5 September 2014

African Press Review

Inhabitants flee Maidiguri as Boko Haram closes in on the north-east Nigerian town. Ebola claims an eighth Nigerian victim. Kenya invests an apparent land swindle. Kenyan police have trouble reclaiming a stolen presidential car found in Uganda. And Nigerian police catch an online dating fraudster.

In Nigeria the press is reporting a mass exodus from Maiduguri, in the wake of reports that Boko Haram fighters have taken over Bama, a town 78 kilometres from the Borno State capital.

Punch runs a Reuters news agency dispatch saying that travellers had besieged bus stations in the city all week, seeking transport to Damaturu in nearby Yobe State since Bama fell into the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists on Monday.

In its reaction to the developments Vanguard reiterates a warning by the visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Linda Thomas-Greenfield that the reputation of Nigeria's military is at stake in the wake of the gains made across the north-eastern regions of the country by the insurgents.

According to the paper, the American official, who was in Abuja to attend a security conference, announced the imminent launch of a "major" border security programme to help Nigeria and its neighbours combat the insurgents.

The Nation is equally preoccupied by the Ebola outbreak after it claimed its eighth Nigerian victim - the sister of the doctor infected by the late Liberian man who brought Ebola to Nigeria. That takes the number of confirmed cases to 18, according to official government statistics.

The Tribune highlights a warning by the World Health Organisation that the deadly haemorrhagic fever, could "grow larger and spread faster" in Port Harcourt than in Lagos, where Nigeria's first Ebola case occurred.

It explains that Ebola broke out in the Rivers State capital after the doctor infected by the Liberian abandoned his quarantine in Lagos to seek treatment in his home town where he had numerous contacts with relatives and friends and members of his church, who visited to perform a healing ritual involving the laying on of hands.

In Kenya the Daily Nation reports the launch of an investigation to establish how thousands of acres of land belonging to State Houses and State Lodges ended up in the hands of individuals.The National Land Commission chairman Dr Mohammad Swazuri said eight sites covering more than 300 acres are in private hands but says he is unable to explain how unscrupulous dealers managed to tamper with state-drawn maps.Standard Digital, meanwhile, reports a further twist to the saga of the presidential escort car stolen from Nairobi last week and discovered in Uganda. Kenyan police have been in Kampala since Tuesday to claim the car, which was abandoned in a parking lot in a neighbourhood of the Ugandan capital, but were unable to do so because their counterparts demanded proof of ownership.

And a Nigerian internet fraudster has extorted 200,000 euros from a 72-year-old Dutch woman in a romance scam.

Vanguard reports that Michael Adio Opeyemi, aged 31, reportedly met Jeanet De Jonge on a dating website and deceived her into believing he was an American chef in Nigeria looking for a wife. According to the paper, Jeanet started sending money to her charming fiancé immediately after he asked for money to help him acquire the necessary travel documents to the Netherlands.

It took her years to realise she has been fooled. She then filed a complaint to Nigeria's anti-graft agency, the EFCC, which didn't take long to find the conman enjoying himself in his native local government area of Owu in the south-western Ogun State.

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