June 7 - Nigerians demand more efforts from the government to secure the safe release of 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram, as U.S. congressman says there's ''a great deal of hope'' they'll be found. Vanessa Johnston reports.
"Bring back our girls!" Calls across Nigeria on Saturday for the release of 200 schoolgirls abducted by militant Islamist group Boko Haram. Many believe the government is not doing enough to free them. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAWYER, CHIDI ODINKALU "I think that there are many things that have gone wrong in this quite early, you know, right from numbers, the counting, how many of these girls and the politicization of what is clearly a human tragedy, a tragedy for communities. I do think we have got to try and do that right" On Friday, three Nigerian newspapers accused the army of halting distribution -- a move some believe is linked to their coverage of the missing girls. The Ministry of Defense said that vans had been searched for unspecified sensitive material. But it denied it was trying to stop the newspapers from reaching the public. Coordinator for the Anti-Corruption Network Dino Melaye said there was no justification. (SOUNDBITE) (English) COORDINATOR, ANTI CORRUPTION NETWORK, DINO MELAYE, SAYING: "It happened yesterday, you didn't find anything. Today you are repeating the same thing and you have not found anything. It shows there is another ulterior motive to the clamping down of the media." The girls, taken from a school in Northeast Nigeria, have been missing since April. U.S. Congressman Christopher Smith told the media in Abuja that progress is being made. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN, CHRISTOPHER SMITH, SAYING: "There is a great deal of hope that they will be found. I'm frankly not at liberty to talk about to talk about any specifics. I have been briefed, but it would be wrong to disclose any of that. But I know that we are working hand in glove with the French and the UK -- and of course the Nigerians -- to try and discover the whereabouts and find some means of safely securing their release." The Boko Haram insurgency has killed an estimated 5,000 people since an initial uprising in 2009.