On Wednesday June 22, 30 gunmen ambushed an armed four-car convoy of mine workers at Idundu Bridge around 6-7am on the outskirts of Calabar, Cross River State.
The militants shot dead a Nigerian driver and forced the workers onto a boat under the bridge. Eye witness reports suggests the incident at the bridge was over very quickly.
The expatriates includes, three Australians, a Netherlander, a South African and two Ghanaians, who were on their way to a cement manufacturing company, La-Farge Holchim, located at Mfamosing.
They are employees of MacMahon Construction Company, a contracting firm working at the Mfamosing plant of the United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited. But, there was scant mention of this Nigerian driver in all media reports
His name was Matthew Odok, a driver with the company. The local and international focus was, largely, on the expats who were ambushed, abducted and released after five days.
There appears to be no available photo of Mr. Odok. He was mentioned by his first name in some of the initial reports and in a lengthy statement from Macmahon chief executive Sy van Dyk.
In a statement, Van Dyk said the ordeal was traumatic and an incredibly stressful experience.
“While we are relieved to be able to reunite the seven men with their loved ones, we are deeply saddened by the loss of the local driver Matthew Odok, who was fatally injured during the initial incident.”