The Canada High Commission in Nigeria in Abuja stated on Monday that it has ceased operations in Nigeria until further notice and has issued a warning against non-essential travel to the country.
The Times reported that the embassy issued a travel alert, advising against taking unneeded trips to Nigeria, notably Abuja, “because of the high risk of crime, armed attacks, kidnapping, and inter-communal conflicts as well as the unpredictable security situation throughout the country.”
This information was from the Canadian government’s official website regarding the temporary closure of the Canadian embassy in Nigeria as well as the travel advisory.
Two people died and two more were injured in a fire that broke out on Monday at the Canada High Commission in Abuja, albeit this was not the reason given for the suspension of activities in Nigeria.
The fire spread was caused by a diesel tank explosion that occurred in the embassy’s generator house, as confirmed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In response to the incident, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said, “We can confirm there was an explosion at our High Commission in Nigeria,” via her official X (previously Twitter) profile.
“Now that the fire is out, we’re trying to figure out what went wrong. I offer the families of the two victims of this tragedy my sincere sympathies.”
Furthermore, President Bola Tinubu offers consolation to the Canadian government and the victims of the fire breakout through a statement released by his spokeswoman, Ajuri Ngelale.
According to the statement, President Tinubu “wishes for the speedy and complete recovery of all injured persons and prays for the repose of the departed souls.”