Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has appealed to Western countries to review their travel advisories cautioning their citizens from traveling to some northern states, including Sokoto, perceived as having security challenges. Tambuwal made the appeal, yesterday, when he received the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jérôme Pasquier, at Government House, Sokoto.
Meanwhile, the Germany Embassy in Nigeria has warned its citizens in the country to be cautious of their movement in response to the worsening security situation in the country.
German citizens were cautioned not to travel to 21 states of the federation and the Gulf of Guinea because of the risks of kidnapping, robbery and other armed attacks.
The 21 states are Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano, Taraba, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom.
The warning recalled the attacks by Boko Haram in some northern states and kidnapping in some southern states, adding that these have made travelling to some parts of the country riskier.
Tambuwal urged the France government and other Western countries to review their travel advisories to their citizens asking them not visit Sokoto, assuring that the state was secure, despite pockets of insurgency in some places.
While appreciating French government’s efforts in providing security assistance to the country and its armed forces, he noted that “the role of France in this direction is very clear, as Sokoto, being a neighbour of Niger Republic, which harbours some insurgents, would have been worse hit if there had been no such gesture.”
The governor also called on France to explore business opportunities that abound in the state, noting: “Although no French business exists in Sokoto, but we seek collaboration with your country in agriculture, healthcare, education and other areas.
“The state has mineral deposits and other huge potentials for business. Both parties need closer and deeper ties.” Before retreating for a closed-door session with the governor, Pasquier expressed gratitude to the governor and the Sultan of Sokoto for the reception accorded him and his entourage.
He said: “I am happy to be here because of the political and geostrategic place of the state in Nigeria.”
The German government said special caution was requested when traveling to all other parts of Nigeria, adding: “Warnings about land travel to the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. We do not recommend traveling to the other parts of the country in northern Nigeria, the states of Sokoto, Katsina and Jigawa.
“Travel to the following states is not advised, unless they lead directly to the respective capitals by air…
“Travel to the offshore coastal waters, Gulf of Guinea, Niger Delta, Bay of Benin and Bay of Bonny is not recommended. “In the northeastern parts of the country, acts of terrorism, such as attacks and explosive attacks by militant groups on security forces, markets, schools, churches and mosques. Attacks on humanitarian aid organisations operating there were also recorded.”