Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Nigeria intensifies search for 2 Nigerians, 5 foreigners

24 June 2016, 18:58

Lagos – Nigerian police and navy patrol boats intensified efforts on Thursday to find a group of construction workers including three Australians, two Nigerians, a New Zealander and a South African kidnapped in an ambush that killed their driver, police said.

They were seized on Wednesday by gunmen who held up their convoy that was under a police escort near Calabar, the capital of southeastern Cross River state, said police Commissioner Jimoh Ozi-Obeh.

Another Australian escaped, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.

"A very intense search is on, with more patrol and surveillance teams dispatched to the rescue," Ozi-Obeh told The Associated Press.

Nigerian newspapers quoted witnesses saying the hostages were forced onto a boat, meaning they could be anywhere in a maze of estuaries and mangrove swamps that dominate the state's geography.

All were on assignment for Australian mining contractor Macmahon Holdings, the company confirmed on Wednesday.

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria but generally involves no fatalities. Hostages are returned unharmed once money exchanges hands, though a German construction worker was killed in southwestern Nigeria late last year by gunmen who kidnapped a second German. He was later released.

Ozi-Obeh identified the foreigners kidnapped as Australians Jack Countentz, Mark Gabberdy and Peter Zoutenbier, New Zealander Jamal Khan and South African Wayne Smith.

A Cross River state government official said there had been no contact yet with the kidnappers. He insisted on speaking on condition of anonymity because the issue is sensitive.

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key said on state TV on Wednesday that his government would not pay any ransom because it would potentially put a bounty on the head of any citizen. Australia also has a no-ransom policy.

Key said officials didn't know the motivation for the kidnappings, "but it's not unusual in that part of the world for the motivation to be about ransom."

- AP


Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...