'The U.S. Embassy advises all U.S. citizens in the Federal Capital Territory and other large northern Nigerian cities to remain particularly vigilant around churches and other places of worship, locations where large crowds may gather, and areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers during the upcoming holiday weekend.
'The U.S. Mission to Nigeria has deferred all travel by U.S. government personnel under Chief of Mission authority to northern Nigeria and advises citizens to exercise extreme caution if residing or traveling in these areas.
'The Department of State also recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all but essential travel to the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers; the Southeastern states of Abia, Edo, Imo; the city of Jos in Plateau State, Bauchi and Borno States in the northeast; and the Gulf of Guinea due to the risks of kidnapping, robbery, and other armed attacks in these areas. Violent crimes committed by individuals and gangs, as well as by persons wearing police and military uniforms, remain a problem throughout the country,' the US advisory said.
On its part, the UK mission said 'there is a high threat of terrorist attack during religious festivals. British nationals are advised to exercise particular vigilance and caution over the Easter period.'
It advised against all travel to five northern states of Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Sokoto during the Easter period.
According to Nigeria's top military chief, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, over 1,200 people have been killed since 2009, when Boko Haram launched its violent campaign, in retaliation for what it called the extra-judicial killing of its founder, Mohammed Yusuf, and the continued harassment of its members by security agents.
The attacks targeted security agents in their early stages but quickly spread to include politicians. Now it has become indiscriminate.