Stephen Davis was invited to Nigeria by President Goodluck Jonathan to help negotiate the release the Chibok girls who were kidnapped in their school by the boko haram sect on April 14. Mr. Davis who also The 63-year-old former Canon Emeritus at Coventry Cathedral in the UK who has extensive contacts with African terrorist groups was also responsible for brokering a truce between the Federal Government and Niger Delta militants in 2004, when he was working for the company Shell.
He told the ABC he was only 15 minutes away from retrieving 60 of the kidnapped girls from insurgents after securing them through negotiations, when they were snatched by a second rebel group:
'I made a few phone calls to the Boko Haram commanders and they confirmed they were in possession of the girls. 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.
There are several groups to deal with as the girls are held in several camps. This makes any thought of a rescue highly improbable. To attempt to rescue one group would only endanger the others. Every day there is the possibility of the release of the girls.
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, Mr Davis. The girls ended up back with their original captors,’ Davis told ABC.
Davis also revealed that four of the kidnapped girls managed to successfully escape their captors and meet their families with the help of a young man who was formerly kidnapped by the same group.
A mobile phone that had been hidden in the bra of one of the girls helped them contact their parents and receive directions to cross the border from Cameroon back to Nigeria.