UK, US Advise Citizens in Nigeria to Minimise Movements, Avoid Demonstrations

Nigerians take part in a protest against alleged violence, extortion and harassment from Nigeria's Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), in Lagos, Nigeria October 11, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

By Adedayo Akinwale

With the ongoing protests against police brutality showing no sign of abating, the United Kingdom and the United States have urged their citizens living in Nigeria to pay attention to reports on protest locations, minimise movements and avoid demonstrations.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), in a statement published on its website yesterday, said: “A 24-hour curfew has been announced in Edo State from 4p.m, October 19. The state government has advised all citizens to remain indoors and all schools and businesses to shut.

“Reports have also emerged of a prison break in Benin City in Edo State. We would advise anyone in the state to follow local advice and monitor news and media outlets to keep up to date with these (measures/developments).

“There are ongoing protests about police conduct in Abuja, Lagos and other locations across Nigeria. These protests can occur spontaneously and unpredictably.

“You should pay attention to media and social media reports on protest locations, minimise movements and avoid demonstrations. Disruption and delays may include roads between Abuja and Lagos and their respective international airports.”

The United States government has also called on its citizens living Nigeria to avoid areas of demonstration as the ongoing protest against police brutality escalates.

The US Mission in Nigeria in the review of travel advisory posted on its website said its Consulate General in Lagos would be closed Wednesday.

It stated: “Multiple demonstrations are ongoing across Nigeria – to include areas within the consular districts of Abuja and Lagos. Although most demonstrations are peaceful, some have become violent and have shut down major thoroughfares and bridges. Some police stations have been targeted.

Lagos State closed all schools indefinitely as of October 19 due to protests and implemented a 24-hour curfew starting at 4:00 p.m. on October 20. Consulate General Lagos is closed for the rest of today and tomorrow.

“We continue to urge all U.S. citizens to avoid areas around protests and demonstrations and to check local media for updates and traffic advisories. Continue to be vigilant and avoid areas affected by the protests.

“Avoid the areas of the demonstration(s)
Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests. Keep a low profile. Be aware of your surroundings.”