The news of a 40 year old man diving into the Lagos lagoon in a suicide endeavor was very disheartening for me. I wished he was alive to tell us why he chose to die in that manner. Could this be another case of frustration and hopelessness or is it a demonic manipulation? Search me!
A similar incident was recorded few months back, on March 19th 2017, to be precise. This ugly incident happened on the Lagos third mainland bridge where a medical doctor by name, Dr. Orji dived into the lagoon on a broad day light and died in the process. This incident was said to be a result of frustrations and depression.
On Friday, 20th October, 2017, Mr, Adekunle Oluseyi John, an native of Ondo State was said to have jumped into the lagoon from the new Lekki-Ikoyi bridge, after he pulled his clothes, and left some belongings including his mobile phone and ATM card at the point where he dived into the lagoon.
No official reasons has been alluded to this unfortunate act, however, it is may not be unconnected with psychological effects, such as depression or frustrations. For Dr. Orji, a phone call from an unknown person was said to have preceded his action. He was said to have ordered his driver to stop the car, and he got down and dived into the lagoon.
Every suicide crime is usually premeditated. Dr. Orji left a note with his house address, while Mr Adekunle took some time to remove his clothes and other belongings before he jumped into the lagoon. Thus, these persons must have thought about their action, and may have concluded that the only way was to stop living.
People who’ve survived suicide attempts have reported wanting not so much to die as to stop living, a strange dichotomy but a valid one nevertheless. Some proven reasons for suicidal include the following: depression, guilt, frustrations, psychotic reasons to mention a few.
There are so many cases of suicide attempts which are not in the news. The fact remains that someone dies of suicide every day. According to the Cleen Foundation, between 1994 and 2003, about 2, 305 suicide crimes were recorded in Nigeria.
Body of Dr. Orji after suicide.
What about the Lagos lagoon makes it suitable for suicide? Is there a diabolical attraction from the lagoon for those attempting suicide? I’m still wondering. Does the victim hope to draw much attention to their death by choosing to die in the lagoon? That’s not impossible, I think. Some people who commit suicide don’t usually want to die but do want to alert those around them that something is seriously wrong.
There is no doubt that the Lagos State Government is doing much to ensure sanity in the state. However, the mobile patrol team should be more frequent on the bridges, and also put up measures to cob activities that could endanger people’s lives. Also, the Lagos State Transport Management (LASTMA) should be at alert always to ensure vehicles packed on the bridges are closely monitored and towed quickly if found faulty.
Our religious organisations should devote more time to preaching hope rather than concentrate on “making bread out of stones.” A situation when someone who has a great need is squeezed to provide money in order to solve his problems can be very devastating. It is not impossible that Mr. Adekunle John has been to a church, or even many churches, where he was told to bring some money to get his problem solved. Not enough reasons for suicide though!
Our religious organisations should provide an effective counselling program that would help those who are discouraged to find hope in the midst of the hardship in the land. Furthermore, closer attention should be paid to members of our churches and mosque in order to have a more intimate knowledge of who they are and what they do.
I’m sure the latest victim of suicide in the lagoon has a family, and friends who may have an idea of his predicament. Let us be our brothers keepers; let us watch over one another and provide support morally, emotionally, socially etc, and whenever the need arises
Besides, the fact remains that, the man who commits suicide has chosen a direct entry to hell fire. Even if he prayed for forgiveness before he committed the dastardly act, he cannot find mercy because he has chosen to devalue the precious life God gave him and cast aspersions on God’s ability to save him. It is a very unfortunate way of exiting this world.
Life is full of troubles but no one problem is peculiar to you. We all are afflicted in one way or the other. According to Osward Wilde, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” There is no amount of frustrations or hardship that is justifiable to commit suicide. Many people have been in more terrible situations and through hope, determination, courage and faith in God, they have surmounted their challenges and are today channels of blessing to their families and the world at large.
The truth is, there’s no mountain that you cannot climb; and there’s no river that cannot cross when you trust in God, and God alone. A favorite psalms reads, ” The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want…” (Psalm 23:1). The moment a man cast aspersions on the goodness of God, he is opened to attempt anything evil, even suicide. To such person, life becomes useless and winning life’s battle becomes impossible and irrelevant!
It is devilish to give up on life. It is ungodly to commit suicide! Every life is precious to God, and so He desires an intimate relationship that would help nourish and preserve our lives from the troubles of this life and from the pending calamities. The troubles of this life won’t get any better. As the earth approaches its end, the scriptures says, Men will faint from fear and anxiety over what is coming upon the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken (Luke 21:26).
Since all these things must be, what manner of man you ought to be? You must have your anchor on the unchanging God. People will disappoint you, policies and procedures will fail you. But God cannot fail you no matter what betides. Connect with God, the source of life, and you will surmount the hardship of life.
Life is good. You are winning! Yes, we are winning!