Nigerians used to be known as the happiest people on earth and it was unheard of for Nigerian to commit suicide. As a country, Nigeria is inhabited by people with what is popularly referred to as the ‘do or die spirit’; they never give up no matter what.
The recently there has been a massive rise in the suicidal status of Nigerians and everyone is asking the golden question why?
Some say there is a correlation between suicide and religion but religion has been with Nigerians for a long time. Many are quick to point fingers at Islam, claiming fanatics of the religion commit suicide but they fail to realize a major difference in both kinds of suicide. The fanatics usually have a target, mission, methodology and message they are passing across but these new kinds of suicides are usually unplanned, with no other victim other than the perpetrators themselves who have been mostly Christian.
Others claim the current economic recession is to blame as the cost of living has skyrocketed leaving many so frustrated that life itself is seen as hell. But is that enough to warrant suicide?
Last year a man from the North committed suicide according to his suicide note for the first time he was unable to buy a cow to fulfil his Muslim rites prior to this, late 2015 a man also from the North also committed suicide siting same reason.
But it seems as if the baton has changed hands from the Northern to the Southern part of the country.
Nigerians were jolted at the news of a medical doctor who jumped into the Lagoon from the Third Mainland bridge. Dr Allwell Orji, who was driven in a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) en route to Lagos Island at about 4pm on Sunday instructed his driver to stop on the bridge, he came out and jumped into the waters
The Southern part did not start experiencing suicide in 2017 but the doctors case brought to the fore many instances not sensationalized before. In 2016, a teenage boy from Lagos was arrested for attempting suicide and his motivation was that he was robbed and lost money his mother sent him on an errand with. He became apprehensive of his mother’s punishment, deciding to take his life rather than face his mother.
In another report according to City Beats, an Alimpopo Pastor also committed suicide in 2016 after he sent photographs of his manhood to his church WhatsApp Group. The pastor, identified as Letsego of Christ Embassy, thought he was sending the photographs to his lover, who happens to be a member of the same church.
To make matters worse the pastor captioned the photograph “wife is away, it’s all yours tonight”, Breaking Times also posted on its website.
After realizing his error the pastor was alleged to have exited the group, stopped answering his calls and was found 24 hours later hanging from the roof of his rented church house.
In January, 2017, another suicide attempt was averted when a man parked his car on 3rd Mainland bridge and intended to jump off. In February of same year, a member of the Living Faith Church also known as Winners Chapel in Benin, the Edo State was alleged to have committed suicide in Church.
Adesoji Adediran, a 500 level Urban and Regional Planning student of Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho committed suicide in February 2017.
Mrs. Abigael Ogunyinka, not long after Dr. Allwell’s suicide, was rescued by fishermen in Lagos Lagoon was prevented from leaping into the Lagoon by the operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos state Police Command. Another lady, Taiwo Momoh, 58, a textile dealer in Lagos Island, had put off her shoes and was wrapping her dress around her when men of RRS 226 prevented her from jumping.
Madam Momoh, attends Redeemed Christian Church of God and disclosed that on several occasions she had attempted to see her Parish Pastor to identify with her problem and for the Church to help her raise money to meet her Swiss Creditors in order to assure them that she would pay their money. She added, “I was a Muslim, I have because of this problem been jumping from one faith to the other. The problem is too much for me to bear. I want to go back to God.
Frustration and depression rather than religion could be summed up to be the major reason for the increase in suicide cases. The state of the economy has not helped matters as the current economic recession has seen many people become so frustrated that they could go to the extreme either to get money or to draw the curtains and end it all through suicide.