Why Are More People Committing Suicide in Nigeria?

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Yoruba — there have been many stories recently of people committing suicide in Nigeria, so BattaBox hits the streets of Lagos to find out from the Yoruba people – why are more and more people committing suicide in Nigeria?

Across Nigeria’s 36 states, official police statistics recorded 62 cases of suicide across Nigeria in 2016. Lagos and Ogun states have the highest rates: in 2016, 12 suicide cases and 5 suicide attempts were recorded in Lagos in 6 months

The most notorious case was in March, 2017, when a man believed to be a doctor, asked his driver to stop the car, an SUV, and jumped to his death from Third Mainland Bridge.

Another high-profile suicide in Nigeria involved a final year student at Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho, who was found hanging from the ceiling of his room.

In 2015, the World Health Organisation ranked Nigeria as 30th in the world, just after North Korea. Such stories and figures are in tragic juxtaposition to Nigeria’s regular ranking as one of the happiest places on earth.

So why the disconnect, and – although official statistics are hard to come by – why is the number of people committing suicide in Nigeria appearing to rise.

“Nobody ever stops yearning for money,” says one Yoruba trader, as he explains the economic hardship. “A measurement of rice that used to be sold for 150 Naira has skyrocketed to 350 Naira.”

“When a man can feed humself and his family without anxiety, he will have no cause to be depressed,” says one young man.

Nigeria’s economy has been in its worst recession for 25 years causing many people to lose their jobs and come under severe financial strain.

“Peer pressure can make someone suicidal,” suggests one woman.

“A lot of people nowadays want to make it rich quickly and it leads to sudden death – when you become concerned with how glamorously your peers spend money,” says a young Nigerian. “And sometimes that leads to money rituals. And when they attempt money ritual abortively more than two times, they could hang themselves.”

If you or someone you know are depressed and considering suicide, abeg, please call someone on these Nigerian Suicide Hotlines: +234 8062106493, +234 8092106493

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