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African Press Review 24 February 2018


Nigeria's President Buhari declares "national disaster", as number of school girls missing in Boko Haram attack rises to 105.

We start in Nigeria where the papers are running with grim news from Yobe State that up to 105 girls are still missing after the Boko Haram raid on a Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi on Monday.

Punch says the parents of the girls who fled into the bush during the attack had compiled a comprehensive list of all the missing girls and handed it to the authorities amid mounting fears that they might have been kidnapped.

Meanwhile Vanguard reports that in the confusion trailing the attack the Yobe State government has apologized for a false report it released stating that some of the missing from the schoolgirls with a students’ population of more than 900 had been rescued.

The paper says it was baffled by the Yobe governor's expressed surprise that security men were unexpectedly withdrawn from the town a few hours before the attack.

Premium Times reports from the Dapchi where its correspondents met with grieving parents, relatives and residents of the dusty agrarian community, about 100 kms from the Yobe State capital Damaturu.

The paper says it was told by witnesses that the gunmen who invaded their community were total strangers who had to force some of the residents to show them way around the town.

 “They did not even know where the school is located said one parent, in tears  adding that when they eventually located it, they moved in, captured many of their daughters  and left without any one confronting them”.

The Nation for its part, also reports from Dapchi where it speaks about a mix of tension and mourning which is pervading the community for the fifth day running “We are not happy with the delegation of the Federal Government. They did not look for the principal or the parents of the missing girls or enter any office of the principal or a classroom in the school when they visited Dapchi.”

As the state and Federal authorities scramble to cope with the crisis, President Muhammadu Buhari apologized to the children's parents and the nation for the attack which he described as a national disaster. Buhari also announced that the Federal Government would be sending more troops and surveillance aircraft for a 24-hour surveillance of the area.


In Kenya, Daily Nation leads with a watershed move by one of the country's governors to protect hawkers from constant harassment and job insecurity.  The paper says that Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria is drafting a bill enshrining their rights to acquire permanents business places, after the shocking eviction of the petit traders from the streets of Nairobi, Eldoret and Mombasa.

The governor is quoted by the paper as saying that through the bill, he aims to decriminalize hawking and secure their representation of hawkers who contribute over Sh3.6 trillion (25.7 million euros) annually to the country’s economy, in the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and national and international trade organizations.







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