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Sniper Deaths In Nigeria

Deciding to Die is An Act of Cowardice

Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. This act is physcological and a very emotional issue caused by Mental disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse—including alcoholism and the use of benzodiazepins (also serve as the risk factors). Some suicides are impulsive acts due to stress, such as from financial difficulties, troubles with relationships, or bullying and those who have previously attempted suicide are at a higher risk for future attempts.

Effective suicide prevention efforts include limiting access to methods of suicide—such as firearms, drugs, and poisons; treating mental disorders and substance misuse; proper media reporting of suicide; and improving economic conditions and even though crisis hotlines are common, there is little evidence for their effectivenes (especially here in Nigeria.)

The most commonly used method of suicidevaries between countries, and is partly related to the availability of effective means.However,common methods of suicide include hanging, pesticide poisoning, and firearms.Suicides resulted in 828,000 global deaths in 2015, an increase from 712,000 deaths in 1990.This makes suicide the 10th leading cause of death worldwide. Statistics has shown that approximately 0.5% of people die by suicide.In a given year this is roughly 12 per 100,000 people. Three quarters of suicides globally occur in the low and middle income countries.Rates of completed suicides are generally higher among men than among women, ranging from 1.5 times as much in the developing world to 3.5 times in the developed world.

Suicide is generally most common among those over the age of 70; however, in certain countries like Nigera, those aged between 15 and 30 are at the highest risk.Europe had the highest rates of suicide by region in 2015.There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year.Non-fatal suicide attempts may lead to injury and long-term disabilities. In the Western world, attempts are more common among young people and among females. Views on suicide have been influenced by broad existential themes such as religion, honor, and the meaning of life.The Abrahamic religions traditionally consider suicide as an offense towards God due to the belief in the sanctity of life. Suicide is both a moral and Civic offence that means it is purnishable by God in heaven and the government on earth.It is still an abuse of the conscience that the creator of man put in him, it goes a long way to show a sign of weakness both in conscience and in reasoning.

Although most religion and traditional belief had in the past subscribed to suicide for one ritual or the other,it has since been abolished and out of fashion yet some people still cling to it and justify their actions by it. When a person takes his life, it is not a problem that is solved rather it is a problem piled up and increased for the loved ones Every individual unit,even the smallest unit which is the family, has a role to play in this suicide saga. This is where the love God and the love of man comes in, also the golden rule is associated with this issue. As a human, we cannot survive or stand alone as no tree can singly make a forest. Therefore the belief that every individual has a friend or more friends so, it is the duty of these friends to be a watchman and a keeper of whom so ever commit their friendship to them.

When a person starts to nurture the idea of suicide in him or her, it shows all over him, moreso, from his activities and interactions daily, another person can suspect such notion in that person that i intending to commit suicide. This is where that friend needs to step in and try to find out the problem and calm the tension around the suspect. Parents on the other hand,should look into the lives of their children and wards to make sure they provide all their child or children need at every point of their life. These needs is not restricted to material well being alone but intrinsically, emotional well being. As earlier stated, suicide is an emotional affair and a child that is going through emotional trauma and has no one to talk to especially from his family, is prone to finding comfort or solace in the wrong thing like suicide.

At every point in time,parents are expecting to ,relatives are expected to,the family is expected to be close to their children,to be able to make themselves communicable to these wards and children. Now I ask a question, why would a parent who knows that nothing is constant in life and that life is full of ups and downs,disappointments and appointments scold to the point of disowning their child because of a thing as common as failing a course in the university or a subject in secondary class?.

What do they expect the child to do if they cannot relate with the ordeal. And pain the child is going through also himself or herself.Parents are supposed to be backbones, life guards, and support for their children, and not the other way round and not a reason for a vibrant youth with promising future to think of leaving the world by commiting suicide. Suicide is its level of prevalence among youths

Most cases of suicide in Nigeria are:

  • Temitope Saka, a 17-year-old girl, died after drinking insecticide, Sniper, in the Igando area of Lagos State. It was reported that when Saka became pregnant, her grandma insisted she packed out of the house. A national daily reported that the victim drank the poison and began foaming in the mouth at her boyfriend’s house. She was rushed to the Igando General Hospital where she died.
  • Earlier, a 19-year-old girl, Uche Obiora, allegedly took Sniper at her boyfriend’s house, which is a street away from Saka’s grandmother’s house.
  • Also, Chukwuemeka Akachi, a 400-level student of the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN). It was gathered that the deceased carried out the suicide in the solitude of an uncompleted building located at Sullivan Road, Nsukka where he allegedly slipped into coma after taking two bottles of an insecticide, Sniper. His unconscious body was however discovered by passersby. He was declared dead at UNN Federal Medical Centre. A close friend of Akachi who preferred anonymity said Akachi posted a suicide note on his Facebook wall shortly before he committed suicide.

The Nigerian government has placed a ban on the manufacturing of small bottles of ‘Sniper’, an agro-chemical that has increasingly become a choice killer for persons contemplating suicide. The Punch Newspaper reported that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control said the ban became necessary because of the recent wave of suicide cases across the country has been linked to the intake of Sniper. This is coming days after the agency said it may direct a change in the packaging of sniper as part of plans to discourage the use of agro-chemical as a tool for suicide.

Many Nigerians have been calling on the government to check the proliferation of, and ease to access to, sniper because of its wrong use.Sniper can be picked up easily on the streets as they are sold openly in the market. “We have also placed a ban on the manufacture of smaller packs of Sniper which are easily purchased for household use,” Husman Bukar, the Director, Veterinary Medicine and Allied Products Directorate, NAFDAC was quoted as saying in the report.

Recently, some suicide cases have been associated with people drinking Sniper. Henceforth, we call on the agro-chemical industry to enhance their distribution channels so that this product (Sniper) gets to only accredited distributors and marketers.” Sniper is a DDVP, 2,2-Dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate compound, marketed in Nigeria by Swiss-Nigerian Chemical Company, as a synthetic organophosphorus. Many Nigerians have, however, converted it to an indoor insecticide.

Sniper is predominantly used as an insecticide because of its effectiveness in killing insects better than well-established brands.The demand is also fuelled by its affordability. A 100ml of sniper goes for between N200 and N300 while its competitors cost as much as N750 for 100ml. Having said so far,youths are advice not to take any chemical to ease pain or pressure. Life goes on whether or not you exist, just a word of advice for youths to see themselves as important tools to nationbuilding, as a vessel of honour in their homes and a peculiar people in God's hand.