A summary of suicide incidents which took place in Nigeria in 2022 shows that for the fourth straight year more men committed suicide than women.
This study which was carried out by Massmediang, and online news platform, was based on suicide incidents reported in the media.
Of this number, 87% (N=41) were male while 13% (6) were female. This shows that for the fourth consecutive year, more males committed suicide in Nigeria and the margin between the gender of victims grew higher than what it was in 2021 which was 78% males as against 22% females.
Here are other facts in the summary of incidents in 2022:
Among those who committed suicide in 2022, 44% (n=21) were adults above 18 years of age while 9% (n=4) were below 18 years old. The age of remaining victims was not given in the reports. The marital status of 36 of the victims was given while 11 were not mentioned in the reports. Of the 36 mentioned, 23.4 (11) were married while 53.2% (n=25) were single.
Data further showed that 43 of the 47 reported suicide incidents mentioned the method which was adopted by the victims in committing suicide while this information was not given in 4 of the incidents. Of the 43 stories which indicated method of suicide, hanging led with 40% (n=19) of the incidents, use of sniper insecticide came next with 32% (n=15) of the incidents, while 19% (n=9) were recorded as ‘others’ and this includes various methods such as gunshots, jumping into the lagoon, setting self ablaze, among others not categorized separately in the study. This means that for the third year running, hanging has led as the method of suicide in Nigeria, as was the case in 2020 and 2021. This is contrary to what happened in 2019 when use of sniper insecticide led as method of suicide in the country.
Details of victim’s occupation shows that majority of those who committed suicide in 2022 were those categorized as self/privately employed, having 26% (n=12) of the incidents. This was followed by students of tertiary institutions with 23% (n=23) of the incidents, 4% (n=2), while 46% (n=22) of the reports did not indicate occupation of the victims.
In terms of where the incidents happened, 36 of the incidents had their geographic location mentioned in the reports while 11 were not given. Of the 36 mentioned, 72 % (n=26) happened in the Southern part of Nigeria while 23% (n=10) happened in the northern part of the country. Details show that 13 cases representing the highest number of incidents were recorded in the South West geopolitical zone of the country (Lagos – 9, Ondo – 1, Osun – 2, Ogun – 1). This is followed by the North West zone which recorded 8 incidents (Jigawa – 2, Kano – 3, Kaduna – 2, Kebbi – 1). Next is South East which recorded 7 incidents (Anambra – 4, Imo – 2, Abia – 1). Next is South South zone which recorded 6 incidents (Delta – 2, Bayelsa – 3, Edo – 1). The North Central zone recorded 6 incidents (Kwara – 1, Plateau – 1, Benue – 2, Abuja – 6). The North East zone recorded 2 incidents (Borno – 1, Bauchi – 1).
NOTE: Suicide incidents which were studied are those reported in the media. There are a few reports that were circulated in the social media but were refuted by victims’ family members, security personnel or authorities in their workplace. Such cases were left off the study. Cases of suicide which took place in Nigeria were the focus of study.
Selection of the media for the content analysis followed a pattern of identifying the ones that reported suicide cases. Massmediang monitored media reports on a daily basis to identify stories on suicide both in the social and mainstream media. In most cases, reports found in one medium were crosschecked with other media to authenticate the incident.
How the study was done
Suicide reports in the media were compiled and published on a monthly basis, from January to December 2022. These media reports were then compiled and analysed to come up with the final report on total suicide incidents throughout the year.
The complete list of suicide victims in various states of the country was also recorded in the study. Most of the incidents were cross-checked in both social and mainstream media to further measure authenticity of the incidents. The doubtful incidents which appeared in just one or two social media platforms were not recorded.
There may be a few reports on suicide in Nigeria which were not captured in this analysis but generally, the facts presented here largely represent the trend of suicide incidents in Nigeria in 2022, as reported in the media.