Unidentified gunmen, on Wednesday, allegedly killed one and abducted five expatriates of MacMahon, a contracting firm with the United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM), a subsidiary of Larfarge Plc, located in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
The incident, which occurred in the morning at Akansoko community in Calabar Municipality Council area of the state, is coming barely a week after one of the host communities of UNICEM, lamented alleged marginalisation and neglect by the cement company.
An impeccable source told the Nigerian Tribune that gunmen, stormed Akansoko community, in a commando style by shooting sporadically, after which they attacked a vehicle conveying four expatriates of Mac Mahon. He said the driver of the vehicle was killed during the attack.
According to a source, “This morning ,as we were going to work, when we got to the bridge on Jonathan Bypass at Akansoko , gunmen suspected to be militants, attacked the vehicle conveying MacMahon company staff, killed the driver and kidnapped five white men.
“Although one of the white men escaped, the body of the driver who was shot in an attempt to escape with the white men is still in the area.
“Although the victims are not direct staff of UNICEM, MacMahon company is one of the companies working in UNICEM ,which is like one big family, so ,this development is very sad for all of us in UNICEM.”
When contacted, UNICEM’s Head of Public Affairs, Mr Ayi Ita Ayi, confirmed the attack. He said “it is true because there were gunshots but I can’t ascertain names of those attacked but they were staff of Mac Mahon.’’
Also, UNICEM Communications Officer, Viola Graham-Douglas, confirmed it, assuring that MacMahon was working with security agencies to ensure the safe release of those kidnapped.
“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 this situation”, he said
The state Commissioner of Police, Jimoh Ozi-Obeh ,who further confirmed the attack ,said, “ it is true that there was an attack this morning and three expatriates and one Nigerian were kidnapped”