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

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

CASE ONE

Story Title: Man commits suicide in Nasarawa school

Victim’s Name: James Samuel

Marital Status: Not given

Date: May 9

Gender: Male

Age: 30

Method: Hanging

Reason: Not given

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Not given

State Where incident Happened: Nasarawa

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

The Nasarawa State Police Command on Saturday confirmed that a man simply identified as James Samuel committed suicide on the premises of his former school.

The command spokesman, Rahman Nansel, who disclosed this to journalists in Lafia, said Samuel, 30, hanged himself in a classroom at Government Secondary School in Gurku, Karu local government area of the state.
Source: Vanguard

 

CASE TWO

Story Title: Banker who took N2 million loan for wedding commits suicide two months after marriage crashed

Victim’s Name: Okpanachi John

Marital Status: Single

Date: May 10

Gender: Male

Age: 37

Method: Sniper

Reason: Failed marriage

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Banker

State Where incident Happened: Kaduna

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A banker identified as Okpanachi John, working with a branch of one the new generational banks in Kaduna, has reportedly committed suicide.

The 37-year-old, who was said to have borrowed N3 million for his wedding from the bank two months ago, took his own life after the marriage crashed.

Source: My State News

 

CASE THREE

Story Title: Man, 50, commits suicide in Abia

Victim’s Name: Chukwudi Maduka

Marital Status: Not given

Date: May 18

Gender: Male

Age: 50

Method: Hanging

Reason: Not given

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Not given

State Where incident Happened: Abia

Victim’s State of Origin: Abia

Story Summary:

A 50-year-old man, identified as Chukwudi Maduka has allegedly committed suicide at Umuezu-Ore Umuana village in the Uhuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State.

The Public Relations Officer of the Abia State Police Command, Geoffrey Ogbonna, a superintendent of police, confirmed the development in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Tuesday.

Mr Ogbonna said Mr Maduka was found dead early on Monday in his one-room apartment.

Source: Premium Times

 

CASE FOUR

Story Title: Breaking: Young banker commits suicide in Lagos

Victim’s Name: Kelvin

Marital Status: Not given

Date: May 20

Gender: Male

Age: Not given

Method: Hanging

Reason: Not given

Type: Suicide

Occupation: Banker

State Where incident Happened: Lagos

Victim’s State of Origin: Not given

Story Summary:

A young man identified as Kelvin has committed suicide at Modinatu Street in Ogba area of Lagos.

The lifeless body of Kevin who works with a new generation bank was found dangling from a ceiling fan, in his apartment by neighbours.

Source: Vanguard

 

 

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

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

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