The United States government has authorized the evacuation of its government employees and their families from Nigeria over potential terrorist attacks.
The US State Department announced the approval of the evacuation in its updated Nigeria travel advisory on Tuesday evening.
The United States and United Kingdom had on Sunday warned of a possible terrorist attack in the capital Abuja, especially aimed at government buildings, places of worship and schools, among other targets.
“On October 25, 2022, the Department authorized the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members due to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks,” the advisory read.
“The U.S. Embassy Abuja continues to have limited ability to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens in Nigeria. The U.S. Consulate in Lagos is providing all routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Nigeria.”
The Federal Government, through the Minister of Information had dismissed the security alert, stating that Nigerians are safer now, stating that the Nigerian Armed Forces were on top of security challenges in the country.
“Our country is safer today than at any time in recent times, thanks to the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.
“We do not discountenance the fact that terrorists, bandits and their kind would always want to do whatever it takes to disrupt our nation’s peace, security and stability. But our security forces have been proactive.”
Nigeria’s Department of State Services said the United States had previously issued similar warnings and urged citizens to remain alert.
The nation’s capital city came under heavy attack months ago following the Boko Haram raid on Kuje Prison and an attack on the Presidential Guards Brigade at Bwari in which three elite officers were killed.