vigilance.
There was also a notice issued by the United States government alerting its residents of the potential for attacks on hotels in the Federal Capital Territory.
U.S. “emergency information” warns of “elevated threats” to Nigeria’s main hotels.
The advice did, however, note that efforts are underway by Nigerian security services to neutralize the threat.
In response, Idris told media executives and editors on Monday in Abuja that the government has always put the security of its residents and foreign visitors first.
As he put it:
We appreciate the U.S. government’s concern expressed in their recent travel alert, but we think it’s crucial that we don’t extrapolate from a few isolated events to the whole hospitality business.
To say nothing of the damage they bring to the economy and the government’s efforts to entice investment, our experience shows that these advisories accomplish nothing more than cause unnecessary alarm.
We have always put the security of our country’s guests at the forefront of our minds.
To guarantee the security of our foreign visitors and tourists, we have adopted stringent security measures at the national and state levels.
Idris claims that the government is actively working to ensure the safety of its citizens.
“In various sections of Kaduna State, seven bandits were neutralized in various operations between the 1st and 3rd of November.
An impending insurgent attack on Kano was prevented on November 3 thanks to a dawn raid operation by the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services in the Gezawa Local Government Area of Kano State.
Weapons such as AK-47s, magazines for rifles, RPGs, RPG bombs, hand grenades, and components for IEDs were found during the operation.
“In Katsina, two NYSC members abducted by bandits were safely rescued.
He explained, “The Nigerian Air Force has been very busy in the north-east and north-west of the country, with several successful airstrikes on bandits’ camps and hideouts in Katsina, Zamfara, and Borno States.”