22 February 2013

Nigeria: African Press Review 22 February 2013

Security in Nigeria, sexual harassment in South Africa and Kenya's elections all feature in today's African papers...

Nigeria's Guardian has an article on the alleged sightings of the abducted French nationals who were captured in Cameroon.

The newspaper says that the hostages were seen in the early hours of Thursday in Dikwa town in Borno State. The witness account comes from someone who spoke on condition of anonymity and describes how 7 white people were transferred into an unmarked vehicle when the car in which they were being transported broke down.

The Borno State Controller of Nigeria Immigration services tells the paper that Nigeria security services are on alert. The article also notes that the chief of naval staff met with major stakeholders in the maritime sector over how to surmount the "numerous security challenges currently confronting the country".

It reports that the Federal government has unveiled plans to further exploit electronic security systems to ensure safety.

It's not just border control that's under scrutiny in the country. Security tightening in the maritime regions is linked to the safety of oil platforms which provide a hefty revenue for the country. Security is also vital for the country's image.

Nigeria's Punch meanwhile has an article about a man accused of buying human hair, who escaped lynching. Apparently 60 year old Adewale Okunade, in Ogun State, was going from hair salon to hair salon collecting people's hair in exchange for money.

An angry mob went after him as the hair was allegedly taken to a herbalist in the Republic of Benin, who would use it to prepare charms for him. Apparently he had been up to this for a few years and his activity came to light after his business partner gave him away. He claims that he used the hair to help cure himself of festering sores on his leg and denied the hair was meant for rituals.

In South Africa, The Sowetan has an article on how the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg is taking steps against sexual harassment and gender violence on campus. They have a sexual harassment advisor for students and staff.

The Sowetan appears to welcome this move, writing that "Sexual harassment is prevalent in the workplace, in the public and private sectors, in our campuses across the country and even in our schools". Wit University has taken several steps to counter this, including a zero tolerance attitue towards sexual harassment, an investigation process into claims of harassment, and an awareness campaign for students and staff.

Kenya's Daily Nation reports that Cord presidential candidate Raila Odinga and running mate Kalonzo Musyoka have demanded the resignation of head of Civil Service, Francis Kimemia, claiming he was at the centre of a plot to interfere with next month's general election.

Odinga said that officials from the office of the president had laid plans to rig the vote in favour of Jubilee Coalition candidate, Uhuru Kenyatta. This as the National Advisory Security Committee held a crisis meeting "to beef up security for Chief Justice Mutunga." The latter claims to have received threatening letters.

Mr Kimemia defended himself from any wrongdoings sayings the days when you could "coerce people to drum up support for an individual were long gone". He said: "We are a democratic country and with a new constitution to cap it all. No one is planning to rig the elections."

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