Spainsaid Wednesday that one of its nationals, reportedly a doctor, had gone missing in southernNigeriaand was feared kidnapped.
The disappearance of the man “has all the characteristics of a kidnapping for economic reasons,” said Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.
Spanish media reported that the missing man is a 58-year-old doctor who works for a clinic belonging to a foundation financially supported by Catholic institution Opus Dei in southwesternNigeria, a predominantly Christian area.
“The organization he works for has asked for total discretion,” the foreign minister added as he arrived in parliament.
“It is in the south of the country, not in the north, so there are no political implications of any type.”
An insurgency by Islamist group Boko Haram, which is concentrated mainly in northernNigeria, has left more than 1,000 people dead since mid-2009.
Police and soldiers are the main victims of the group, but it has also targeted Christians.
The man was taken hostage on April 4 by several armed men from his home in the southwestern city ofEnugu, Spanish newspaper ABC reported, adding that he worked at theNigerFoundationHospitalwhich was founded in 1993.
Spain’s embassy inNigeriawas working with the local authorities to resolve the case and the foreign ministry was in “permanent contact” with the man’s family, a ministry spokesman said.