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Outrage in Senate over rising suicide, poverty



Ahmad Lawan

Rising incidence of suicides among Nigerians has caused anger among the ranks of Senators on the floor of the upper legislative chamber of National Assembly, who expressed concerns over the lack of political will to protect the lives and property of Nigerians by the leaders as contains in the Constitution.

Lamentations of the lawmakers followed a motion to that effect by Senator Theodore Ori, PDP Abia Central and 15 other lawmakers.
Accordingly, the Senate urged the federal government to urgently create awareness on how to control stress and depression and also establish trauma centres across the country.
It also advised the government to ban the production, importation or circulation of snipers insecticide, a product currently used to commit suicide.
Similarly, the Senate urged the National Universities Commission, NUC to review the school curriculum and come up with compulsory courses that will enable student place value on their lives and detest suicide.
The upper legislative chamber further charged religious bodies across the country to always preach love, peace and how to relieve stress and depression amongst members.
It equally stressed the need for government to expand the scope and content of the Special Intervention Programme, SIP and to leverage on extant schemes like the N-Power in creating economic opportunities for the vulnerable sections of the population.
Presenting the motion, Orji noted that “suicidal idea can occur when someone feels depressed or stressed without assistance or advise from close friends, religious institutions, the government or any relevant institution thereby giving them room to feel that they are no longer important in the society”.
He added that “when they are not able to cape with the overwhelming situation of life which could be financial problems, death of loved ones, broken relationship which is very popular amongst the youths in Nigeria or serious illness; they choose suicide as an option”.
The lawmaker, however, said that “suicide could be prevented particularly when family, friends and close relatives of the person contemplating suicide provide support, either by way of encouragement, listening to them and keeping them safe by staying around them, removing means of committing suicide such as knives, ropes, dangerous drugs and chemicals especially sniper”.
Contributing, Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central), Ajayi Borofice (APC Ondo North), Francis Fadahunsi (PDP Osun East), Albert Akpan (PDP Akwa Ibom East) and others linked the rising cases of suicide to poverty and stressed the need to create massive job opportunities for the populace.
In his own, Senator Rochas Okorocha (APC Imo West) called for creation of department of happiness by the government, noting that “many Nigerians are not happy and the government, especially the National Assembly should contribute to the people’s happiness”.

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