By: Bisi Olominu
The increasing wave of suicide in Nigeria is becoming alarming, disturbing and worrisome. One is now ready to take one’s life without after thought. From the West to North, South and East, cases of suicide are daily gaining momentum.
The pathetic story of a 16year old girl came to fore. This girl, Kemisola Adeeyo (not real name)at her tender age was scolded for having a boyfriend. The mother was said to have told her to concentrate on her promising studies, but the girl defied all entreaties to be pacified. She became reserved and kept things to herself for many days. One day she decided to end it all by committing suicide by hanging herself in her room.
Suicide is often caused by despair, which is a result of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, stress as a result of financial difficulties, broken relationship, bullying, drug abuse and lack of love among others.
Recent statistics from the World Health Organization, WHO shows that 800,000 people die of suicide yearly and it is the second cause of death among young people between 15 and 29 years in 2012. In 1990 alone, it resulted in 712,000 deaths and increased to 842,000 in 2013 making it the 10th leading cause of death in the world.
According to the same health organisation, in 2012, out of Nigeria’s population, 6.5percent committed suicide out of which 10.3precent were male and 2.9percent female.
The present economic depression is making Nigerians not to be happy, but hopefully something good can still come out of our Israel.
A 35 year old medical doctor , All well Orji jumped into the Lagos Lagoon on Third Mainland Bridge and died. Also, a 500 level Urban and Regional Planning undergraduate of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Adeojo Adediran changed himself inside his hostel room. His roommates who had been in the school for study returned in the morning to find him dangling from the ceiling and alerted the school management.
In January this year, a 19-year-old student of Babcock University, Ilishan Remo, Ogun state, Verishma Unokyur hanged himself at home around Mafoluku area of Lagos state.
What can we say was wrong with this manager in a commercial bank, Holiday Nwokobi who shot himself in Lagos. It was reported that the banker was under pressure from his bank over unpaid loans .
In Oke Aro area of Akure, Ondo State capital, a.man simply identified as Dayo snuffed life out of himself when he found it difficult to fend for his family. It was learnt that the man was having issue with the owner of the commercial cab he drove.
Sometimes ago, a 21-year-old man identified as Chinonso committed suicide by drinking a substance suspected to be rat poison in Byazhin village, Kubwa, FCT. He was said to have dropped a note for his mother that he wanted “to go and rest”. Another 23-year old man, Ugochukwu Else also committed suicide at FESTAC Town, Lagos over being an albino. It was gathered that his body was dangling in his apartment he shared with his parents.
In Onitea area of Osogbo, Osun State, a 27year old man called Adeola Buhari hanged himself over his indebtedness to a micro- finance bank, despite that the amount payable was reduced to N18,000.
In April 29,2013, Yinka Okunade, a former Rhythm FM presenter who once featured in an MTN advert, committed suicide in the United States of America. He was reported to have jumped from the 15th floor of the Nines Hotel at 525 S.W. Morrison St. Portland, Oregon. His death was closely followed by Ndubuisi Brown, an 18 year old Covenant University graduate of Economics and Development Studies who hanged himself in his home.
More worrisome was a story of a University undergraduate of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife who recently committed suicide because of scoring low grade in her studies. Also of recent one involving a graduate who came all the way from Lagos to commit suicide in Osun State despite her sister monitoring his movement.
Oluwatuyi Oluwagbemileke, a.k.a Spartacus, a graduate of Electrical Engineering reportedly took his dear life by drinking poison after he was blamed for damaging a car in a sachet water factory where he did a.manual job after school in Oshodi Berger, Lagos state.
It was learnt that the deceased hit the vehicle on another while trying to help the owner repark at the factory premises. The promising 27-year-old Osogbo indigene was said to have become sullen and desperate to raise N50,000 to repair the damaged car.
In a suicide note he posted on his Facebook wall a few hours before his death, he said that he was depressed with life.
He wrote: “When man’s life is unstable, worried, downcast and destabilised, things he does right before will become wrong no matter the best he puts in. He loses focus and strength, he becomes unhappy and angry at everything even if he tries to wear a smiling face.
“Thought of death will come in the scene. He keeps asking the question, why me? He becomes helpless and even if he’s among people, he still feels lonely. Life can be truly unfair.
“Advice. Never let your ugly situation weigh you down. When you notice things are not going well check yourself before it makes you worried”.
About an hour after he took the poison, he wrote another note on his Facebook wall at 10:16pm asking his family to take care of his mother.
“Please, help me stand by my mother. She’s the reason why I have lived this far. Thank you to my loved ones”.
The above is just a tip of the iceberg of suicide in public domain, as there are several cases of suicide unnoticeable and unreported on national newspapers or in the Police stations across the country.
The pertinent question is why is suicide growing in leaps and bounds in Nigeria? Why is suicide now the alternative? Why the increasing wave of suicide among the youth and the old? What challenges could make one to want to take one’s life? Could it be because of the hardship or depression occasioned by the hard times? Are government and Nigerians doing enough to stop the menace? Could the action be intentional, induced by drugs or unforeseen forces?
These are the questions that medical and health professionals try to proffer solutions to in this write-up.