A major tragedy was averted yesterday in Lagos, when a man jumped into the river on the Mile Two Bridge in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area. The unidentified man, according to eyewitnesses, stood on the bridge for some minutes, loudly expressed bitterness over his sufferings and how things had gone bad for him and his helplessness. He was said to have mentioned Buhari repeatedly, muttered some other words before he finally took the terrible decision. However, the timely intervention of a passing speedboat prevented the victim, who is in his 40s, from drowning.
Passengers on the speedboat dived into the river, dragged the man who was gasping for breath to the riverbank, and continued their journey. A witness, Mr. Andy Odiaka, said the victim, who wore native clothes, was left on the floor for a while, unconscious.
Odiaka told Daily Sun that he called the state emergency number – 112, which facilitated the arrival of the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS) in about 20 minutes.
The three-man medical team, went ahead of the bus to resuscitate the victim. According to one of the medics, the man had to be given first aid drip, explaining that he was too weak to make it to the hospital.
Odiaka said: “I was there on the bridge where the man was also standing. He was speaking to himself. He said he had no transport fare to move from one place to another. He said his suffering was too much that he could hardly feed. I also heard him saying life was meaningless to him. He mentioned Buhari many times, and the next thing I saw, the man jumped from the bridge into the water.
“He is an Igbo man because he was speaking the language. I thought he was joking when he said he was tired of everything around him. If not for a speedboat that was passing, he would have died. The boat stopped and the passengers dragged him to the riverbank and they continued their journey. Thereafter, nobody was ready to assist him. People simply looked at him, expressed sympathy and continued their journey. I have to call an emergency number,” he said.
Before the ambulance came, it was gathered that sympathisers, including Mr Odiaka, contributed about N1, 000, with the intention of taking the victim to the hospital.
Another witness, who simply gave his name as Okpala, said he ran to the place and saw the man almost dying, but did noit know what to do to help him out of the situation. He said he mobilised others at the scene to donate money to take the victim to a hospital.
“The man said he was tired of life and he wanted to kill himself,” he said.
When the victim’s pockets were searched for any means of identification, only N90 was found on him.