A Lagos politician who committed suicide on Monday was said to have been nominated for ministerial appointment during the recent screening but failed to make the final list.
Security sources said they were probing into the cause of his suicide claiming that it may not be unconnected with the high debt incurred during the recently concluded political process in Nigeria.
The body of Mr. Al-Mustaim Alade Abaniwonda, who jumped into the Lagos lagoon on Monday evening is yet to be recovered, as lagoon divers continue to search desperately for his body.
Sources within the Peoples Democratic Party( PDP) told P.M.NEWS on Tuesday that Police and security services are appalled by the politician’s action.
He was 56 years as at the time he committed suicide. He had been picked as a ministerial nominee but could not make it to the final list and the eventual 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 party’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 driver’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, “he 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.
“He was still struggling to get out of the lagoon when I got there but he later went down inside the water.”
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 politician’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.
“If 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,” his son said.