The mother of a Lagos-based medical doctor who jumped into a lagoon off the Third Mainland Bridge believes he would still be rescued alive.
The distraught mother, Chinyere Orji, believes her son, Dr. Allwell Orji whose remains are still to be rescued by a combined team of officials from the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the Marine Police and local divers, is not dead and has urged people to stop referring to him as dead.
A relative of the deceased who spoke to newsmen at the family's home at Abule-Ijesha in Yaba, Lagos, said the mother, is a retired banker and staunch Christian, has refused to believe that her son, the first of her three children, is dead, hoping and praying that he would be rescued alive.
"You people don’t know what we have been through since yesterday. Please, respect our grief. This is not a case of a grandfather that died and we want to celebrate it.
This whole issue has been difficult for us. The mother is up there, not talking to anyone. Not even us who are very close relatives.
People have been around her since yesterday so that she doesn’t do anything drastic. She has yet to accept that he could be dead.
She doesn’t even accept people’s sympathies and condolences. As a Christian, she’s believing God that a miracle could happen and that her son won’t die.
She believes he’s just missing and would return alive,” the relative said.
After more than 24 hours after Dr. Orji jumped into the lagoon, efforts to recover his body from has proved abortive.
The General Manager of LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu, has continued to give an update on the situation, insisting that the body is yet to be retrieved despite the fact that the rescue mission has been expanded beyond the place Orji took the fatal jump.
“We are still searching for the body. We have expanded the search to go further than the point it happened. We have told local men around to watch out for any floating body and we have engaged local divers to look around for us.
Patrol boats are in the water going round. We would continue to search for him. The family is traumatized at this point and unwilling to speak on the issue. I want us to respect their wishes, please.
We have established contact with the family and expressed government’s sincere wishes to them. We would also go back at a time they feel better because we would like to know what happened so that Lagosians and Nigerians can learn a lesson or two from it. It’s an unfortunate situation.
But what do we do? The driver is with the police. The police would be more involved in the investigation. If we are able to pick one or two things, we would pass it across. I am not aware of any suicide note. His phone and car are with the police.”