by Hauwa Gambo
A bricklayer in Ibadan, Taofeek Muraina was saved from death after a neighbour caught him trying to take poison.
This is the second time he is attempting suicide. Muraina, 40, first tried to take his own life, according to his interview with Punch, five months ago – and again last week (December 5), when he
The problem? An eye condition he has battled with since birth, and that makes his life a burden for him – his left eye-ball gorges from its socket.
“Life is unbearable for me,” he shared his harrowing tale. “I was born with an eye problem. My wife, Tawa, left me and dumped our 10-year-old son with me. I learnt that she has got married to another man.
“I attempted to commit suicide by poisoning myself while my son and neighbours were not at home but my landlady got home while I was preparing the mixture.”
His landlady, Aminat Oseni, in whose house he has lived for five years, also spoke.
“He (Muraina) is a friend to my son, Fatai, who is a welder. My son appealed to me that we should accommodate him when he came begging for accommodation,” she said.
“According to him, he was sent packing by his former landlord on the ground that the landlord’s family wanted to make use of the apartment. But he said the landlord only ejected him because of his eye problem.”
His family has tried to help, but they have stopped showing up. “When they saw him they burst out crying. They said that they would take him to the hospital but they could not do so for lack of funds,” she said.
Muraina can’t live with the excruciating pain. “This is causing acute pain for me,” he said. “I have been living in pain since I was born. It became worse during the crisis within the National Union of Road Transport Workers three years ago at Moniya. I was hit in my eyes by an object and since then it had been worse.”
Worsening the matter, he is unable to get the medical aid he needs.
“That is why five months ago he attempted to commit suicide by hanging,” said a neighbour, Yusuf Oseni. “Having tried all available means to help himself, he decided to take his own life. He has no money to treat himself in the hospital. He is alone with his problem. When he went to the University College Hospital, he was asked to pay N10m.”
Muraina, who lives in Gunwin Akingbile, Moniya, Ibadan, Oyo State, has lost the will to live. “I am a bricklayer and I mould blocks,” he said. “People in the neighbourhood always make jest of me. I take native treatment because I cannot afford the cost of surgery.
“I decided to end it all because I could not afford the cost of surgery and no one wishes to help me. With my condition, I still manage to work to feed myself and my son but people hate me.”