The Nigerian military and Niger Delta militants were involved in an altercation on Wednesday, July 5, during the attempted kidnapping of an oil executive at the Anantigha axis of Calabar. The number of militants involved in the kidnapping attempt is unclear, and no specific group has claimed responsibility. The gunfire reportedly caused many local residents to flee the area, although the army has since brought the situation under control and is conducting an investigation into the incident.
Kidnapping is a longstanding concern in Nigeria. Foreigners and locals face a high threat of abduction throughout the country, from Boko Haram or from Niger Delta rebel groups. Expatriates face a particular risk of kidnapping as a result of their greater wealth compared to the local population. On April 13, unknown gunmen abducted four telecommunication officers in Lagos state.
The security environment in Nigeria is complex and particularly poor 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 Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Jigawa as well as parts of Kano and Adamawa states) and the southern Niger Delta region (e.g. states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers). Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to these areas.