The Lagos State Police Command on Friday rescued a woman, Taiwo Momoh, as she attempted to jump into the lagoon from the Third Mainland Bridge, while fishermen rescued another, Mrs. Abigail Ogunyinka, the Ebute-Ero end of the Lagos lagoon.
According to a report in the Punch, Ogunyinka, a food vendor, was said to have jumped already but was rescued by nearby fishermen.
Both women said they are heavily indebted. Ogunyinka said she owed a microfinance bank N150,000
This is coming less than one week after a medical doctor, Allwell Orji, jumped from the same bridge into the lagoon in an apparent suicide.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, told newsmen at the headquarters of the Rapid Response Squad in Lagos on Friday that Momoh was in a taxi heading towards Oworonshoki on the Third Mainland Bridge when she told the taxi driver to stop on the bridge.
Owoseni said the woman was about to jump into the water when a police patrol team on a routine patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge sighted her and rushed to save her.
She was caught before she could jump.
“She attempted suicide by trying to jump into the Lagoon around Oworonshoki end of the Mainland on the Third Mainland Bridge. Fortunately for her, she was rescued,” Owoseni said.
The CP explained that after interacting with the woman, she revealed that she had been depressed as a result of a huge debt. “Right now, the woman is still in trauma. She is still insisting that she wants to end her life,” the police boss said.
Owoseni noted that committing suicide was an offence under the law but that the police would try to talk the woman out of committing suicide. He said the woman would be taken through a post-trauma programme to restore her hope in life. Owoseni assured that the police would do a medical evaluation on her to ascertain her current condition, but lamented that the rate at which people commit suicide in the country was worrisome.
“The police have begun patrol of bridges across the state to forestall other cases of suicide,” he said.
Owoseni said the police would no longer allow individuals to walk on bridges in the state and that no vehicle would be allowed to stop on any bridge in the state to prevent suicides.
As Momoh was being led from the RRS headquarters into a waiting police vehicle, she told journalists that she was not a criminal and they should get their cameras out of her presence.