On the morning (local time) of Tuesday, December 11, unidentified gunmen ambushed a passenger bus and kidnapped 18 people on the road from Ahoada to Port Harcourt in Emohua local government area (Rivers state). As of Thursday, December 13, the identity of the assailants, as well as the whereabouts of the kidnapped victims, remains unknown.
Kidnapping-for-ransom incidents are commonplace in Nigeria. Foreign nationals, affluent locals, and diplomatic dignitaries may be particularly targeted by criminals due to their perceived wealth. The apparent slow reaction time of security forces heightens the risk of financially motivated criminal behavior.
Individuals in Rivers state are advised to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the local authorities.
The security environment in Nigeria is complex, and is particularly concerning in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Some Western governments consequently advise against travel to certain areas of the northeast (e.g. states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Jigawa, and Kano states) and the southern Niger Delta region (e.g. states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers). It is also advisable to avoid nonessential travel to Zamfara, Sokoto, Plateau, and Kaduna states. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to these areas.
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