Nigeria: Politicians Funding Boko Haram, Says Negotiator Who Worked With Two Presidents

A Perth-based international adviser, Stephen Davis, who has worked with two Nigerian presidents as an adviser, says one of the major sources of funding for Boko Harm Islamist rebels - aside from raiding banks - was Nigerian politicians, reports Radio Australia.

Davis, 63, says he had survived months of extreme danger trying to rescue more than 270 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram.

When news broke in April about the Chibok girls’ kidnapping from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, Davis, who had recently moved to Perth from London, decided he could not sit on his hands.

During the journey his life was threatened more than once, but his Australian passport saved him.

“When confronted by groups with an AK-47 in my face they’d say, ‘you are American, we have to kill you’,” Davis said.

“When you say, no I’m not American, they think you are British, and say you will still die, but when I said I’m Australian, they said
that’s all right.

“I have no idea why but it’s certainly been helpful.”

“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 Cameroon - had a list of conditions.

They wanted the military stood 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 the rescue was sabotaged.

“The girls were there, 60 girls, there were 20 vehicles with girls,” he said.

“We travelled for fourand- 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.

Davis said a young man kidnapped by Boko Haram and used as a driver later helped a handful of girls escape.

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,” he said. “So by freeing 50 you were consigning 70 or 80 more to the same fate.”

Davis said initially journalists from around the world including CNN, the ABC and the BBC flooded into the country, but they concluded it was far too dangerous to send any crews into the North-East of the country.

He said since then, the violence in North-East Nigeria and the threat of foreign journalists being kidnapped and beheaded meant there had been limited coverage of the crimes being committed by Boko Haram.

“Boko Haram used to telephone Nigerian journalists and give them a story, but that doesn’t happen anymore,” he said.

“They go straight to social media. They post their own material and they’ve learnt to become very savvy on social media and use it as an instrument to terrorise.”

Davis said he had realised the only way to stop the kidnappings was to stop the sponsors of Boko Haram.

While Al Qaeda was involved in training Boko Haram recruits, Davis said one of their major sources of funding- aside from raiding banks - was Nigerian politicians.

“That makes it easier in some ways as they can be arrested, but of course the onus of proof is high and many are in opposition, so if
the president moves against them, he would be accused of trying to rig the elections due early next year,” he said.

Source: Business Day
Stephen Davis 9025054378181538143

Post a Comment Default Comments Disqus Comments

  1. its a shame that as a nation we are still deceiving ourselves.
    these are the same politicians that will soon be awarded national merit awards, some will be awarded honorary doctorates while for some it will be chieftaincy titles
    may God save us all



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