Tuesday 31 January 2023

Nigeria records 79 suicide cases in 2022

No fewer than 79 persons have committed suicide in Nigeria in 2022.

Findings reviewed by our correspondent showed that the 79 persons comprised 70 males and 9 females within the period.

The figure does not include the number of cases of suicide that have not been reported in the media.

The breakdown showed that Lagos ranked highest with 12 suicide cases; followed by Oyo; 10; Kano, four; Anambra three; Edo, three; Delta, three; Ogun, three; and Rivers, three.

Borno, Bayelsa, Abia, Benue, FCT, Imo, Enugu, Niger, Jos, Jigawa, Kaduna and Kwara had two cases each.

Others such as Ondo, Osun, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Gombe, Cross-River, Kogi, Adamawa, Ekiti, Bauchi, and Yobe, had one case each.

Our correspondent gathered that three suicide cases took place in the United Kingdom and the United States.

It was reported that on May 19, a former Battalion Commanding Officer who led the fight against Boko Haram in the North East, Major U.J Undianyede, was said to have committed suicide.

It was learnt that he killed himself less than 72 hours before the verdict of a court-martial trying him for alleged military infractions during the war.

On May 27, a 45-year-old Lagos accountant, Folake Abiola, committed suicide at her residence at Osapa London, in the Lekki area of Lagos State. She allegedly drank what was suspected to be insecticide and died shortly after, as her family members, friends and men of the Nigeria Police Force met her lying motionless.

Also, on October 12, a 40-year-old woman, Lilian Omokhuale, née Omoruyi Oloton, committed suicide in Edo State after she was defrauded by fraudsters to the tune of over N300 million. Omokhuale, a mother of two and daughter of a Benin billionaire, drank Sniper and died before help could come her way.

In the United States, it was reported on June 3, that a Nigerian man wanted for shooting his wife and killing her mother in Texas, US, shot and killed himself after leading police in a short chase. The 41-year-old Obinna Igbokwe was declared wanted after deputies were called to a shooting on Aldine Westfield Road and found the two women who had been shot in the head.

Speaking with our correspondent on Monday, a psychologist, Charlie Akoh lamented that suicide cases are on the increase, noting that anyone could be a victim of suicide if the situation is not properly managed.

Akoh explained “Suicide rate in the world today is at an alarming rate as a result of depression, anxiety and substance abuse, especially when unaddressed. Suicidal feelings can affect anyone, of any age, gender or background, at any time. If you are feeling suicidal, it is likely that you have felt increasingly hopeless and worthless for some time.

“Some medications such as antidepressants can cause some people to experience suicidal feelings. Some antipsychotic medications and mood stabilizers also cause some people to develop suicidal propensities. People that join gay and lesbianism groups are extremely prone to suicide, because when society starts lashing at them, it may become unbearable, to the extent that they may resort to taking their own lives, as an escape from the overwhelming and unbearable trauma.”

Akoh advised that “delay is dangerous and victims of depression, frustration and hopelessness should talk to a psychologist, a psychiatrist, or any other professional in mental health, as soon as possible.

“Government should intensify efforts at limiting access to methods of suicide and apart from this, the treatment of the mentally ill should be made free by the government, in order to make victims show up for treatment at the right time before it deteriorates.

“The government should carry out constant awareness in the media about the dangers of drug abuse, as well as the detrimental effects of keeping gang relationships.

“Government should overhaul the educational curricula, from primary to tertiary institutions, to create space for compulsory teachings on the dangers of drug abuse and how to avoid it.”


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