Reports from Nigeria have confirmed that a South African, Wayne Smith was among the five expatriates kidnapped by Nigerian gunmen in the Wast African country.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that the five expatriates and two Nigerians were kidnapped today by suspected militants while they were on their way to work.
As gathered, the foreigners and their Nigerian colleagues are working for MacMahon Construction Company, which is a major contracting firms to Lafarge Holcim.
The workers, conveyed in four of the company’s vehicles, were attacked by the Nigerian gunmen despite being escorted by four armed policemen.
While one of the expatriate identified as Tim Croot, an Australian citizen escaped with the driver of one of the vehicles, Wayne Smith alongside two Australians and two Nigerians were kidnapped.
Confirming this, Police commissioner Jimoh Ozi-Obeh told reporters that the Nigerian police force “is currently working with the Nigerian Navy to ensure that the victims are released unharmed.
“The police is aware of the matter. Five persons were kidnapped. They include two Australians, one South African and two Nigerians. The driver of the vehicle was shot dead,” Ozi-Obeh stated.
In a statement, the Communications Officer of Lafarge, Viola Graham-Douglas confirmed that the kidnapped are MacMahon contractors.
Graham-Douglas stated; “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,” added Graham-Douglas.
Kidnapping is rampant in Nigeria. In the 5th month of this year, the Nigerian Senate approved a proposal to introduce a bill that will make kidnapping punishable by death.
Poverty, unemployment, grievances and corruptions are believed to be the major causes of kidnapping in the West African country.