‘He never argued with anyone’ — neighbours of man who dived into the lagoon speak
When the driver of the Toyota Corolla car marked KSF 426 GB got a request to pick up a passenger at Mercy Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos, on Saturday, he did not know that he would be in the news all through the weekend and beyond. That could have been the most surprising of his journey as an Uber driver. Less than an hour after Daibo Davies, the passenger who hired his services, entered the car, he told him to stop briefly because he had stomach upset. The driver complied but before what followed next came as a rude shock.
Immediately Davies alighted, he reportedly reached for the railings on the third mainland bridge and dived into the lagoon. A crowd gathered and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) commenced a rescue operation shortly after. The driver was taken to Adekunle Police Station, Yaba, where he gave a statement on the incident.
The vehicle Davies boarded before diving into the lagoon
When TheCable visited 17, Sosanya street, Soluyi, Gbagada, Lagos, where Davies resided, the news of his death was on the lips of his former neighbours. A man at the security post was reluctant to speak initially but when the reporter presented himself as friend of the deceased, just to get information, the security guard expressed sympathy.
“I’m so sorry about that. Just walk down a little, his residence is down there,” he added, pointing towards the direction of the house.
Further conversation with him provided some insights into the personality of the late Davies.
‘HE WAS VERY GENTLE’
“He was a very gentle person; he hardly came out. I can’t really recall when last I saw him,” he added.
Few steps away, some boys adjacent the house where Davies lived, were also discussing the development in hushed tones.
“I found it difficult creating a vivid picture of him when I got wind of his death. I doubt if I would be able to identify him physically, if I see him,” the owner of a barber’s shop on the street said.
“I didn’t know him personally,” another boy said, adding: “I only get to hear about him when I read the news.”
However, one of the boys who simply identified himself as Mustapha said he met with the deceased on a few occasions. The young man, who lives in a company-owned apartment in the area, disclosed that the deceased was an ally of his co-worker who was transferred months ago.
“He used to come out once in a while maybe when he wanted to get things. When I first learnt of his death, I didn’t know he was the one people were talking about. But when I saw his picture, I recognised him immediately,” he told TheCable.
“He didn’t really relate with people around here, except one of our workers whom he got along with very well. However, that friend of his has been transferred out of here. While he was here, Davies visited frequently and they discussed about church programmes. They also go hang out very well unlike with rest of us.
“I knew him basically on the street. He was such a quiet fellow. I never saw him discussing or arguing with anyone. He went about gently not like some who did as if they owned the street.”
‘I SAW HIM A WEEK AGO’
Also speaking, David, a neighbour of the deceased, told TheCable he saw the late Davies the Sunday before his death.
He explained that the nature of the environment makes it difficult for people to interact with one another.
“I saw Davies last week Sunday. You know this is a like a ‘mind-your-business’ kind of area. I know that he stayed with his aunt. We don’t really interact except for church things. He attended the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG),” he said.
“I do see him because my own balcony faces theirs, so anytime I am standing there, I do see him with his aunt. He was very quiet. I will say that he didn’t come out like that other boys in the area.”
Culled from TheCable, the deceased’s residence, a storey-building was relatively quiet when TheCable got there on Sunday. Efforts to get comments from inhabitants proved abortive, with many shutting their doors against the reporter.
SOME NEIGHBOURS STILL IN SHOCK
A fair-complexioned woman making her way into an apartment where the deceased’s family members gathered, turned down all entreaties to speak on the issue.
“I don’t think anyone in this building would grant you audience,” she said with disdain when the reporter approached her.
However, a close friend of the family said Davies’ death came as a rude shock. According to him, Toju, as the deceased was fondly called, attended church programmes regularly and rarely engaged people in argument.
Front view of late Davies’ residence
He didn’t provide further details, though, claiming he was rushing down for an urgent task.
“His sister is in the house, everybody is there. Just knock and people will speak with you,” he said.
When pressed to reveal the little he could, he said: “I could have given you the information but it is a very long story. If they do not attend to you, call me tomorrow, I will attend to you, but keep it anonymous. He came to the church frequently and he was a very quiet fellow.”
Repeated calls to the telephone line of the friend of the deceased went unanswered. When he finally picked, he promised to make comments later but he did not.
As of the time of filing this report, Davies’ body had not been recovered from the lagoon. A rescue operation had turned to a recovery operation and the search is still ongoing.
Davies is not the first person to take his life on the bridge which connects the Island part of the city to mainland. In 2017, a medical doctor identified as Alwell Orji, also dived into the water and his corpse was recovered days later.
One year later, a driver attached to the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) committed suicide after jumping into the Lagoon from the bridge.
He was said to have pretended that he wanted to urinate after he alighted from a commercial bus and plunged into the water.