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So here are a few more things you can do to stay safe:
- When driving, lock your doors & pull up your windows especially when in traffic. Avoid unnecessary stopovers by making sure you have everything you need for that trip. It will also help to be cautious in spots where many people hawk.
- If you are travelling to or through an area known for nefarious activities, do so in a convoy. Avoid travelling at night or picking strangers or random passengers on your trip. It can expose you to dangers you did not foresee.
- Avoid walking alone at night and night activities if possible. If you must move about at night, make sure by 8 or 9 pm, you are back home.
- Be mindful of yourself and your contents when in a crowded place like crowded events, a mall, open market, etc. because of petty crimes.
- Avoid regular patterns of travel or movement. Sometimes, you may need to use a longer route to your destination since a commercially used shorter route might be easily targeted. Other times, the unpredictability of your movements may save you from snares that lie in wait. E.g if you travelled for a one-week business trip in Lagos, don’t stick to the same time of arrival and return to your hotel destination. Sometimes, take a detour and do something that may alter the predictability of your movement.
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- If you are travelling by road, don’t leave too early or too late from your arrival or destination point. Listen to local news, seek advice and get info from those who have travelled to the areas you would like to visit. This should give you a clear idea of how safe it is to go to certain places. E.g. Benin City to Agbor is relatively safe with a heavy security presence along the way even at 7 pm.
- Civil unrest can spring up at any time for any reason in any place so monitor your environment. Avoid large gatherings and demonstrations, keep yourself informed of developments. And if you happen to run into any threatening situation, follow security instructions and head for safety. Don’t try to wade through it, just head in the opposite direction.
- If you are a foreign national, get a Nigerian guide and someone who knows their way around the city/cities you are visiting. If you work for a company based in a volatile region in Nigeria, stick to the company’s security protocols. Familiarize yourself with those plans and make sure they are adequate to cover your going and comings.
- Confirm the curfew for the states you intend to visit. Since the pandemic in 2020, lots of states now have 10 pm – 4 am or 6 am curfew, others have 7 pm – 6 am curfews. Violating these curfews may not be in your best interest as they are fixed to checkmate the insecurity incidences in those states.
- Never travel anywhere without letting at least one person know of your itinerary. Give them regular status updates even if it seems unnecessary. This does not mean you should make public your travel plans or location in a public domain like on social media. Lest you empower those who can hurt you with the information they need unintentionally. It is always better to err on the side of caution.
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