Due to the economic conditions, more Nigerians are committing suicide.
Suicide is not you would readily associate with Nigerians who were once ranked the happiest people on Earth.
But here we are.
In a space of a week, the suicide of two Nigerians has hit the news, the Kogi state civil service worker who hung himself and the man who jumped into the lagoon from the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge.
More Nigerians are committing suicide, something that was unthinkable many years ago. In 2016, there were 62 reported cases of suicide in the country according to police statistics. Lagos clocks the highest with 12 cases of suicide attempts.
Just like terrorism, suicide was associated with Nigerians. We are a fun loving people and an optimistic bunch. No matter how bad the day is, we remain hopeful that things would be better tomorrow.
Just like people blowing themselves up, Nigerians with suicidal tendencies walk among us like the living dead.
Why are more Nigerians committing suicide? The easiest indicator to point out is the economy. Though is no official cause written in an official paper, money or the lack of it is believed to be the cause.
From the 60s and 70s, Nigeria has moved to become an extremely materialistic society. It is said that the only crime in Nigeria is to be poor.
Surely, this might have been the case of the Kogi civil servant who took his life after his wife gave birth to triplets. Civil servants in the state are being owed as much as 10 months salary. In this economy, that spells suicide.
In March 2017, a Lagos businesswoman Mrs Taiwo Momoh, 58 tried taking her own life at the 3rd Mainland Bridge by jumping into the Lagoon. She tried taking her own life because of her mounting debts
In August 2016, Prof. Oni Fagbohungbe, who happens to be a lecturer at the University of Lagos broke down how the economy has led to more Nigerians taking their lives.
“With failure, frustration here and there and inability to do things one’s heart desire, self-reproach comes in. Then, aggression also comes in.
“The individual reacts to the society which is perceived as the cause of your failure. These are the kinds of situation that aggravate suicidal tendencies” he told Punch.
Life with no money in Nigeria is pretty bleak. And when you owe a huge amount of money, suicide looks like the next best thing.
This is why Olisa Nwakoby blew his brains out in front of a church in Lekki. It was alleged that he had picked up a bad debt of N350m.
Money is the reason why some Nigerians do the unthinkable but we cannot rule out mental health.
A lot of Nigerians are from suffering from mental illness but can’t disclose it because of public stigma. After bottling up their emotions for so long they attempt suicide.
Tunji ‘Tee Billz’ Balogun, wife of Nigerian pop star Tiwa Savage, had planned to take his life at the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge because of the mental issues he was going through. Luckily he was stopped just in time by friends. In this case, it should be added that it was alleged he was owing a large sum of money at the time.
Then there is always the matter of the heart. Some Nigerians take their lives because of love, most likely a jilted lover.
Whatever the case may be, suicide is never the option. There are plenty reasons to keep on living.
Nigerian Suicide Hotlines: +234 8062106493, +234 8092106493
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