Abducted Chibok Girls Were Freed, But They Were Kidnapped Again – Australian Negotiator
A Perth-based international adviser, Dr. Stephen Davis, has revealed that the over 200 abducted Chibok girls were freed by the Boko Haram sect, but were re-kidnapped by a different group.
Davies was one of the key federal government negotiators trying to secure the release of the Chibok girls from the clutches of Boko Haram, sources said.
He has worked in Nigeria in the past with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Head of the Church of England, Justin Welby, to negotiate the release of kidnapped oil industry workers in the Niger Delta.
When news broke in April about the kidnapping of the Cibok girls from their school in Borno state Davis, who had recently moved to Perth from London, decided he could not sit on his hands.
He said he had established extensive contacts with tribes and terrorist groups in Africa, including three small cells of Al Qaeda, while working as a troubleshooter for oil and gas company Shell in the Niger Delta, so that contact was what he banked on, hoping to secure the release of the girls.
Following media reports that nobody knew where the girls were, he decided to reach out to his contacts.
“I made a few phone calls to the Boko Haram commanders and they confirmed they were in possession of the girls,” he said.
“They told me they’d be prepared to release some as a goodwill gesture towards a peace deal with the government, so I went to Nigeria on the basis of being able to secure their release.”
Arriving in Nigeria, Davis quickly set up talks with commanders and he believed he had brokered a deal.
Fearing being arrested, the Boko Haram commanders – holding the girls across the border in Cameroun – had a list of conditions.
They wanted the military to stand down and promised to drop the girls in a village before phoning to give their exact location.
Davis said they lived up to their promise, but in a region ravaged by war and corruption, the rescue was sabotaged.
“The girls were there, 60 girls, there were 20 vehicles with the girls,” he said.
“We travelled for four-and-a-half hours to reach them, but 15 minutes before we arrived they were kidnapped again by another group who wanted to cash in on a reward.
“The police had offered a reward of several million naira just 24 hours before we went to pick them up.
“I understand, from the Boko Haram commanders I spoke to, the girls eventually ended up back with them.
“I don’t know what happened to the group that took them but I suspect it wasn’t good,” he disclosed.
Davis said a young man kidnapped by Boko Haram and used as a driver later helped a handful of girls to escape.
One kidnapped girl, who managed to avoid having her mobile phone confiscated by turning it off and hiding it in her bra, managed to call her family while hiding in bushes, but had no idea where she was or which direction she should be heading.
After being told to walk west by following the sunset each evening, the four girls managed to cross the border from Cameroon and into Nigeria before being reunited with their families.
So far they are the only girls to have escaped from a Boko Haram camp.
When Davis later tried to contact, via text, the young man who helped them, he received a sobering reply.
“The person you are trying to contact has gone on a journey from which there is no return,” the reply read. “He was an infidel.”
Davis said the longer he stayed in Nigeria the more it dawned on him the kidnappings would not end.
“It became very clear that if I was able to get 50 girls released, then another group would kidnap 70 or 80 more. So by freeing 50 you were consigning 70 or 80 more to the same fate,” he explained.
He also told Arise TV that Ali Modu Sheriff and Former Chief of Army Staff Ihejirika are Boko Haram “Kingpins”
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