The year 2016/2017 marked by suicides in Nigeria. We plummeted from the international happiness index and saw cases of people taking their own lives rise across the country due to majorly economic reasons. Who can forget the doctor who jumped off the Third Mainland Bridge because he was driven to despair by his debts?
The government in its response to this urged security agencies to be on the watch for suicidal Nigerians while it also promised a better life for Nigerians in the coming years, however the promised better life is still a mirage as the economic situation in the country has remained decidedly worse for the average Nigerian. A confirmation of this was the recent IMF reports which states that Nigerians are getting poorer under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. People are dying.
The reported suicide of Uzoaku a mother of two unemployed graduates on Saturday March 17, 2018 in Mgbakwu, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State is the latest of such deaths and its highly unfortunate and regrettable. According to Punch Newspapers, It was gathered that the 66-year-old woman had complained to some people that she was angry that her two children, who graduated some years back, had not gotten any job.
I cannot claim to understand the exact motives that drove Uzoaku to such drastic acts and I cannot condemn her choice, but I can blame the government for not providing any of the basic needs citizens should have. Like adequate mental health care, which could have proven a pivotal factor in whether this woman lived or died. Suicide is an act that needs to be fought to a standstill in Nigeria with the support of the executive and the Judiciary.
The government is enjoined to take a decisive stand on suicide to discourage Nigerians from such acts, the government is also advised to reposition the nation on a path of economic prosperity. Things are not working as expected but suicide is not the answer.