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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Meet The Archbishop Of Canterbury’s Aide Negotiating With Boko Haram To Release Chibok Girls

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A friend of the Archbishop of Canterbury has been working secretly to help free the Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists over a month ago, the London-based Sunday Times has revealed.

Stephen Davis, a former canon at Coventry Cathedral, is said to have held face-to-face talks with a senior commander of the group after travelling to its stronghold and sleeping out in the bush.
This is just as the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), through its spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, has revealed that the Nigerian Air Force has flown 300 sorties in the hunt for the girls.

He also refused to deny or confirm reports that the military had advanced warning of the attack on Chibok community where the girls were abducted, explaining that the military had failed to act because it had in the past received several advanced warnings in the North-east that turned out to be frivolous.

The Sunday Times’ story confirmed THISDAY’s exclusive report last week that other than Ahmad Salkida, a former Nigerian journalist who once worked with two Abuja-based newspapers – Daily Trust and Blueprint but had relocated to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), two other people had been contacted by the presidency to assist with the negotiations with Boko Haram for the release of the kidnapped students.

Aliyu Teshaku, an indigene of Benue State, and Davis, a foreigner with experience in hostage negotiation, were also contacted by the presidency to negotiate the release of the girls.
Davies, however, is not working in isolation, as presidency sources had revealed to THISDAY that he is working in conjunction with Mrs. Aisha Wakil, who had previously presented herself as the mother figure of Boko Haram adherents and had repeatedly pleaded with the sect to stop their attacks.

Wakil, who is of Igbo parentage, is married to a northerner and converted to Islam several years ago.

She was also a member of the Tanimu Turaki-led peace committee set up by the federal government last year to hold dialogue with the terrorists to end the violence.

Davis told the Sunday Times that he has been in Nigeria for almost a month after being recruited by the country’s president for his hostage negotiation expertise.

He previously worked in Nigeria with Justin Welby, head of the Anglican Church, to broker a truce between militants in the Niger Delta and the government. The pair were frequently blindfolded and held at gunpoint during their work.

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