Security Message for U.S. Citizens – Id-el-Kabir and National Day Security Warning (September 23, 2015)

September 23, 2015

The U.S. Embassy encourages U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance and be aware of local events to bolster their personal security on and around the Nigerian public holidays of Id-el-Kabir (Thursday, September 24, and Friday, September 25) and Nigerian National Day (Thursday, October 1).

The U.S. Mission advises all U.S. citizens to be particularly vigilant around churches, mosques, and other places of worship; locations where large crowds may gather; government facilities; and areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers during the upcoming holidays.  Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and U.S. citizens should expect additional police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country during the Id-el-Kabir holiday weekend.  Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings; and monitor local news stations for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

Personal Security Self-Assessment Checklist

The U.S. Mission provides the following checklist, which includes a baseline self-assessment for U.S. citizens to evaluate your daily habits and practices to improve your own security awareness.

  • Do you vary your times and routes to and from work?
  •  Do you keep your doors locked and windows closed (residence and vehicle)?
  •  Do you keep your vehicle well maintained?
  •  Do you check the interior and exterior of your vehicle prior to getting into your vehicle?  Look for things that are irregular or abnormal.
  •  Do you maintain a low personal profile by not doing anything that draws attention to yourself?
  •  Are you alert to what is going on around you?
  •   Are your colleagues and family aware of your daily plans, and do they know how to reach you?
  •   In traffic, do you always attempt to leave space in which to maneuver to exit if necessary?  Be prepared to take evasive action at any time.
  •   Do you avoid choke points in travel?  Be wary of diversions.
  •  Do you take walks, using the same routes and departing your residence at the same time?

Have you developed an emergency action plan for your home and car and rehearsed it with family members?  Advice: – If you are being followed or harassed by another driver, try to find the nearest police station, hotel, or other public facility.  Never lead the person back to your home or stop and get out.

Do you have the contact information for your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate as well as your local police on hand in the event of an emergency?

Whenever possible, do not have a set day for shopping, errands, and personal needs. Avoid time and place predictability.  Never give out your personal information, such as family member and household staff names, addresses, and telephone numbers, in an open setting.  Ensure all of your family members are briefed on security measures.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Nigeria Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, located at Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central District Area, at +234 (9) 461-4000, Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +234 (9) 461-4000. Contact the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, located 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, at +234 (1) 460-3600 or +234 (1) 460-3400, Monday – Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +234 (1) 460-3600 or +234 (1) 460-3400.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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