A source at the Homicide Department, Ebonyi State Police Command, Abakaliki, has raised alarm over the growing rate of suicide in the state.
An officer in the department who pleaded anonymity told Nigerian Pilot that the state government was battling to unravel the circumstances surrounding the increasing cases of suicide in various parts of the state.
“Suicide incidents have been recorded in various parts of Ebonyi State. This trend has become worrisome to many residents and observers,” he said.
The officer said the command is at a loss on the cause or motive behind the increasing spate of suicide. For instance, three people committed suicide within a short space of time.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, in a recent report stated that no fewer than a million people die annually from suicide. This represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. Even more ominous is the fact that there are an estimated 10 to 20 million attempted suicide every year.
Statistics revealed that “the rate at which Nigerians now take their own lives has indeed become worrying. From jumping into the lagoon to hanging self with rope or electric cable, Nigeria is becoming a country where so many things that were in the past, considered a taboo, now happen virtually every day.”
Meanwhile, a medical practitioner at the Kubwa General Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Henry Oshowo, said people commit suicide due to psychological, environmental, physical and social factors.
He explained that cases of suicide could be indicative of the economic down turn in the country which includes: “lack of proper counseling system. Poverty due to difficulty in the economy, some persons when they feel they cannot withstand the hardship and do not want to suffer prefer to take their life, many of these cases have been heard.’’
He also stated that some people attribute it to spiritual problems, but pointed out that as medical scientists they do not believe in the metaphysical. He also ascribed it to depression.
Oshowo said it could be reduced through proper medical counseling and called on government and professional bodies to provide counseling for affected victims and patients.

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