Four Suicide Incidents Recorded in Nigeria in January 2020

Suicide is the act of intentionally taking one’s life. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 1 million people die each year from suicide. It is difficult to anticipate suicide in most instances and this makes it a terribly dangerous menace in any society. What drives so many individuals to take their own lives remains a serious puzzle though depression is at the center of the probable cause, according to scholars and counselors. The fact is that a suicidal person is in so much pain that he or she can see no other option. Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape suffering that has become unbearable. A suicidal person is often blinded by feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, hopelessness, and isolation. The person hardly sees any way of finding relief except through death.

Nigeria witnessed an unprecedented spate of suicides in 2019, especially with media coverage of such incidents. Some schools of thought have argued that suicide incidents had existed in Nigeria possibly on a large scale but most of such incidents were never reported in the media. Well, 2019 saw a number of incidents reported in social and mainstream media. The fact is that several articles in the media cite cases that happened across the years. This article contains facts about suicide incidents that occurred in Nigeria in 2019.

The alarming rate of suicides that took place in Nigeria in 2019 remains as a puzzle to many people. It is now a fact that 2019 recorded the highest rate of suicide incidents among Nigerians in modern times with 70 reported cases in the media. Some analysts have argued that the media are majorly or partly responsible for suicide rates in most societies based on what is called ‘suicide contagion’ which is a form of copy cat suicide. This means that people are likely to commit suicide after exposure to suicidal behaviour especially through the mass media. Some other schools of thought say many other factors are responsible for suicide rates apart from media reports on the incident. Among such factors are frustration, failed relationships, poor academic performance, and depression. The sad news is that suicide incidents have continued to pop up in 2020 premised on almost the same reasons as the incidents in 2019.

The Facts in 2019

A study revealed that a total of 70 suicide cases were recorded in 2019 out of which 74% (52 persons) were cases involving men while 26% (18 persons) were women. The study showed that more Nigerian men committed suicide in 2019 than women. The study carried out by hypothesis.com, an independent research group, was a content analysis of reported cases of suicide in both mainstream and social media from January to December 2019. The figures showed that 70 suicide cases were recorded in 2019 out of which 74% (52 persons) were cases involving men while 26% (18 persons) were women. The study further showed that 22 students committed suicide in 2019. Out of the entire suicide cases, 54 were young adults/adolescents (here operationalized as age 39 and below) while 16 were old adults (here operationalized as age 40 and above). One child (a 9-year-old girl) was involved and included among the young adults that committed suicide in 2019.

 

Suicide Incidents in January 2020

Here’s a list of suicide incidents that occurred in January 2020, as reported in the media.

CASE ONE

Story Title: Corp member commits suicide in Enugu, police confirm

Victim’s Name: Bolufemi Princess Motunrayo

Marital Status: Single

Date: January 10

Gender: Female

Age: Young Adult

Method: Sniper (two bottles)

Reason: Frustration

Type: Suicide (single incident)

Occupation: NYSC Member

State Where incident Happened: Enugu

Victim’s State of Origin: Kogi State

Story Summary:

A serving National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) member in Enugu State, Miss Bolufemi Princess Motunrayo, committed suicide over frustration. Miss Motunrayo, was a Batch ‘C’ corps member serving in Girls Secondary School, Ibagwa-Aka, Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State. The incident which was confirmed by Enugu State Police Command took place on Friday, January 10, 2020. She allegedly drank a substance suspected to be sniper.

The Corp member hailed from Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State and a graduate of Banking and Finance from Prince Abubakar Audu University formally called Kogi State University was reported to have taken two bottles of sniper. Reports have it that she had dropped a short suicide note that read, “I did this because I see nothing worth living for in this world”.

Source: The Punch

https://punchng.com/corp-member-commits-suicide-in-enugu-police-confirm/

 

CASE TWO

Story Title: Widow murdered as man commits suicide in Lagos

Victim’s Name: Princewill Okoroafor

Marital Status: Not given

Date: January 16

Gender: Male

Age: 31 (Young Adult)

Method: Sniper

Reason: Not given

Type: Murder-suicide

Occupation:

State Where incident Happened: Lagos

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A 31-year-old-man, Princewill Okoroafor, allegedly committed suicide by drinking a poisonous substance believed by the police to be the rat killer, Sniper. His body was found in his apartment at Lakeview Phase 1 Estate, Amuwo Odofin. A police source said the deceased was suspected to have drunk a tin of insecticide, Sniper, as an empty tin was found in his apartment.

In her reaction, the deceased’s mother, Mrs. Juliet Okoroafor, said she suspected foul play in his death and called on the police to conduct an autopsy to ascertain the exact cause of death.

 Source: Sunnewsonline

https://www.sunnewsonline.com/widow-murdered-as-man-commits-suicide-in-lagos/

CASE THREE

Story Title: UNICAL student commits suicide over alleged ‘frustration’ by project supervisor

Victim’s Name: Maxwell Lucky Enudi

Marital Status: Not given

Date: January 23

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Sniper

Reason: Academic challenge

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Student (UNICAL)

State Where incident Happened: Cross River

Victim’s State of Origin: Delta State

Story Summary:

A final year student of the University of Calabar, UNICAL, Maxwell Lucky Enudi, from the Department of Zoology committed suicide after taking an insecticide/miticide known as “Sniper”. The incident at Ekpo Abasi in Calabar South LGA when Enudi consumed the poisonous substance in his apartment. He was said to have finished his final exams in the Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology but was allegedly frustrated by challenges he had with his project work. He was an indigene of Delta State and a former class representative in his department. He finished his exams in December 2019 and was to defend his project in February 2020.
Source: Vanguard
https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/01/fresh-graduate-commits-suicide-in-calabar/

 

CASE FOUR

Story Title: Man commits suicide in Katsina

Victim’s Name: Not given

Marital Status: Not given

Date: January 26

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Hanging

Reason: Not given

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Not given

State Where incident Happened: Katsina

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A man in Jibia town, Katsina state committed suicide for unknown reason. Residents of the community woke up to find the man whose name wasn’t disclosed, dangling from a tree. No one knows the reason why he killed himself, however, his neighbors say he has been facing serious financial challenges.

Source: Ariya

https://ariya.com.ng/man-commits-suicide-in-katsina-graphic-photos/

 

READ ALSO: Mass Media and High Suicide Rates in Nigeria! The Case of Contagion Self-Slaughter?

READ ALSO: 70 Nigerians Committed Suicide in 2019, Study Reveals

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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