• Youths march against high suicide rate in Nigeria
A middle-aged man said to hail from Enugu State has committed suicide in Etegwe-Epie, a suburb of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital. The 45-years-old man identified as Oliver Osieme, hanged himself inside his room.
Our correspondent who visited the area gathered that the deceased, a truck driver, committed the act in an apartment owned by a lady who he is cohabiting with. It was further gathered that earlier, the victim with the lady and a teenage girl staying with them had morning devotion together before the woman left for her business at Tombia roundabout while the teenager left for school.
Neighbours said it was the teenage girl who raised the alarm of her aunt’s husband death after she came back from school and met the house locked. In her effort to enter the house, she discovered from the window that the victim has used a dark cloth to hang himself.
The neighbours further revealed that the wife said when she left the house they never had any disagreement that could lead to the victim taking his life. They also said they have never seen or heard them quarrel since the man started living with the wife in the apartment.
The teenager, however, revealed that the deceased has not been on the road for sometime because the truck used for business had been bad.
A close relation, who did want to be named, said: “It is a sad experience; nobody would have thought such a thing would have been planned by him. The police had just taken his body away, if you had came earlier, you would have seen it, a young man that was full of life.”
The whole community was in mourning mood yesterday as people took turns to commiserate with the wife, while others gathered around to discuss the incident in hushed tones.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Bayelsa State, SP Asinim Butswat, who confirmed the report, said the police is investigating the incident leading to the man’s death.
Meanwhile, a group, Youth Advocates for Peace, Justice and Empowerment Network (YAPJEN), has protested against the increasing rate of suicides in the country. The group, which staged a walk from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, through major streets of Awka, the Anambra State capital, chanted anti-suicide songs and urged youths to say no to suicide and strive to live out their dreams.
Leader of the group, Timothy Nwachukwu, said the group was compelled to undertake the march to alert young people against seeing suicide as a trend and fashion when things do not go their way.
“Youths should not give up on their dreams. What we are doing is to condemn the act of young people taking their own life. Suicide is not an option, don’t allow depression to ruin your dreams, the nation needs you, your family loves you,” he said, adding that depression and frustration were some of the reasons young people take their life.
It would be noted that more than 13 young persons and 42 others have taken to suicide in the last six months in Nigeria. The rampant suicide rate among students has reached its highest point in 40 years.
Speaking with The Guardian, a lecturer of Kwara State University, Dr. Victor Babatunde, said the causes of suicide among students is centered mostly on academic problems and school pressures. He said the suicide rate can be managed on campuses, if the universities activate their stress-reduction programmes to help student reduce stress factors before they become unbearable.
He advised student to talk to their lectures if they sense that their schoolwork is suffering and their grades are dropping, or keep themselves busy by engaging in extra-curricular activities and healthy habits like adequate sleep.