Monthly Media Report on Suicide Incidents In Nigeria (February 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 February 2020

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

CASE ONE

Story Title: LASTMA official commits suicide in Lagos

Victim’s Name: Tope Akinde

Marital Status: Not given

Date: February 1

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Hanging

Reason: Mental challenge

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Latsma Official (civil servant)

State Where incident Happened: Lagos

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

An official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Tope Akinde, committed suicide in the Opebi area of Lagos. Emotions ran high when the remains of the traffic official were seen dangling on the pole of a billboard around Salvation bus stop in the area. At about 10:00 a.m., passersby milled around the corpse that was dangling on the pole around a mango tree and discussing in hushed tones the circumstances surrounding the young man’s tragic death. The spokesman of the Lagos State police command Bala Elkana, said a female LASTMA official informed the command of the incident, adding that Akinde’s elder brother claimed that he had been suffering from mental instability for a while.

He said the corpse had been evacuated and deposited in a mortuary.

Source: Ripples Nigeria

https://www.ripplesnigeria.com/lastma-official-commits-suicide-in-lagos/

 

CASE TWO

Story Title: 12-year-old boy commits suicide

Victim’s Name: Tope Akinde

Marital Status: Single

Date: February 5

Gender: Male

Age: 12

Method: Hanging

Reason: Frustration/Depression

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Primary School Pupil (student)

State Where incident Happened: Imo State

Victim’s State of Origin: Imo state

Story Summary:

A 12-year-old orphan committed suicide in Agboala Ishiala Umudi autonomous community of Nkwerre council area, Imo State, following the death of his parents. The boy, identified as Kasarachi Odurukwe, was a primary six pupil of Practicing School, Umudi. It was that the boy committed suicide by hanging himself on a rope tied to an Indian bamboo tree.

According to a villager who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the boy and his two younger siblings had lost their parents and had been living with their mother’s sister in the village. It was gathered that the deceased had been complaining about how boring the world had been to him since the death of his parents.

It was gathered that on a fateful day, Kasarachi had led his two siblings and two other children to a nearby stream to fetch water. On arrival at the stream, Kasarachi was said to have assisted the other children to fill their jerrycans while he used a long stick to check the depth of the stream.

The sources said: “Having not been satisfied with the shallow depth of the water, the deceased took a rope and tied it up to a bamboo tree. His first two attempts at killing himself failed while the other children were begging him to stop.

“It was at the third attempt that on a stronger Indian bamboo tree, the rope strangled him to death. That action jolted the other kids, who ran back to the village to report the incident to the family and village elders.”

Source: The Guardian

https://guardian.ng/news/12-year-old-orphan-commits-suicide-in-imo/

CASE THREE

Story Title: Police Inspector ‘commits suicide’ over murder charge

Victim’s Name: Okon Essien

Marital Status: Not given

Date: February 5

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Hanging

Reason: To avoid trial over murder charge

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Police officer

State Where incident Happened: Lagos State

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A police inspector in Lagos State, Okon Essien, took his own life while in detention for a murder charge, the police authorities have said.

The officer committed suicide on Wednesday (February 5) in the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) cell, Yaba, where he was detained.

This was contained in a statement released on Wednesday by Bala Elkana, the Lagos police spokesperson.

Mr Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the officer killed himself “to avoid trial”.

The late Mr Essien was detained for allegedly shooting and killing Hassan Usman.

Sources: Premium Times

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/375979-police-inspector-commits-suicide-over-murder-charge.html

CASE FOUR

Story Title: Man jumps from Third Mainland Bridge into Lagoon
Victim’s Name: Daibo Toju Davies

Marital Status: Single

Date: February 15

Gender: Male

Age: 22

Method: Jumped into Lagoon

Reason: Not given

Type: Suicide

Occupation: University Graduate (Not yet employed)

State Where incident Happened: Lagos State

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A 22 years old man Daibo Toju Davies jumped into the lagoon on the Third Mainland bridge inward Adeniji Adele Road, Lagos State at about 9.30am.

The victim a resident of 17 Sosanya Street, Gbagada Soluyi, Lagos, was said to have engaged the services of Uber Taxi a Toyota Corolla with number plate KSF 426 GB from Mercy Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos only to stop the driver on the pretence that he was suffering from stomach upset after which he jumped off the 3rd Mainland Bridge into the lagoon.

Sources: Vanguard, Channels TV
https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/02/unidentified-man-jumps-from-third-mainland-bridge/

https://www.channelstv.com/2020/02/19/please-bring-back-my-son-mother-of-man-who-jumped-into-lagoon-begs/

CASE FIVE

Story Title: Mother, child die after drinking sniper in Delta
Victim’s Name: Pigha Koboye (and her child)

Marital Status: Single

Date: February 18

Gender: Female (child’s gender not given)

Age: (in her 20s; exact age not given)

Method: Sniper

Reason: Failed relationship

Type: Murder-Suicide

Occupation: Not given

State Where incident Happened: Delta State

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A middle-aged woman simply identified as Pigha Koboye and her child reportedly died after drinking some substance suspected to be sniper.

