The situation of our girls kidnapped by the deadly Boko Haram sect is going from bad to worst as some of them in custody of the group have taken ill, according to a prominent Australian cleric, Dr. Stephen Davis.
Dr. Davis, a clergyman and hostage negotiator, according to the British newspaper, The Mail, was hired by the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, to broker the release of the girls.
In his words: “One of that small group of girls is ill and we had hoped we might convince the commander of the group holding her that she should be released so we could give her medical treatment.
“There are other girls who are not well and we have come close to having them released but their captors fear a trap in which they will be captured in the handover process.
“One girl has what I assume is a broken wrist as they demonstrate to me how she holds her hand. I have been told that others are sick and in need of medical attention.”
Dr. Davis, who was once the Canon Emeritus at Coventry Cathedral in London, has been in Nigeria working secretly on the release of the girls for almost a month now.
It added that he was asked by the President to come to Nigeria after previously brokering a truce between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta militants in 2004.
He was frequently blindfolded and held at gunpoint during his peace work in the Niger Delta.
In an email, Dr. Davis revealed he had had “ongoing contacts” with the groups involved in the kidnapping in the North-East for seven years.
He attributed his success in hostage negotiations in Nigeria to “a long process of building trust on both sides”.
He said, “This is painful for the parents and the nation. The well-being of the girls is constantly on our minds and we want to see their release as soon as possible.”
The secret negotiator ruled out the possibility of a rescue since the girls were not being held in one location.
He said, “There are several groups to deal with as the girls are held in several camps across the Nigerian border in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. This makes any thought of a rescue highly improbable. To attempt to rescue one group would only endanger the others.