A Nigerian driver, who was travelling with the group that was kidnapped, was killed during the extraction.
According to the Daily Post, the people abducted are three Australians, Mark Gabberdy, Peter Zoutenbier and Jack Countentz; a South African, Wayne Smith, Jamal Khan who is from New Zealand, and two Nigerians, Austin Enok and Howel.
The abductees were taken as they were approaching Idundu Bridge. Their security detail, four armed policemen could not save them, report says.
Luckily, one of the Australians named Tim Croot, travelling with a Nigerian driver identified as Henshaw, were able to escape.
However, another driver named Matthew, was killed during the operation.
An eyewitness named Akpan Akpan, gave an account of the incident.
He said, “I was coming back from the farm this morning when the incident occurred. The kidnappers came down from the bridge, shot the driver of the vehicle and took the victims away through the river.”
“The vehicles conveying the expatriates and the two Nigerians were abandoned by the roadside with the dead body of the driver.”
“From all indications, it appeared like the expatriates were going to work at the Lafarge Holcim plant in Mfamosing.”
Mr. Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, the Commissioner of Police, Cross River State, confirmed the attack. According to him, the police is working with the Nigerian Navy to rescue those kidnapped.
“The police are aware of the matter. Five persons were kidnapped. They include three Australians, one South African, two Nigerians and one other.”
“The driver of the vehicle was shot dead. The police will ensure that the victims are released unharmed.”
Viola Graham-Douglas, the Communications Officer of Lafarge, issues a statement confirming the kidnapping of its workers.
The statement read, “One of our contractors, MacMahon, has informed us that a security incident has occurred on the road from Calabar involving some of their employees.
“MacMahon is working with the security agencies to resolve the situation,”
The Niger Delta is now fast returning to the days of old, where militancy and abduction of foreign workers was a trend.