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Tackling suicide



IT WOULD be recalled that last year, cases of suicide were rampant. Virtually every month, four or five cases were recorded. The terrible and horrible act became an issue of great concern to well-meaning Nigerians, particularly mothers in our society.

A lot was said on the issue in the social media mainly. This writer thought that the situation will not rear it’s ugly head again. However to the chagrin of the writer, some cases have been reported this January, 2020.This is quite sad!

The recent one was the case of one Miss Bolu Femi Princess Motunrayo. She was a serving National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) member. Miss Motunrayo served in Girls Secondary school, Ibagwa-Aka, Igboeze South Local Government Area, Enugu State. It was discovered that she took the usual substance -sniper.

  It is also very disheartening to learn that the young female corps member, who hailed from Ijumu Local Government Area, Kogi State gave this as her reason:”I did this because I see nothing worth living for in this world.

Mummy l love you, daddy I love you. Matthew and John, you guys should take care, we will meet where we will depart no more”. Barely two days after Miss Motunrayo committed suicide, there was another attempt by a male undergraduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Chukwuemeka Obasi.

We thank God he was rescued from the devilish act by some relations who came to the residence of Obasi at No. 4 Alabi St, Last Bus Stop, Ejibo, Lagos. The visitors to the house were able to untie the rope already tied to the ceiling by Emeka as he was set to take his life. Reason he gave was:”My parents scolded me for a wrong doing and I felt so bad. “

  When has it become an offence for parents and guardians to caution, correct or scold a child or ward who is found wanting? It is quite incredible to see parents who do not scold their children for wrong doing. What kind of parent would see a child misbehaving and give a nod or pet the child? Well, there could be one or two out of so many. The number, definitely will be infinitesimal. This surely is not good for a better society.

   The act of people, particularly, the youths deliberately taking their lives is rather worrisome these days. In the 70’s suicide was a taboo in our society. It was very rare to hear that somebody took his or her life. It is really quite unfortunate that the ugly phenomenon has taken centre stage.

The entire nation seems to be overwhelmed by this embarrassing and offensive act. It must be nipped in the bud to avoid depletion of leaders of tomorrow. Certainly, it behooves on parents, churches, school authorities at secondary and tertiary levels to find lasting solutions to this terrible phenomenon that is eating up our able bodied youths.

The government is not left out. Parents must at all times open up channels of discussion between their children /wards. They should eschew their children or wards developing phobia on them. This is not healthy.

 Whenever a child is in difficulty, no matter the problem or circumstances, he or she must confide in either the mother or father, or both. Parents or guardians should not be aliens to their children. It is usually when a child does not know who to confide in that such idea comes to him or her.

   On the part of school authorities, they should try at all times to discover some students who are not happy with the environment of the school. This happens usually at secondary schools where boarding systems exist. There are bullies in the school and some of them bully others; go at length to threaten their victims not to say anything or they will kill them.

When such student can no longer endure, he or she will start nursing ideas to take his or her life. In the tertiary institutions, some students are undergoing various problems and they are usually ashamed to confide in anybody. These students must be encouraged to speak out.

Therefore, there is urgent need to organise seminars and workshops in schools both; secondary and tertiary levels. Experts in human psychology need to come and deliver talks and speeches. NYSC camps must be inclusive.

  Government at every level needs to be sensitive to at the yearnings and aspirations of the youth. Policies and programmes that will better their lots need to be initiated. Tuition fees in various schools need to be reviewed downwards.

Some parents go through hell to pay for school fees of their children. Who knows what some of these parents tell these students? When a child sees that he or she is a burden to his or her parents, the child may decide to take his or her life to stop being a burden.

This is not good hence, the need to organise seminars. Parents should be careful what they tell their children and also be mindful of who their friends are.

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