SPECIAL REPORT: How 52 Persons Committed Suicide Amid Misery In Six Months

SPECIAL REPORT: How 52 Persons Committed Suicide Amid Misery In Six Months
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By Joel Ajayi

When you hear someone committed suicide, you might wonder why someone would take own life.

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Many would perhaps argue that reported cases of suicide across the states in recent months is not a trend but an increase in the cases is moving the country backwards at the speed of light while the people are ‘‘adjusting to the horrible situation taking to suicide.

The rates at which many depressed, burdened and oppressed Nigerians are committing suicide is alarming as report shows that there has been an upsurge in suicide especially among young people in the last one year.

AljazirahNigeria gathered that, some Nigerians whose dreams began to fade as well as some whose hope gave way to despair for as sadness took the place of joy in their hearts now consider taking their own lives as option.

Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-19-year-old. 77% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.

World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that Nigeria has the highest suicide rate among African countries in 2016 with over 17,000 lives lost to suicide.

Report showed that Nigeria has highest suicide rate in Africa, and is the sixth globally.

In a new report that estimated the cases of suicide globally, WHO noted that, across the world one person takes own life every 40 seconds.

It was equally gathered that over 51 persons comprising males and females took their own lives within the period of 12 months, the figure did not include the multitude of cases of suicide that have not gained the media attention.

However, the suicide cases recorded in about 24 states in the last one year include; Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, FCT, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers and Zamfara.

AljazirahNigeria revealed that there is an increase by 17 in 2021 when compared with the 34 suicide cases recorded in Nigeria in 2020. Eighty-five people reportedly killed themselves in Nigeria in 2019, up from 79 in 2018 and 66 in 2017.

What Nigeria Law Says:

The Suicide is a criminal offence in Nigeria. Under Section 327 of the Criminal Code Act, attempting to kill self carries a penalty of up to one year imprisonment.

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“Any person who attempts to kill himself is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for one year”, the section said.

EXPERTS REVEAL Signs

Medical experts Dr. Josy Odugbose revealed some of the signs that someone might be thinking or planning to commit suicide include a change in behaviour or the presence of entirely new behaviours; when a person is always talking or thinking about death or killing self; when a person loses interest in things he or she used to care about, and making comments about being worthless, helpless or hopeless.

According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, suicide remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide. It occurs throughout the lifespan and was the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29-year-old globally in 2019 after road accidents, tuberculosis and interpersonal violence.

A suicide prevention expert, Smart Chongo, said the suicide rate in Nigeria is on the increase as evidenced by the calls and messages about suicide cases received by his organisation.

Chongo said: “Most of the calls we receive lately are from people who are depressed due to economic hardship. People are getting depressed and they are losing their loved ones due to the pandemic and that has raised the bar of suicide and depression in Nigeria”.

Chongo linked suicide attempts and their increasing rate in Nigeria to the loss of loved ones and unmet expectations.

He also attributed it to the economic situation as well as the increase in the crime rate. Many, he said, have been victims of one crime or the other thereby increasing their depression and suicidal attempts.

Some experts attributed the menace to “Irresponsible media reports on suicide, increasing family disharmony, social and economic exclusion among others”.

Dr Taiwo Lateef Sheikh, a consultant psychiatrist and the President of the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria (APN), explained that a comprehensive suicide prevention policy is a whole document that includes measures such as addressing social, psychological, mental health and infrastructural determinants which involved improvement in mental healthcare services.

SOME SUCCIDE CASES IN 2021

On September 12, 2021 Auchi Poly Student committed suicide, left note for girlfriend.

It was learnt that the corpse of the National Diploma 1 student of Public Administration was found dangling in his room.

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He was said to have left a suicide note behind in which he begged his girlfriend and course mate, one Sandra, for forgiveness.

On September 8, a Deputy Director of the National Biotechnology Development Agency, NABDA, Mr Christopher Orji was found dead in Abuja.

Late  Orji’s corpse was found dangling from a rope tied to a ceiling fan in his apartment at the Federal Housing Authority Estate in Lugbe, Abuja.

Though, the reason for the suicide was not known yet clear as rumour heard it that upon invitation by one of the anti-graft agencies prompted his action. Police detectives have swung into action to unravel the circumstances surrounding his death.

According to our investigation, the late Orji had been invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to answer some questions.

Another tragedy occurred on September7, in Warri Delta State, when a Secondary School student Miss Blessing committed suicide after suffering heartbreak from her boyfriend.

It was gathered that the incident happened at Okumagba Avenue, Warri, Delta State.

The 16-year-old student committed suicide after her boyfriend ended their relationship

“She did it because her boyfriend ended their relationship. It was devastating for her family”.

In May 2021, a 200-level student of the Department of Political Science at the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Feranmi Fasunle reportedly took her life by drinking sniper in her room.

Although the reason behind her action was not ascertained, insinuations were rife that she did so because she had a relationship issue, but her friends refuted the claim saying she had no boyfriend.

In Osogbo, Osun State capital, a man jumped into an over-filled Osun River on September 2, 2021.

The incident, which happened at about 4:00 PM on the Gbodofon Bridge, on Gbongan/Osogbo road, drew the attention of motorists and passers-by who gathered around the scene to see what was happening.

According to eyewitnesses, he received a phone call but he then tossed his phone into the water before taking the fatal jump.

On August 5, 2021, the police authority in Jigawa State disclosed that a 25-year-old man, Nura Muhammad, committed suicide by hanging in the Dutse Local Government Area of the state.

ASP Lawan Shiisu, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Jigawa Police Command, who confirmed the incident said the deceased; a resident of Chamo Village committed the offence at about 12:30 PM by hanging himself in his room.

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According to him, the deceased had earlier told his wife in the early hours of the day about his possible death, adding that the wife claimed that the deceased was mentally ill at the time he returned from Lagos in July.

Similarly, in February 2021, Tayo Olatunji, a 26-year-old, resident of Ido-Ijesa, Ilesa East Local Government Area of Osun State committed suicide in a bush nears his house.

The reason Tayo took his life, according to a co-tenant and a close ally of the family, was because he took a loan from a microfinance bank and could not repay it for some time.

In July, a 20-year-old woman, Dausiya Isyaku, was arrested for allegedly attempting to commit suicide in Dutse, Jigawa State capital.

According to the police, Dausiya, a resident of Roni in Roni Local Government Area (LGA) of the state attempted to kill herself because her husband had divorced her.

WAYOUT

A psychologist, Dr Yemi Atibioke, said preventing suicide was a collective responsibility and that everyone needed to work together by playing their roles. He said governments, employers, landlords, parents and other family members have roles in not driving people to commit suicide.

He said individuals should be sensitive to what could trigger mental health complications in their lives.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Every death is a tragedy for family, friends and colleagues. Yet suicides are preventable. We call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programmes in a sustainable way,

Outlining some strategies to adopt, WHO cited pesticide regulation as a “highly effective strategy” to be used in curbing the rate.

Other interventions the globally health body proposed were to implement programmes among young people to build life skills that enable them to cope with life stresses and to identify early, manage and follow-up people at risk of suicide.

Aljazirahnews


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Committed SuicideMisery