Nigeria says U.S. overstating threat of violence

By Tanu Henry

Boko Haram Suspects (Courtesy of Nigeria’s PM News)

Boko Haram Suspects (Courtesy of Nigeria’s PM News)

The U.S. government is warning Americans visiting and living in Nigeria to be cautious. But government officials in the West African country are not happy about the Americans’ advice, complaining that it does more harm than good.

The Nigerian Tribune quotes miffed Nigerian officials countering the U.S. embassy press release issued Sunday which advises Americans to stay away from some hotels because of possible bombings. The officials say it will cause more harm than good.

“It is eliciting unhealthy public anxiety and generating avoidable tension,” Nigeria’s national security adviser Owoeye Andrew Azazi said of the US’ statement.  He added that the Nigerian government has taken precautionary steps of its own.

“We have beefed up security everywhere,” he told reporters in a press conference in the country’s capital, Abuja, says the Tribune.

The U.S. diplomatic mission’s statement came Sunday after a two-day spate of violence last weekend. As Muslims around the world prepared to celebrate the religious holiday Eid al-Adha, an Islamic radical group in Nigeria, Boko Haram, marred the annual ritual with deadly assaults that killed at least 67 people in northeastern Nigeria, injured many others and destroyed a police station. Some Nigerian newspapers project the death toll will rise to 100.

But even as the Nigerians downplay the threat, the U.S. Embassy is taking no chances in light of the kidnapping of several Americans last year and the Boko Haram bombing of a United Nations office in August.

Straight to the Source