19th July, 2011
The body of a Lagos politician, Mr. Al-Mustaim Alade Abaniwonda, who jumped into the Lagos lagoon yesterday evening is yet to be recovered, sources within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, told P.M.NEWS this morning.
The politician, who was 56 as at the time he committed suicide, was a ministerial nominee who could not make it to the screening of nominees by the Senate recently.
Abaniwonda, a die-hard loyalist of Chief Bode George, had lost the senatorial seat in the last election to Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who now represents Lagos East Senatorial District.
P.M.NEWS learnt that he spent a lot of money during the campaign and was supposed to be compensated with the ministerial slot. He was however denied the slot under circumstances which could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
When P.M.NEWS contacted the partyâ€™s secretariat over the incident this morning, Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Barrister Gani Taofeek, said a search party had been on the lagoon in search of the body of Abaniwonda, who jumped into the lagoon after driving his car, a Toyota Camry with registration number MU 555 AAA to the Leventis Bus Stop in Marina.
Explaining how the incident occurred, his driver, Wasiu, who drove him to the spot, said they were coming from a bank on the Lagos Island when he told the driver that he was pressed and would need to use the toilet. He rebuffed the driverâ€™s advice to wait till they get to the CSS Bookshop building located on Broad Street.
According to Wasiu, who spoke with journalists at the scene of the incident, â€œhe ate his food after we left the bank and he told me he was going to use a toilet down there. That was all I knew until I heard people shouting.
â€œHe was still struggling to get out of the lagoon when I got there but he later went down inside the water.â€
Eyewitness account has it that when the politician jumped into the lagoon, he was still able to stand upright at a shallow part of the lagoon but he deliberately walked into a deeper section of the lagoon.
The late Epe-born politicianâ€™s son, who rushed to the scene with some other siblings while the rescue efforts were still going on, denied that his father took his life as a result of frustration from his failure in politics, saying he was lively and happy while the family celebrated the birthday of their mother the previous day.
â€œIf he is still in the water up till now, and you told me it happened about an hour ago, then he must have died because he is diabetic. There is a limit to which his lungs would be able to hold him under water,â€ his son said.
â€”Eromosele Ebhomele & Jamiu Yisa