By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—NO fewer than 30 suspected militants, in the early hours of yesterday, attacked a convoy of Macmahon staff at Idundun Bridge, killing one driver and kidnapping five others. Vanguard learned that the deceased, who was driving one of the Toyota Hilux vans with number plates AKD 568 DS, was shot dead by the militants, who later kidnapped three expatriates, one of the company’s supervisors and a driver of one other vehicle in the convoy.
According to Vanguard’s investigation, the Macmahom staff, a contractor to Larfage Holcim were on their way to Mfamosing (Larfage plant in Akamkpa) when they were ambushed by the militants. An eyewitness, who spoke with Vanguard at the scene of the incident, said two SUVs and two other vehicles were part of the convoy that was attacked.
According to the eyewitness, “It was a convoy of four vehicles, including two SUVs. The militants opened fire at the convoy, killing Matthew on the spot. “One of the expatriates hid under the vehicle and they did not see him because it was still dark. “They also took one of the drivers, Mr. Owen, a supervisor and three white men. It was like they had a boat by the beach already waiting for them.”
Another eyewitness told Vanguard that the militants were heavily arm, sending the security men attached to the expatriates scampering for safety.
When contacted, the Communications Director, Larfage Holcim, Mrs. Viola Graham Douglas, in a text message to Vanguard, confirmed that one of the company’s contractors (Macmahon) informed Larfage that a security incident occurred on the road from Calabar.
Her text 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 security agencies to resolve this situation.” When Vanguard contacted the state Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ubgo, she confirmed the incident actually took place and that investigations were ongoing.