Breaking: U.S. grants Embassy staff permit to leave Nigeria over terror alert, FG kicks

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The U.S. Department of State has granted authorized departure status to its  Embassy Abuja, which permits the voluntary departure of family members and certain category of staff due to alleged  heightened risk of terrorist attacks. 

This was contained in statement posted on the Embassy’s website on Wednesday night titled
SECURITY NOTICE – AUTHORIZED DEPARTURE STATUS

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“The U.S. Embassy in Abuja continues to have limited ability to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens in Nigeria. The U.S. Consulate in Lagos continues to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Nigeria, ” the statement added.

According to the statement, “On October 25, 2022, the U.S. Department of State granted authorized departure status to Embassy Abuja, which permits the voluntary departure of family members and certain employees due to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks.  The U.S. Embassy in Abuja continues to have limited ability to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens in Nigeria. The U.S. Consulate in Lagos continues to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Nigeria.

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Actions to Take: 

• Have a personal emergency action plan that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.

• Take advantage of commercial transportation options, if you wish to depart Nigeria.

• Monitor local media for breaking news on the security situation.

• Be aware of your surroundings.

• Keep a low profile.”

The US Embassy  had earlier on Sunday, 23/10/22 raised an alert about possible terrorist attack in Abuja.

It said in the alert that “There is an elevated risk of terror attacks in Nigeria, specifically in Abuja.  Targets may include, but are not limited to, government buildings, places of worship, schools, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, athletic gatherings, transport terminals, law enforcement facilities, and international organizations.  The U.S. Embassy will offer reduced services until further notice.

“Actions to Take: 

– Avoid all non-essential travel or movement.
– Stay alert.
– Avoid crowds.
– Review your personal security plans and keep your cell phone charged in case of emergency.
– Carry proper identification.”

The Federal Government however through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Nigeria is safe.

Alhaji Mohammed gave the assurance in Abuja on Tuesday at a Ministerial Session at the UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week, saying the military and other security forces have been very proactive in tackling security issues.

“I can assure all that our military and other security agencies have continued to do everything possible to secure and protect Nigerians and foreigners living in
Nigeria. Terrorists have been hard hit and put on the run. Bandits have been decimated and scattered. Our country is safer today than at any time in recent times, thanks to the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said while the government did not discountenance the fact that terrorists, bandits and their kind would always want to do whatever it takes to disrupt the nation’s peace, security and stability, Nigeria’s security forces are up to the task of protecting citizens and non-citizens alike.

“Nigerians too should continue to be alert but must not panic. Like I said in a recent statement, as far as insecurity is concerned, the worst is over for Nigeria,” he said.

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