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When You’re Pushed To The Edge



In the past months, disturbing news of Nigerians committing suicide have filled the news raising up debates among several circles as to what pushes people to the act. From teenagers to the elderly, educated and non-educated, Christians to Muslims, north to south, people have ended their lives for several reasons and the situation is getting quite alarming.

Through several means – the most common being death by hanging, people have ended their lives leaving their relatives and friends stunned, sad and at a loss.

Only yesterday, in Awka, Anambra state, a 20 year-old commercial motorcycle rider ended his life after losing his motorcycle to armed robbers.

Onuigbo Nwode, a commercial motorcycle rider, hung himself in the early hours of Sunday after losing his motorcycle to armed robbers in Awka, Anambra State.

The 20-year-old indigene of Ebonyi State moved to Awka three years ago and had been taking care of his family at home with the proceeds from bike riding.

According to a report, the motorcycle was snatched at gunpoint around 1:00a.m. along Zik Avenue and hours later, Nwode committed suicide at his residence in Ichida Road, Umudioka, Awka.

His corpse was removed by the police and deposited in a mortuary.

A relation to the deceased, who is also a bike rider, said that after the robbery the deceased came home feeling depressed but they never suspected he was contemplating suicide.

“There were three of us from Ebonyi living in that room and when we saw how he was feeling, we started consoling him and at a time, all of us fell asleep. We never knew he planned to hang himself,” he said.

“When I eventually woke up to go and ease myself, I discovered that Nwode was no longer in the room. It was later that I saw something dangling and when I called the attention of our other brother, we flashed a torchlight on the object and discovered that it was the body of Nwode. We then raised an alarm and neighbours started trooping into our house.”

The state police spokesperson, Emeka Chukwuemeka, confirmed the incident and said investigation was ongoing.

It is no news that a large population of Nigerians grapple with extreme levels of poverty daily. Evidently, the motorcycle was the only source of livelihood for him and his family and he might have felt so bad after losing it and thought it was better to die than…..

But I might be wrong. On the other hand, people commit suicide for several reasons that might seem quite unrelated and ‘unworthy’ of the act.

Many would also link suicide to spiritual influences: ‘A voice in the head’, ‘Evil forces’, ‘Witchcraft’ and so on.

Some would say people commit suicide when they are faced with depression, shame, guilt, extreme suffering or poverty, repeated failure, peer pressure, death of a loved one, loss of money or bankruptcy, loss of an important position etc.

While sometimes, people who seem happy and at peace with the world just end it – and many would say ‘just like that!’

But does it ever happen ‘just like that’? Aren’t the signs usually there: depression, thinking, ill-health, mental depression and more.

May the soul of this young man Rest In Peace.

So, in your own view, what causes people to commit suicide? What would make one take his own life? Are there any signs that lead to such actions? How can people be counseled and helped through difficult times in order to prevent such acts?

On the other hand, have you ever contemplated suicide or do you know anyone who has? What were the reasons for this?

Please share your thoughts.

News Source: Daily Times

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Say

    April 23, 2012 at 8:28 am

    There are various causes. I mean, we are looking at depression, guilt, emotional torment like heart break, physical and emotion abuse, rape, sexual orientation, and so on. But mostly depression. It is not always easy to spot someone suffering from this because they do hide it very well.

    You wrote ‘While sometimes, people who seem happy and at peace with the world just end it – and many would say ‘just like that!’ ‘

    But that’s the thing though. It’s never ‘just like that’ because perhaps the person was so good at hiding what they were going through. With the level of poverty, the extremities of the hustle that people go through in a country like Nigeria, depression is indeed a common factor. There has been researches that state Nigerians as the most ‘Optimistic People’ in the world. Quite true if you think how a person can hustle day in day out and still manage to smile. But we are still human; we are most definitely prone to mental break downs.

    Its times like these that I encourage people to talk to someone when they feel like they can’t take it any more; to relieve themselves of the burden. We should encourage Psychiatrists to create Anonymous groups for whatever problems an individual might be going through, for example, Alcoholism, Abuse, Addictions, Rape, Grief/Lose, Poverty, Homosexuality and so on. I have learned that these groups do help in some way. It helps the individual realise he/she are not the only ones suffering.

    Bella Naija it was a brilliant Idea to write on this issue. We really don’t have to wait for the government to pick up on this, because it won’t.

  2. Olayinka

    April 23, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I think the problem lies with our cultural belief and awareness of these conditions. Many people we see on our streets are suffering from one state of mental illness or the other but our gen belief is that if you have not striped yourself naked all is well unlike in adv countries when they see or notice any irrational behaviour they recommend or even in some cases the employer compels one to have a mental evaluation. Economic factors or not we need to start taking note of these.

