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US urges citizens in Nigeria to avoid crowds, protests

Barely 5 days before Nigeria’s general election, the United States of America has issued safety advisory to its citizens in the country.

The US Embassy in Nigeria, in the advisory, advised its citizens to avoid large crowds and protests before, during and after the elections slated to commence from Saturday, February 25.

In a security update on its website, the embassy advised its citizens to avoid rallies as “they can turn violent with little or no notice”.

The update, titled “Security Alert – Possible Protests Leading to Elections and Restricted Movements on Election Days” also told US citizens to have three days of food and water at home in case movement restrictions are extended beyond election days.

“Nigerian national elections are scheduled for February 25, 2023, and gubernatorial elections are scheduled for March 11, 2023. The government of Nigeria will restrict the movement of all personal vehicles on election days across the country. Information from the Government of Nigeria indicates that only law enforcement personnel and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)-accredited election observers will be allowed to move freely along the roads,” the update reads.

“Based on past election practice, we anticipate personal vehicles will be blocked from any and all attempted road movement from 00:00 until 18:00 February 25 and 00:00 until 18:00 March 11. Please be advised that movement restrictions may be extended at any time. Be alert to the government of Nigeria information about the restrictions.

“Rallies and demonstrations are commonplace before and after elections. U.S. citizens should avoid any of these types of events, as they can turn violent with little or no notice.

“Actions to take: have three days of food and water in your residence in case movement restrictions are extended beyond election day, have a pre-packed bag that contains your travel documents, medications, toiletries, cash, and clothes in case you need to relocate from your residence, avoid large crowds, be aware of your surroundings, keep a low profile and carry proper identification.”


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