By Oji Odu
President Muhammadu Buhari is not a happy man. The frightening level of poverty in the country has become so worrisome that it is indeed robbing him of the precious sleep he needs to effectively manage the country and lead it to the “Next Level” as promised.
It has become one day one trouble as he wakes every morning to one pathetic story or challenge in his domain. If it is not the bandits attack, it is that kidnappers are having a field day, or many are taking to suicide to end their increasing sufferings. The challenges continue to mount as the government seems to be helpless in dealing with them.
Speaking at a breaking of fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he hosted the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Ministers , Service Chiefs, Security Agencies and Chief Executives of Federal Government Agencies and Institutions, the President lamented the worsening level of poverty in the country, especially when he sees the Almajiris in torn clothes.
“When I drive around the country what upset me very much is the status of our poor people in this country. You see young people, the so-called Almajiris with tore dresses, with plastic bowl. They are looking basically for what to eat. The question of education (to them) is a luxury. I think Nigerian elite we are all failing, because I think we should have a programme that will at least guarantee some basic education for our people no matter how poor they are.
“So, I welcome the Vice-President for initiating the School feeding programme. If you check in your localities the enrolment into schools improved because a lot of children can get at least one good meal a day. This is the position of this country. But, culturally some of us are quiet merciless, we don’t care about what happen to others we just keep on moving forward.
“This market money’ I warned the Vice-President I don’t like him to be mobbed, especially the way I see hefty women coming and confronting him, he should be very careful. These are very good initiatives. Initially, I was quite reluctant, but I must admit that they are very good programmes and they endear this government to a lot of poor people because of these N5,000 or N10,000 being given to them as loans.
“They are fantastic programmes and I have to admit quite honestly that the Vice-President was ahead of me by insisting on them. But he knows me if he insists I will say okay go and do what you like.’ He did it and I’m very pleased as he is being very successful,’’ he said.
Sunday Okanu, a Sociologist, in a chat with the Magazine prayed that the food programme will be sustained to keep these children in school and guide them to better living.
“ On the other hand, the fear of President Buhari that Osinbajo might not be trampled upon by hefty and hungry Nigerian women who want to benefit from the paltry N5,000 or N10,000 “Trader Moni” loan shows the sorry situation the country has degenerated into, little wonder the rising vices to the extent of increase in child suicide,” he added.
Nigerians woke up some days ago to the attempted suicide of a young man simply indentified as Segun. He wanted to end his life by taking the dreaded ‘Sniper’ insecticide following the release of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) which showed that he did not make the cut off mark. He had 167.
Giving an update on his JAMB score since 2016, Segun tweeted: “2015 -189; 2016 -202;
2017 -233. It is now when people want to send me to school that I will now score 167 in UTME? 167? LMFAO. Make I close eyes pick answers sef…Me? 167?
“Meanwhile, I will be teaching y‘ all how to make tea with sniper by 9 pm live on Twitter… Tune in.
“This thing go sweet oo. Y’all should at least make it fun for me by 9 pm pls. Tune in and wish me luck,” he tweeted.
However, Segun was later discovered to have taken the snipper as he promised, which was found out by a Tweeter user.
If Segun was gainfully employed, would he have resorted to suicide? If the Nigerian society did not make University education and certificate the criteria for success, would Segun have resorted to suicide?
Recently, Chukwuemeka Akachi, a 400-level student of the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) committed suicide.
The deceased was said to have 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 ‘Sniper’ insecticide. His unconscious body was however discovered by passersby whose efforts to revive him, and who rushed him to UNN Federal Medical Centre to revive him was futile as he was declared dead at the hospital.
A close friend of Akachi who preffered anonymity said Akachi posted a suicide note on his Facebook wall shortly before he committed suicide.
The suicide note reads: “Forgive me. In case you are the one who found the body, I am really sorry. It had to be someone you know.
“I have chosen Jo Nketaih’s poem as my suicide note: “They said you came looking for me. I don’t drown, I was the water,
“Where do atheists go when they die! Lol. Amen.”
Also, Akachi was said to have posted on his Facebook on May 12 that “My mental health has been on life support for a while now. Thanks to those who call. Text. Visit.
“Speak to me. May we always remember. May we never forget. You May have added a few hours, months or days to my time here. But you know life support is expensive right?
“Thank you for trying. Amen.”
A senior security personnel in UNN Security Department, who pleaded anonymity, also confirmed the incident, adding that the report was brought to them on Monday morning.
He said this was not the first time Akachi wanted to commit suicide, adding that on two occasions, he had drunk kerosene and petrol to kill himself, but was rescued.
“But on Monday he drank Sniper and was rushed to UNN Medical Centre first, but was later moved to UNTH Enugu, where he was confirmed dead. Akachi was said to be a budding poet,” he said.
In recent times, the country has recorded many incidents of suicide and attempted suicide. Nigerians from all cadres had been involved. While some tried to jump into the Lagos Lagoon, or actually did so, others resorted to other means, especially the drinking of the death messenger insecticide-Sniper.
Unfortunately, the trend is escalating to a frightening dimension , supported by the social media which is globally accused of not censoring some of these abnomalies. For instance, Segun, in his suicide tweet invited Nigerians to tune in and watch how to prepare tea with the deadly Sniper insecticide.
Also, Chukwuemeka Akachi who claimed to be an Atheist had written a book, “ Sixteen Notes On How To End A Life,” where he outlined way those that are fed up with life could easily and painlessly end their lives.
“ Thank God Mr. President is upset by the heightened poverty in the land. I believe that giving them food is not the solution. Rather empower Nigerians to produce food so that the poverty will drastically reduce.
“ How are we sure that the food reaches those it is meant in a country where there are unresolved allegations of cases where food meant for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are being stolen and either sold to them for some items, or sold in the open market. Let President Buhari’s concern not just end with his expression,” Dipo Bolaji, a teacher said.