  3. Amilly

    April 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Tnks BN for this post.‎​I really think the cause of so many depressed people taking their lives is because they are not allowed to talk about how they feel as people do not even want to listen because they are so busy with their 2007,a cousin of mine attempted suicide when her boyfriend of 10years suddenly went to the village and married another girl..According to her,no one really gave her a thought as we were all to busy insulting the guy and his family.‎​I did not know what she meant until last year when my boyfriend of 5years left me.nobody wanted me to talk about it as they felt it was all for the best if ‎​I quickly forgot about it and just moved on but all ‎​I really wanted to do was just talk and cry but since no one was listening,‎​I had to keep it all to myself until ‎​I fell into depression.waking up everyday was a herculean task.‎​I wasn’t eating,wasn’t concentrating and the funny thing was nobody noticed,not my folks or my friends.truth be told,‎​I once seriously thought about ending it all until ‎​I realised that if ‎​I did end it,‎​I’ll be dead and he would be alive so who lost?‎​I found my solace in God’s word and am just taking each day as it comes knowing that God has such wonderful plans for me that the human mind cannot even comprehend it.

    • awurama

      April 23, 2012 at 11:38 am

      i seriously think what u did was the best and it has always been the best…the truth of the matter is that, no matter how many people a re willing to listen and even talk to u it might do NO good until u find solace in the Lord…we need to make a concious effort to realise certain things and not allow the devil to feed us with evil thoughts and make us sorrowful till we end up fufilling his will(he came to steal to destroy and to kill)BUT JESUS CAME THAT WE WILL HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY..please share this info anytime u have the chance to and am sure u will help many out of their predicaments…GOD BLESS U

  4. Tersur

    April 23, 2012 at 9:15 am

    What the young man did was very bad.Why woul he jst terminate the life God put in him?Does he know what it took God to put that in him?I know it was very painful but he was very very very young to have thought that all hope was lost.

  5. LPS

    April 23, 2012 at 9:27 am

  6. Gidi

    April 23, 2012 at 9:48 am

    This is a serious issue. A few points;
    *There is a lack of professional support system available locally. Are there shrinks in this country? Why is every Pastor into prosperity preaching and casting out devils? Where are the Professional Christian Psychologists and Counsellors?
    *The orientation that Nigerians don’t do suicide is not only naive but is making depression and suicidal thoughts a shameful and secretive pattern.
    *Lack of proper empathy is a problem. A popular blogger has been crying out for help in recent weeks yet all i can see coming her way are cyber hugs and ‘It is well in Jesus name’.
    * The dumb and naive impression that only the poor get depressed and consider suicide.

  7. Gidi

    April 23, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Depression has nothing to do with poverty. No correlation whatsoever. in fact the poor suffer it less.

    • aj

      April 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      says who? you’re kidding right? shchewwww….it has to do by a wide margin!!!

    • Gidi

      April 24, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Then you obviously have no clue what depression is.

  8. Commy

    April 23, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I’m currently in tis kinda situation,everytin I hoped & prayed 4 didnt work out & I’m so depressed,d thot comes 2 mind somtyms bt I try 2 overcome it by his lost weight seriously,only my family members understands,everyother pers think I’m just tryna b trending.

  9. Baby Oku

    April 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

    The most common cause is depression. The symptoms re always glaring but nobody cares. I’ve been down this lane so many times i’ve lost count but only faith in God will keep a victim alive. Besides,there’s also this voice that tells u to end it all and rest. It’s not demonic,not witchcraft just a voice.

  10. Gidi

    April 23, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Depression is not a feeling or an emotion. It is a full scale illness that deserves treatment and management.

  11. Toriola

    April 23, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Thank you for the write up. I have considered suicide so many times not necessarily due to poverty or reasons anyone can easily think of. For me, my reason is as a result of my upbringing and neglect to some degree but due to my christian fate, i always have a rethink anytime the thought comes up. My wish is that Psychological balance of individuals should be put into serious consideration and i believe we need more psychologists that can create awareness and the need to treat depression ’cause a lot of people like myself suffer from swings of severe depression but im lucky to have a few people i discuss with and even express my thoughts of suicide to them…

    • aj

      April 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      I myself am a person that is neglected and not treated as being significant or important. If if its your parents try typing toxic mother or parents, narcissistic mother or parents. sociopaths and you might diagnose the problem well and solutions to it. I pray also but I look up these things to have some idea what is happening.