The incident happened in the creek town of Bomadi in Delta State.

Local sources said the deceased took the option of drinking sniper after the man who allegedly put her in the family way denied being responsible for the pregnancy.

Source: Sunnnesonline

https://www.sunnewsonline.com/mother-child-die-after-drinking-sniper-in-delta/

 

CASE SIX

Story Title: Man Commits Suicide By Hanging After Girlfriend He Trained In School Dumps Him
Victim’s Name: Mr. Ossy

Marital Status: Single

Date: February

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Hanging

Reason: Failed relationship

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Not given

State Where incident Happened: Anambra State

Victim’s State of Origin: Anambra State

Story Summary:

Reports have it that a man identified as Mr. Ossy from Aguleri in Anambra State Nigeria committed suicide by hanging himself on a Mango tree after sponsoring one Miss Melisa Nnaji from Enugu State to the University level at Institute of Management Technology (IMT) with the promise of getting married to her after graduation.

Regrettably, the man couldn’t stand the shock when he received an invitation of the girl’s marriage coming up 18th of March 2020 through one of his best friend called Nnadozie, Which led him to commit suicide.

Source: Gistreel

https://www.gistreel.com/man-commits-suicide-by-hanging-as-girlfriend-he-trained-in-school-dumps-him/

 

CASE SEVEN

Story Title: OAU Student Commits Suicide Over Academic Depression

Victim’s Name: Oboh Emmanuel

Marital Status: Single

Date: February

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Sniper

Reason: Academic challenge

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Student

State Where incident Happened: Not given

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), committed suicide due to academic depression. The student identified as Oboh Emmanuel allegedly drank a poisonous substance to end his life.

Source: My SchooolNG

https://myschool.ng/news/oau-student-commits-suicide-over-academic-depression

 

CASE EIGHT

Story Title: Student, 13, Commits Suicide Following Suspension From School

Victim’s Name: Juwon

Marital Status: Single

Date: February

Gender: Male

Age: 13

Method: Sniper

Reason: Embarrassed

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Student

State Where incident Happened: Lagos

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A 13-year old SS1 student committed suicide by drinking the popular insecticide, Sniper, after he was suspended from school for two weeks.

It was reported that the deceased identified as Juwon was a student of Foldemi Private School located at Ola Farm area of Abaranje, Ikotun, Lagos, where the incident happened.

Reports have it that one of the female classmates went to the School Management and reported that the deceased touched the buttocks of another female classmate which he reportedly denied.
However, the School Management found him culpable and subsequently punished him by suspending from the school as a disciplinary measure to serve as deterrent to other students despite his denial.
The boy was very angry and felt humiliated for nothing he did not commit in school. When he got home, he took the insecticide, Sniper, which was kept at home and drank it.
Few minutes after, he became unconscious and died in the process before help would come to him as his parents were not at home by the time he was sent home.

Source: PM Express

https://pmexpressng.com/student-13-commits-suicide-following-suspension-from-schoo

CASE NINE

Story Title: Depressed soldier shoots 7, kills self
Victim’s Name: Not given

Marital Status: Married

Date: February 26

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Gun shot

Reason: Relationship breakdown (wife’s alleged infidelity)

Type: Murder-Suicide

Occupation: Soldier

State Where incident Happened: Borno

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

Soldiers at the Nigerian Army Brigade, Malam Fatori, Borno State, currently fighting the Boko Haram insurgency were thrown into mourning on the 26th of February as a depressed soldier, who allegedly got information that someone was sleeping with his wife, turned his gun at seven of his colleagues and later shot himself.

Four of those shot, including the corporal, have been reported dead, while the rest are in critical condition.

Source: Vanguard

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/02/insurgency-depressed-soldier-shoots-7-kills-self/

CASE TEN

Story Title: Father of six commits suicide over alleged infidelity

Victim’s Name: Felix Edore

Marital Status: Married

Date: February 28

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Sniper

Reason: Relationship breakdown (wife’s alleged infidelity)

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Taxi driver

State Where incident Happened: Delta

Victim’s State of Origin: Delta

Story Summary:

A father of six, identified as Felix Edore, reportedly committed suicide over alleged infidelity by his wife of 16 years.

It was gathered that the incident occurred in Sapele, Delta State on the 28th of February..

According to sources, Edore, a cab driver, who shuttles neighbouring Abraka and Eku communities only recently bought a fairly-used car for his business.

He was said to have drunk Sniper, a poisonous pesticide, in his car after discovering that his wife was having extramarital affairs.

He was reportedly rushed to a private clinic in the Amukpe area of Sapele where the doctors tried to save his life until he died early hours of Saturday, February 29.

The Delta State Police Command however, could not confirm the incident.

The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onowakpoyeya said, “the DPO said they did not report the incident to the station.”

Relatives were said to have since buried the deceased in his village, Kpokpogiri, also within the state.

Source: The Nation

https://thenationonlineng.net/father-of-six-commits-suicide-over-alleged-infidelity/

 

 

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

READ ALSO: Monthly Media Report on Suicide Incidents In Nigeria (March 2020)

 

 

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *