In a remarkable display of valour and quick thinking, soldiers from the Nigerian Army’s 81 Division saved a woman from a suicide attempt on November 6, 2023. The incident occurred when Mrs. Francesca Spark found herself on the verge of despair, leading her to plunge into the Lagos Lagoon near the 81 Division Officers’ Mess in Marina Lagos.
According to statement issued by the Acting Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Lt. Colonel Olabisi Olalekan Ayeni, the troops from the 65 Battalion, who were stationed at the Officers’ Mess, immediately sprang into action when they spotted Mrs. Spark in distress. Leveraging their military riverine expertise, they orchestrated a daring rescue operation, pulling her from the turbulent waters. Following her retrieval from the lagoon, Mrs. Spark received vital first aid and stabilization from the battalion’s medical team.
After ensuring her well-being, the soldiers took the necessary steps to reach out to her family. Subsequently, Mrs. Francesca Spark was safely handed over to her husband, Mr. Spark Oghene Ovie, who resides in Awoyaya, Lagos.
Major General Muhammed Takuti Usman, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 81 Division Nigerian Army, expressed his admiration for the soldiers’ alertness, ingenuity, courage, and gallantry in responding to the critical situation. He commended their exemplary performance in using their training in disaster management to save a fellow citizen’s life, emphasizing the importance of military support during emergencies and natural disasters.
Maj Gen Usman underscored that such operations exemplify the military’s readiness to assist leading agencies during emergency situations. He assured Lagos residents of the Nigerian Army’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding both their well-being and property, even in times of crisis.
This heroic act serves as a testament to the dedication and readiness of the Nigerian Army’s 81 Division to respond to unforeseen challenges and emergencies, ultimately demonstrating their devotion to the community they serve.