Supporters of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations in Nigeria (FOGON) rallied outside the US Embassy in Abuja on Monday, December 5, amid allegations the US government is granting a visa to former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Demonstrators allege Atiku, a 2019 presidential candidate, is implicated in a bribery scandal with former US Congressman William Jefferson, who was jailed in 2009. Additional demonstrations near the US Embassy are expected ahead of the 2019 presidential election. A heightened security presence and lingering transportation disruptions are possible.
Demonstrators previously marched outside the US Embassy on November 23 to demand free and fair elections and to draw the attention of the international community regarding the security situation ahead of the February 16 presidential elections.
The official electoral campaign period ahead of the February presidential election began on November 19. During this three-months period, an increase in political rallies and demonstrations, as well as associated transportation disruptions, is to be expected throughout the country, notably in Abuja and Lagos. Outbreaks of violent unrest cannot be ruled out.
Individuals in Nigeria, particularly Abuja, are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of violence.
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