Back to Africa Check

No, UK and US not withdrawing citizens from Nigeria due to ‘war against Christians’

This article is more than 4 years old

A Facebook post claims the United Kingdom and the United States governments have withdrawn their citizens from Nigeria because of an impending war against Christians. 

“War! War!! War!!” it reads.

“A terrible war is coming into Nigeria. A group of Islam are coming into Nigeria with their weapons to attack the Nigerians most especially Christians... The purpose of them coming with war is to established Islamic nation in Nigeria before the total breakup of Nigeria...

“The British government has called on their citizens to move out of Nigeria without any delay, the USA government has withdrawed their citizens.”

The post surfaced on Facebook in late June 2019 and has been shared about 2,000 times. It also claims the US has closed its embassy in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

No evidence of withdrawal of US and UK citizens

Africa Check searched for media reports or announcements by the UK and US governments asking their citizens to leave Nigeria, and found none.

There is no evidence of the withdrawal of citizens on either the websites or Twitter handles of the UK and US embassies. Their websites and social media pages serve as major communication channels for both embassies. 

The US Embassy in Abuja has not been shut either. There is evidence of recent activities on the homepage of the embassy’s website and its Twitter timeline

The UK’s travel advice

The UK regularly updates its foreign travel advice on all countries of the world for its citizens. 

Its travel advice on Nigeria was last updated on 17 June 2019. 

It advises against all travels to a number of states, mostly those in the north-east zone where there have been terror attacks by Boko Haram. It also lists some states where only essential travel is advisable

But it does not mention any impending war targeting Christians in Nigeria, or ask UK citizens to leave the country. 

‘Obviously inaccurate and misinformed’

The press officer at the US embassy in Abuja told Africa Check they wouldn’t respond to the Facebook post, which they said “is not true”.

“The US State Department’s Travel Advisory system, however, provides publicly available advice to US citizens residing outside the country or those considering visiting foreign countries about current local conditions,” they said in an email.

“The Embassy’s Public Affairs Section appreciates your inquiry to check the veracity of this obviously inaccurate and misinformed Facebook posting.”

The US government’s Nigeria travel advisory for its citizens, last updated 9 April 2019, advises against travel to only three states – Borno, Yobe and northern Adamawa, all in the north-east – because of the terrorism threat there. 


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.