Allwell Orji's colleague discloses why the medical doctor killed himself
Rescue operations to retrieve Orji’s corpse from the lagoon

A colleague of the late Allwell Orji, the medical doctor who
allegedly killed himself by jumping into the Lagos lagoon from Third Mainland Bridge,
may have provided new perceptions into the occurrence.

Orji allegedly ordered his driver to pull over the car on
the Third Mainland Bridge on Sunday, March 19, alighted from the SUV and jumped
into the lagoon.
His colleague, Essien Attah, who took to Facebook page to
pour out some information, complained about many things hampering the progress
of doctors in the country.
The article entitled ‘AND
. Read what Essien wrote below::

“Dr Orji Allwell was
my junior and also a graduate of College of Medicine University of Lagos.
Indeed I left the great citadel of learning just when he was learning the
rudiments of the profession hence our paths never crossed but if they had, I
would have embraced him like a brother and share ward round tales of how we
survived the likes of Professor Bode and Professor Odum.

“But Dr Orji is dead.
I heard he jumped off Third Mainland Bridge in an apparent su*cide. What could
have pushed the young man to take his own life? What level of frustration can
kill the joy of life in an intelligent young man?

“Indeed the dark-side
of medicine in Nigeria has once again reared its ugly head. A profession that
is in the final death throes of extinction has claimed another victim.

“Indeed many see
doctors as being on top of the food chain hence they carry a heavy burden.
Numerous relatives feast on their finances like hungry vultures who keep on
coming back for more carion. They can never take no for answer for it is said
doctors always have money as if they work in Nigerian Mint.

“Besides the retinue
of dependents, there is the drop in job satisfaction. The recalcitrant nature
of government has left many doctors on half pay, irregular pay or no pay at
all. How can a man with a retinue of dependents and a gamut of hungry mouths to
feed survive when his small stipend is irregular and subject to political

“And the frustration
only mounts when you see your colleagues who travelled overseas faring far
better despite your waning patriotic zeal that Nigeria will be better.”

“This is only the
beginning of frustration to harbour such justified thoughts.

“Then there is the
poor state of affairs in the health sector. Incessant strikes and decaying
infrastructure have reduced doctors in Nigeria to a basal level of indignation
and anger. It is now easier to squeeze water from stone than ensure the best
possible care for patients. 

“The most basic of life saving measures like oxygen
and blood transfusion services are fast becoming a luxury and it is only a man
of stone who will not feel depressed at the loss of a patient whose life could
have been saved. Doctors see the poverty and the helplessness of the common man
every day. And when you care for another human being, their problems become
your problem as well hence you share in their laughter, sorrow or frustrations.

“This is the lot of a
Nigerian doctor.

“But the worst
culprits of them all are fellow doctors. How many colleagues called Dr Orji and
asked how he was doing? How many went out of their way to show him love through
his time of difficulty? A doctor is not super human. He is flesh and blood. We
all need each other.

“Instead professional
rivalry amidst the spectre of consolidating respect and loyalty breeds a
medical milieu that is akin to a rat race or the dog eat dog phenomenon in a
bid to survive shark infested waters of economic recession and financial

“Hence a tense
atmosphere of unequally yoked colleagues is the bane of the medical profession
in Nigeria that stokes the embers of sadness, hopelessness and depression.

“Dr Orji took it to
the extreme but many more doctors are ill motivated and dissatisfied with the
system. Those who can, have left while others are in the process of leaving.
These are indeed the lucky majority for Nigeria has twice the number of
Nigerian trained doctors overseas than the number at home.

“And the trend is
worsening as even more are jetting out as their future in Nigeria appears ever
so bleak.

“It is time for
doctors to close ranks. Care for one another. Respect your seniors. And seniors
stop belittling the younger colleagues. End the rivalry that sees parents
eating their young and vice versa. It takes nothing to be kind to one another.
Kindness and love are all Dr Orji needed but on his day of need we were all
found wanting.

“Many a colleague are
going through a lot but because of the burden of society, they feel ashamed to
speak out. Hence the onus is on us doctors to seek them out and nurture them
back to sound mental and physical health. That’s what it means to be your
brother’s keeper.

“Patients should also
learn to appreciate their doctor. This is the sole joy of a doctor that no one
can take from them. Their service to humanity shouldn’t only be rewarded in
heaven but a simple thank you can go a long way to making a doctor’s day. These
are the worst of times to be sick in Nigeria and it’s also the worst of times
for health personnel.

“I know so many who
are without a job and are struggling to survive. Even those with a job are
living from hand to mouth.

“Don’t mind the facade
of Dr Orji’s beautiful Nissan SUV, the man had issues and just a calming word
could have averted this tragedy.

“Say something nice to
someone today. It might make the difference between life and death. Show love
to someone today. That may give them a reason to keep on living.

“Life is too short to
spend it unhappy. Put a smile on someone’s face today. Dr Orji is no more and
the doctor died, oh what a day of sorrow for many have tried but have failed to
overcome the sorrow of today. Be an overcomer today.

“Make yourself happy
but its even better when you make someone else happy. It is well….and the
doctor died, oh what a pity for a life lost prematurely to the sands of time.”


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