Men of the Nigeria Police Anti Bomb Squad cluster around their operational vehicles
5 May, 2014
There are strong indications that the management of Sheraton Hotels,Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, has fortified its security as a result of the United States warning to its citizens that Boko Haram insurgents are planning to attack the hotel.
Visitors to the hotel are now being subjected to rigorous security check while bomb detectors have been deployed to check cars are also asked to empty their bags as a result of the new security checks put in place.
This development now causes slight traffic build up at the hotel entrance. However, it was business as usual when P.M.NEWS visited the hotel Monday morning except for the latest stringent security measures put in place by its management.
It was gathered that the alleged Boko Haram threat on the hotel has not in any way affected patronage of the hotel. Customers were seen checking in and out of the hotel. Events were equally held in the hotel halls.
However, none of the hotel staff was ready to speak with our correspondent on the development. Our correspondent was referred to the hotel manager for comment, but all efforts to speak with him proved abortive as at the time of filing this report.
US diplomats in Nigeria had on Friday claimed that “groups associated with terrorism” could be planning to attack a hotel in Lagos in a travel note to its citizens, warning them of security risks.
According to the US travel advisory,“as of late April, groups associated with terrorism allegedly planned to mount an unspecified attack against the Sheraton Hotel in Nigeria, near the city of Lagos.
“There was no further information regarding which of the two Sheraton Hotels in Lagos was the possible target, or if both of the Sheraton Hotels are possible targets.There is no further information regarding the timing or method of attack. US citizens are cautioned to avoid these hotels at this time,” the US Consulate General in Lagos said in an emailed advisory.
The US travel advisory said the security situation in Nigeria remained “fluid and unpredictable”, warning its citizens to stay away from all travel to Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states which have been under states of emergency since May last year.
Sheraton has two hotels in Lagos: the Sheraton Hotel Lagos in the Ikeja area of the city near the international airport and the Four Points by Sheraton. The latter is situated on Victoria Island off the expressway to Lekki,both of which are home to many wealthier Nigerians and expatriates.