👤 By Adenike Lucas, Editor
The U.S. Embassy on Wednesday closed it consular section in Abuja, without given any specific reasons.
In a statement posted on its website, the embassy says it will continue to provide its consular functions in its office in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The closure of the embassy in the capital comes weeks after the US government called for the neutrality of law enforcement agents in Nigeria following an attempt to arrest the Senate President Bukola Saraki from his Abuja home last month.
“We are all watching very carefully the political development in Nigeria in the last two days,” David Young, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said.
Adding that the “neutrality of police and security agencies”was important.
However, since that statement, given to journalist in Kaduna on 26 July, 2018, operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS along with the Police barricade the entrance of the National Assembly thus preventing any opposition lawmakers from going in to perform their legislative duties.
Some argue that it is on this note that the embassy has decided to close the consular section in Abuja “until further notice.”
This means all “consular appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja have temporarily ceased for both visa and for American Citizen Services. Consular functions in U.S. Consulate Lagos are not affected and will continue.
“Scheduled visa and ACS applicants for Abuja will be contacted for rescheduling.
“American citizens in northern Nigeria with emergency services needs should continue to contact the after-hours emergency number for Abuja at 09461-4000 and press “0” to go to the operator to request assistance.
“American citizens in northern Nigeria with urgent travel needs who are travelling before Tuesday and who are willing to re-schedule their travel through Lagos should contact the ACS office at Consulate Lagos ( 01460 3400 and LagosACS@state.gov) to discuss their options. Those travelling after Tuesday should follow up with Abuja ACS to confirm their appointments closer to their appointment date.”