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Terror Attack: US Issues Fresh Alert To Employees’ Family Members

by Yvonne ONUAH

Amid the terror threat in Nigeria’s capital, the US has asked family members of its employees resident in Abuja to leave.

In the latest travel advisory issued on Thursday on its website, the US Embassy asked employees’ family members to leave Abuja due to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks.

Recall that the first of such warning was issued on Sunday after which at least nine foreign missions raised alarm that Abuja was being targeted for attacks.

Among the nations that have raised the alarm are UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Denmark, Bulgaria, India and Germany.

The Federal Government on its part has assured Nigerians that the nation’s capital is safe.

Due to the security alert, on Thursday, one of the biggest malls in Abuja shut down for business indefinitely, citing safety concerns.

The advisory reads, “The Travel Advisory for Nigeria has been updated due to a heightened risk of terrorist attacks in Abuja. We recommend U.S. citizens do not travel to Abuja at this time. In addition, on October 27, 2022, the Department ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government employees from Abuja due to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks, following the October 25 authorization of departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members from Abuja due to heightened risk of terrorist attacks.

“U.S. citizens should consider departing Abuja using available commercial options. U.S. citizens who wish to depart but are unable to secure commercial options to do so can contact the U.S. Consulate in Lagos at [email protected] for assistance.

“The U.S. Embassy Abuja is only able to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens in Abuja. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos is providing all routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Nigeria. U.S. Citizens in Nigeria who require assistance should contact [email protected] or +234 1 460 3410.”

The US Embassy also issued the following guidelines to citizens willing to travel to Nigeria:

Carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Nigerian visa, if needed.

> Use caution when walking or driving at night.

> Keep a low profile.

>Review travel routes and times to vary your predictability.

>Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.

>Be aware of your surroundings.

>Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.

>Avoid demonstrations and large political gatherings.

>Review your personal security plans.

>Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.

>Establish a “proof of life” protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).

>Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

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