Monthly Media Report on Suicide in Nigeria (April 2020)

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 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. Here is a list of suicide incidents in Nigeria that took place in April, 2020 as reported by the media.

CASE ONE

Story Title: Native doctor commits suicide in Abia

Victim’s Name: Friday Onyeonoziri

Marital Status: Married

Date: April 4

Gender: Male

Age: Late 30s

Method: Hanging

Reason: Mental Health challenge

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Native Doctor

State Where incident Happened: Abia

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

Abia Police Commissioner, CP Ene Okon, has confirmed the death of a native doctor who reportedly committed suicide near his shrine located at the back of his house.

Okon, in a telephone interview, said that the deceased identified as Onyeonoziri Friday was said to have committed suicide in front of “his juju shrine”.

…The native doctor, according to findings, resides at Ukpakiri village in Amaise autonomous community in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State.

The deceased, in his late thirties, was said to have hanged himself while his pregnant wife and son were sleeping inside their house.

Source: The Nation

 

CASE TWO

Story Title: 23-year-old female commits suicide in Mpape

Victim’s Name: Rejoice

Marital Status: Single

Date: April 4

Gender: Female

Age: 23

Method: Sniper

Reason: Failed relationship

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Not given

State Where incident Happened: Abuja (Federal Capital Territory)

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A 23 year old female lover, simply called Rejoice, Saturday, committed suicide by drinking a deadly substance, sniper, in GRA area of Mpape, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, over alleged abandonment of her boy-friend.

Source: Vanguard

 

CASE THREE

Story Title: 23 Nursing mother commits suicide over alleged pressure from husband

Victim’s Name: Esther Frank

Marital Status: Married

Date: April 9

Gender: Female

Age: Not given

Method: Sniper

Reason: Frustration (over relationship)

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Not given

State Where incident Happened: Akwa Ibom

Victim’s State of Origin: Anambra

Story Summary:

One Mrs Esther Frank resident in Uyo, on Thursday night, took her life over alleged pressure and lies from her husband.

The deceased was said to have left a suicide note for her husband and two children, saying she was tired of the pressure.

It was gathered that the deceased drank a bottle of sniper and lay down unconscious in her room when she was discovered by neighbours who rushed her to St Luke’s Hospital in Anua, Uyo, where she eventually died.

Source: Daily Post

CASE FOUR

Story Title: Man commits suicide after wife told him their only child was fathered by a stranger

Victim’s Name: Jacob Numku

Marital Status: Married

Date: April

Gender: Female

Age: Not given

Method: Hanging

Reason: Frustration (over relationship)

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Farmer

State Where incident Happened: Nassarawa

Victim’s State of Origin: Nassarawa

Story Summary:

It is naturally a nightmare for a man to be told by his wife that he is not the father of their child or children. And the case of Jacob Numku, a farmer and petty trader from Toto community in Nasarawa State, was not any different. He decided to end it all after a shocking declaration by his wife that their only child was fathered by another man.

The entire Numku family is in turmoil with the revelation by Juliet that their five-month-old baby was actually fathered by a young man named Uchena, whom she had met in the course of business. Although Numku had become depressed and withdrawn in the days following the shocking revelation by Juliet, no one in the family suspected that he could go to the extent of taking his own life.

Source: The Nation

 

CASE FIVE

Story Title: Man commits suicide after wife told him their only child was fathered by a stranger

Victim’s Name: Seyi Akinade

Marital Status: Single

Date: April 21

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Not given

Reason: Frustration

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Student

State Where incident Happened: Lagos

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

Rumours making rounds on social media is that a boy by name Seyi Akinade took his own life after allegedly maltreated by officials of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).

A Twitter user who claimed to be Seyi’s elder brother bemoaned the loss of his brother especially after missing the clues the deceased left as to what he was going through.

He alleged that his brother committed suicide out of depression from the maltreatment that was meted out to him by SARS officials.

Source: Breaking Times

 

CASE SIX

Story Title: Lockdown: 45-year-old man commits suicide in Imo

Victim’s Name: Osita Ezuruike

Marital Status: Single

Date: April 27

Gender: Male

Age: 45

Method: Hanging

Reason: Frustration

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Not given

State Where incident Happened: Imo

Victim’s State of Origin: Imo

Story Summary:

A 45-year-old man, Osita Ezuruike, on Tuesday, committed suicide in his house at Umudafa, Awo Mbieri in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State.

Sources at the community said the deceased expressed frustration with life over the lockdown and the dusk-to-dawn curfew declared by the state government.

The police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, told PUNCH that the Ezuruike’s corpse had been taken to a morgue.

Ikeokwu also said an investigation into the incident had commenced.

The police spokesperson said, “On April 27, acting on a report, operatives of the Divisional Police headquarters in Mbieri moved to Umudafa, Awo Mbieri, Mbaitoli LGA, in a house belonging to one Osita Ezuruike, 45, and met the lifeless body of the said Osita hanging.

Source: Punch

 

 

 

 

 

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

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

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