  12. Creamboi

    April 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Its only properly understood wen experienced.. One of d major cause hapns wen we idolize or put gigantic trust people n tins too much n dey eventualy fail us ,they kud b friends,parents ,finances ,machine n lots more ,even ourselve.. D only remedy is tu fully n completly trust Almighty God jst like a helpless child, trust me no mata hw bad he has a way of makin tinz work me ive been der. I love u all

  13. Chikaka

    April 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I don’t think the symptoms are always glaring. People like Alexander McQueen and Gary Speed seemed to have it all, yet they committed suicide. Being in a machismo world of Sports and Fashion helps to mask depression because there’s this warped notion of “you aren’t meant to show your feelings.” I watched Frank Bruno last week on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories and he asked him if he ever thought of committing suicide. He said he wasn’t brave enough. It hit a spot & it does takes braveness to take one’s life. For anyone who feels depressed and suicidal, sometimes it’s even better to talk to a “stranger” and not family. This is where psychologists come in. There’s also the argument about this voice people say they hear. The religious folk will say God will not tell you to take your life so if it’s not God, whose voice is it? The opposite of God?

  14. ij

    April 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    No one is continually happy , we all have moments when we display signs of psychological imbalance , unfortunately some more prolonged than others.
    Truth is , LIFE SUCKS, some can deal with its ups and downs and some people cant.
    Depression is not only a common cause of suicides , it is very common especially in Nigeria where we are all expected to man up at all times.
    We are so vulnerable as humans and it’s a very human behavior to want to get out of a situation that we feel is unfavorable to us , how we do that becomes the issue Sometimes talking about our issues helps, other times straight up medical attention is needed or else suicide becomes a way of getting out of that unfavorable condition unfortunately some people choose suicide , perhaps because living does not appeal to them , nothing makes sense anymore , they have exhausted everything in them and just can’t go on anymore.
    We need an outlet to express how we really feel ,which is where the family comes in as a support network, close friends who can see sadness through your fake smiles.
    For more serious cases , a good health care system in Nigeria wont hurt , to deal with issues that can lead to or result in real psychological issues, in the UK, employers in the public sectors have a duty to provide an avenue for supporting staff deal with non-work related issues , it wont be bad to have that in Nigeria because some work conditions in Nigeria can send one into a state of depression that only God can deliver one from.
    Places of worship have a duty of care to its followers, forums , classes, phone lines , visits, anything really that can show people that they are not alone, that there is a way and that someone cares.
    Who knows the theft of Mr Onuigbo Nwode’s bike, was the last straw for him . SAD

  15. nich

    April 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    the word depression can be used……..but the truth is that in nigeria’s own case….poverty and spiritual forces are the main reasons…………

  16. cynthia

    April 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    there a lot to live for. like they say where there is life there is hope

  17. Uj

    May 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I’m currently in this situation,but it gets better everyday. Some months ago it was just by Gods’ grace that i didnt do it. I used to think then that my life was hopeless,I didnt have a bright future and that no-one will miss me if i die. Then i always prayed that i didnt wake up when i slept at night. I didn’t have anyone to talk to,no boyfriend,no good friend around me and also i dont have understanding parents. All they do is shout at you and compare you to everyone else.. But i got really close to God and i started going online reading stories about people who almost committed suicide.. It was then i realized that my problem was not the worst and also that i wasn’t the first person to go through that same problem. When you get close to God you find out that only HE holds your future and your tommorow,no human being can determine that no matter who he is.. You dont know if that problem your goin through will be your source of mracle.. Whenever you are in a difficult situation tell God that no matter what happens let everything work for your good because truly every dissapointment is a blessing.. That young man might not have realized that God probably wanted to give him a car so He had to take away the motorcycle by force.. I pray that none of us should ever give up when we are already on our edge of glory.. For those of you who are in the habit of criticizing and insulting people that committed suicide, God Almighty is watching u,bcos it is bcos of people like u dat they committed suicide. One kind word of hope could have saved a soul from committing suicide.. Most of the time,the difference between a person that commits suicide and a person that doesn’t commit suicide even though the two are goin thru the same problems is the level of support and encouragement they get. Pls let us all try and avoid criticizing people anyhow. Learn to encourage people that are down. Also learn to forgive, bcos if you do all these you might not know who you would have saved from suicide. Also to all of you who are always the first to call some1 who committed suicide a ‘coward’, God forbid i pray you don’t go through what that person went through.. It is not easy to take your own life,so i wont even call such people cowards,bcos it takes some1 who has real guts to do such a thing. I hope you have learnt a thing or two from here. May God Almighty bless you all.

    • Gidi

      May 14, 2012 at 10:02 am

      God’s grace and strength to you.

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