Amid revelations of Isa Pantami’s terrorism links to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and sympathy for Boko Haram, the American government has issued a third-level alert, warning its citizens to reconsider travelling to Nigeria.
Mr Pantami is a minister of communications and digital economy under President Muhammadu Buhari. Despite public opprobrium, Mr Pantami has refused to resign while Mr Buhari has glossed over the issue reiterating his confidence in the minister.
Worried about the worsening violent acts of terrorism and banditry in the country amid Mr Buhari regime’s failure to rein in the country’s protracted insecurity, the United States government reissued a third-level alert to Americans regarding travelling to Nigeria.
It warned, “Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather. Terrorists are known to work with local gangs to expand their reach.”
The level-three alert specifically warns Americans to reconsider coming to Nigeria, just a step below the highest point, level four. It was issued on April 20.
Concerning violent crimes in Nigeria, the U.S. government warned its citizens that violent crime such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage-taking, banditry, and rape “is common throughout the country.”
Specifically, it warned that kidnappings for ransom frequently “occur, often targeting dual national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit,” as well as U.S. citizens with perceived wealth.
It also noted that there “is civil unrest and low-level armed militancy in parts of southern Nigeria,” especially in the Niger Delta region, citing armed criminality, including kidnapping and maritime crime.
A previous travel warning was issued on March 16, 2021, directing its citizens to “reconsider travel to Nigeria due to COVID-19, crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime. Some areas have increased risk.”