‘Nigerians should expect rising suicide’

Against the increasing rate of suicide and suicide attempts being recorded in Nigeria, a Professor of Sociology at the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Wahab Elias, has said except urgent intervention is made by the government to mitigate the biting impacts of the socio-economic crisis on the people, more Nigerians will choose the suicide option. Elias, who described the development as a form of protest killing, said historically, suicide becomes common when society is building towards revolution.

The sociologist, who explained this while delivering the university’s 60th inaugural lecture, said across ages, government must provide the people’s needs, adding that the Nigerian society has failed its people. According to Elias, whose lecture was entitled; “Of Growing Old and Dying Well: A Gerontologist at Work,” said anxiety, depression and frustration are symptoms of a society tilting towards revolution over socio-economic crisis.

He said; “People react to frustration in different ways. Others can react by approaching their pastors or Imams, seeking prayers while others may choose to fast and continue to work harder. But others may resort to violence and to them suicide is an option.

So the increase in suicide and suicide attempts is Nigerians’ reaction to what sociologists call economic depression, and such reaction is called protest killing. “Such development is part and parcel of the society but the government must work hard to curtail it by providing the needs of everyone across all ages, and not just the needs of the working population or the infants. The trend shall continue if things are not curtailed. It is a reaction to disappointment by the society.

How can a medical doctor resort to suicide simply because he suffers seizures and anemia? This is just because the society has failed him by not providing him his special needs.” The don also advised Nigerian government to take care of the elders, saying recently in the country ageing has become a curse rather than blessing.

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