The UK and Australian governments have modified their security advisories for nationals travelling to or already present in Nigeria with less than 37 days till the general election.
Several nations, including the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, and Bulgaria, issued terror alerts in October of last year.
Foreign embassies in Nigeria warned their citizens that suspected terrorists would attack public buildings, places of worship, educational institutions, marketplaces, shopping malls, lodging establishments, bars, restaurants, sporting events, transportation hubs, police stations, and international organisations.
The Federal Government disregarded the security warnings, calling them untrue; and told Nigerians that it was safe and secure to carry on with their legal obligations.
In updated travel advisories on January 19; the Australian government informed its citizens that the risk of electoral violence is high, urging them to reconsider their travels to those intending to visit.
A statement by the Australian government partly read; “Nigeria is scheduled to hold national and state elections between February 25 and March 11.
“The risk of election-related violence is high. You should avoid all political gatherings and election-related sites in the lead-up to, during, and after this period.
“Offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission across the country have already been targeted and should be avoided. Politically motivated murders and kidnappings have occurred; the threat of further incidents remains high.”
On its part, the UK Government said, “Nationwide elections will take place in Nigeria in February 2023; and there is a heightened risk of protests during this period.
“Political rallies, protests, and violent demonstrations can occur with little notice throughout the country. International news events can sometimes trigger anti-Western demonstrations.”