26 December 2012

Nigeria: Wife of Frenchman Kidnapped in Nigeria Says Her Husband Was Not the Intended Target

Photo: Shutterstock

The wife of a Frenchman kidnapped last week in northern Nigeria says she believes the kidnappers intended to abduct two other Frenchmen instead of her husband.

Sixty-three year old Francis Collomp was kidnapped from a residence in the northern Nigerian village of Rimi, in Katsina state, where he was working for the French renewable energy company Vergnet.

His wife, Anne-Marie Collomp, told news agency AFP her husband wasn't supposed to work in December.

"But since we have no children, he went [there] to replace two Frenchmen; fathers who were due to go home for the Christmas and New Year holidays," she said.

"When the kidnappers went inside [the residence], they asked: 'where are the Frenchmen?' They only found my husband," she added.

Speaking from the couple's home on the French overseas department of Réunion, Mrs Collomp said her husband "loved Africa and his work," and often went to work in Nigeria for four to six months at a time.

Her biggest worry is her husband's health.

"My husband underwent a triple bypass 12 years ago. He needs to take his medication every day; this is what worries me the most," she said.

"I am very anxious. I don't listen to the radio any more, nor watch the television. I don't know what state he is in," she added.

"The Quai d'Orsay [French foreign ministry] tell us they're working on it, that we shouldn't worry, but we live far away and we still have no news," she said.

On Sunday, Ansaru, a radical group with suspected links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [Aqim], claimed responsibility of the kidnapping, citing France's support for a military intervention to drive out Islamists in northern Mali as a reason.

Copyright © 2012 Radio France Internationale. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.