A VIEW OF THE LAGOS THIRD MAINLAND BRIDGE
The Lagos Third Mainland Bridge in Nigeria’s bustling commercial capital is fast becoming a suicide spot. Last week, a young doctor jumped off the bridge in the murky waters of the lagoon below and to his death. Dr Allwell Orji’s suicide was a headliner that stirred emotions across the country as details of the incident unfolded. It was reported that on his way home from work on March 19, he abruptly asked his driver to park along the bridge, casually came out of his SUV and jumped off the bridge structure amid heavy traffic.
It took two days of frantically searching the lagoon depths before his body was recovered but only after a different body was found by divers from an earlier possible suicide. In the next couple of days, three people were rescued by police as they took positions around the bridge to attempt suicide. The latest involved an elderly man who was also rescued before he could take the plunge. On March 24, a textile merchant attempted jumping into the lagoon from the bridge shortly after police accosted an elderly woman before she herself could jump.
The doctor’s suicide was attributed to health challenges leading to depression but the three aborted suicide attempts were linked to financial problems and social frustrations. The Lagos Third Mainland Bridge is now under surveillance as police continue investigations into its new bizarre attraction as a take-off point for ending tortured lives. Suicides are not frequent in Nigeria, as a majority of citizens is either Muslims or Christians who consider suicide an unforgivable sin.