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Travel Warning: Lai Mohammed Blasts U.S, Says No State In Nigeria Is Unsafe

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Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, insists no state in

Nigeria is unsafe, contrary to a recent statement by the United States

warning its citizens against travelling to 20 Nigerian states.

In the travel warning, US listed the Nigerian states to be avoided as

Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina,

Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Zamfara, Adamawa, Borno and

“The ability of the Mission to provide assistance to U.S. citizens in

Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states remains severely limited. The Department

recommends against all but essential travel to the following states due to

the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks,” a part of

the warning read.
“The U.S. Mission advises all U.S. citizens to be particularly vigilant

around government security facilities; churches, mosques, and other places

of worship; locations where large crowds may gather, such as hotels,

clubs, bars, restaurants, markets, shopping malls; and other areas

frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers.
“Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by

extremist groups, and U.S. citizens may encounter police and military

checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the

But responding on Thursday while hosting a delegation from the Association

of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ATPN), Mohammed observed that US is

itself the subject of terrorism attacks, as there is no week when a

killing is not recorded.
“Recently, all the newspapers carried the negative story that 20 states in

Nigeria are not safe, according to a US report,” he said.

“We are in Nigeria, how can we believe the claim that 20 states in Nigeria

are not safe? That is not correct. There is no state in Nigeria that is

not safe today.
“Is there any week they are not killing people in the US by either

shooting in schools or driveways, or people committing suicide or mass

“How many of these stories do their media celebrate? If they want to tell

their people not to come to Nigeria, it is not for us to help them

propagate it.”
He urged the media and members of the association to complement efforts of

government to re-position the tourism sector, saying the sector is driven

by perception rather than reality.
He implored every Nigerian to invest in perception management for the

country. He also urged leaders in the public and private sectors to help

promote local tourism by spending their vacations and holidays at tourist

sites within the country.
Mohammed said that his ministry would soon embark on visitation of major

tourist sites in the country to assess their potential for development.

Earlier, Kabir Malan, national president of the association, commended the

minister for his efforts at re-positioning the tourism sector.

He called for the review and implementation of the Tourism National Plan

as well as the enactment of laws that would guide the operation of tourism

Malan also urged the government to encourage investors to set up tourist

camps across the country, and make loans accessible to them.

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