There have been so many incidents and accounts of suicides in the higher institutions in Nigeria in recent times, especially those owned and operated by governments at state and federal levels. There are more than four accounted suicides just in the University of Benin in the last 3 months.
The university should be an institution of learning where people are molded in learning and in character, and should not be where life is marred. It should be a place where life is given and should not be a place where life is taken. It should be a melding ground and should not be a burial ground. It should be a place where life is given a meaning and not where life is frustrated. When the reverse becomes the case, and the university becomes a burial ground for promising young lives, then this should be a great cause of worry.
On 14th of May, 2019, it was reported that one Mr. Chukwuemeka Akachi, a 400 level student of the department of English and Literary Studies in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) committed suicide. Also, the media reported that a 100 level student of Kogi State University took her life; same story for another student of University of Port Harcourt who was said to have taken sniper and died.
It was reported by the media in the month of June that a 300 level student of the department of Medical Laboratory Science of University of Benin committed suicide; three weeks later, it was also reported that a student of that same University of Benin committed suicide by jumping off one of the high buildings in the school, smashing his head against the ground.
All these examples are not made to disrespect the dead or to pinch the family and friends of the deceased, but to support this narrative with cases, and so it won’t just seem like a mere blab.
Just this year, more than thirty suicide cases have been reported by the media to have taken place in the universities and other higher Institutions in Nigeria. Possibly, there are unreported cases not covered by the media.
Let it be said that death could happen anywhere and anytime, but the institution of learning is where lives are made; hence recent regular occurrences of suicide should be a national issue, and not swept under the carpet.
For two students to have died through suicide within a month in the same university should be a great cause of worry, and alarm should be raised to look into the reasons behind these recents ugly incidents.
Since it’s suicide, and the individuals are acclaimed to have taken their lives by themselves, hence are no longer alive to narrate their stories of why they resort to suicides, and the reason they feel their lives don’t worth living again, the findings may be hard. But commonsensically, the reasons that could push an individual to think of suicide and executing the thought could be emotional, psychological or mental. The major reasons why people resort to taking their lives is when they feel they don’t deserve to live again, their lives have no meaning and they feel it is worthless living the lives.
Quick research and questionnaire carried out in the campuses of the higher institutions in Nigeria point fingers towards one direction – the Nigerian higher Institutions, especially the public ones, are associated with stress,
The psychological, emotional, mental and physical stress that students of higher Institutions in Nigeria go through on a daily basis in pursuit of their education is a threat to life. This points pokes a hand to the federal government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Education to review and revise the programs of higher Institutions as this is long overdue.
Moreover, most higher Institutions In Nigeria, especially public ones have no facilities that could take care of emotionally, mental and psychological well being of a student since all they care for is the educational well being of a student and nothing else matters. Schools should know that a student needs to be in a good state of mind to study, go to classes, and write examinations/tests.
A lecturer of a student is said to stand in loco parentis for the student, hence the lecturer doesn’t have only the duty to come into the classroom and teach, but have a duty to check on the well being of the students. This cannot be said of the Nigerian University lecturers as most of them are sexual perverts, extortionists and sadists, always looking for students to prey on, and these actions and inactions of universities lecturers have pushed a lot of students to resorting to suicide.
Most importantly, parents and guardians should always check out on their wards, if your ward cannot open up to you no matter what, then you have failed as a parent. No matter how big or matured a university student may seem, the individual still need love, care and attention from their loved ones and lack of it could push a student into ending his or her life.
Whilst some commit suicide due to emotional, psychological and mental trauma, others commit out of financial instability and insecurity; all this points out to the fact that a University student needs care and attention. Most times, speaking up ends up compounding the issues because of speaking up to the wrong persons. Hence, even those that work in the universities guidance and counseling centres haven’t made so much impact because if they are working, the rate of suicide in the universities wouldn’t be on rise as it is in recent times.
Suicide is not an option; whatever it is, you can overcome it.