African press review 14 April 2016

Punch

Three mothers said they had identified their daughters in the tape released to local officials by the Islamic group on Tuesday. The paper reports that the 15 girls shown in the video said they were well treated, but wanted to go home and be with their families.

Punch says the new video from Maiduguri has given momentum to calls from around the country for the government to engage with the people that facilitated the release of the tape so that the girls can return home alive.

However, a Senator backing a trade off with the sect has advised the government to be beware of impostors and con men who, on previous occasions, claimed to be in contact with Boko Haram’s leadership, but couldn’t deliver.

ThisDay

“Still missing but not forgotten” headlines ThisDay. The paper published photographs of the missing Chibok girls and recalled that it has been 730 days since the girls were taken away from their dormitories.

According to the paper, the video was broadcast just as the United States government, Amnesty International, Nobel Peace Laureate, Malala Yousafzi, the Bring Back Our Girls Group, and the Nigerian Labour Congress , joined millions of Nigerians and others across the world to call for the grils’ immediate release.

The Nation

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday cautioned Nigerians against “cynicism and  despair’ over the chances of a recovery of the 217 Chibok girls” insisting that the “recovery of the girls is uppermost in President Muhammadu Buhari’s mind”.

The Nation reports that security agencies have stepped up their search and rescue efforts noting that over the past month 3000 hostages have been rescued by the armed forces in their counter-insurgency operations in the North East.

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Times, South Africa

The Chibok girls are the most high-profile victims of the brutal insurgency, which has seen Boko Haram repeatedly use kidnapping as a weapon in a war that has left 20,000 dead since 2009.

According to the paper, human rights groups estimate that several thousand women and young girls have been seized since the start of the insurgency, and forced to become sex slaves and suicide bombers.

Young boys and men, it says, have also been forcibly conscripted to fight for the rebels, who want to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.

Vanguard 

Elsewhere, British and American officials are reportedly angered over Nigeria’s failure to account for the 1.8 billion euros of aid given to the Nigerian military to tackle Boko Haram.The paper attributes the claims to the British Telegraph.

Vanguard actually publishes a Telegraph article asserting that while Buhari claims that he is winning the war against Boko Haram, around 400 women and children were abducted last year by militants from the Nigerian town of Damasak.

The London newspaper’s report also acuses Buhari’s government of using the funds to launch a witch hunt against his political enemies.

Vanguard also publishes the reaction of the Nigerian President’s office to the damning claims. Buhari’s Senior advisor Mallam Barba Shehu says that the Telegraph journalist who wrote the piece needs a refresher course on responsible journalism as much as he needs a crash course on Nigeria.

Source: rfi afrique