As Nigerians prepare for their presidential and gubernatorial elections on February 25 and March 11, respectively, the United States Embassy in the country has issued warnings to American citizens about possible protests in the country.
The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria issued a statement encouraging its Americans in the country to stay away from the gatherings because they could quickly devolve into violence.
“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,” the statement read.
“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 Government of Nigeria information about the restrictions,
“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 statement read.
Additionally, the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria urged its citizens to take the following security measures in advance of the elections.
To prepare a bag with your travel documents, prescriptions, toiletries, cash, and clothes in case you need to leave your home. To have three days’ worth of food and water in your home in case movement restrictions are extended past election day.
Stay away from crowds, pay attention to your surroundings, Keep your distance, review your personal security precautions, carry valid identification, have a charged cell phone in case of emergency, and follow local media for updates.