Final-year UNN Nigerian student dies by suicide
Last week, social media was awash with the news that yet another young Nigerian had died by suicide. This time it was Chukwuemeka Akachi. The deceased was a 400-level student of the Department of English and Literary Studies. He was a budding poet and a high-flying student. He died on campus at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
Akachi dropped a suicide note on Facebook before he went to an abandoned building in an obscure part of the school to take his life.
In the suicide note, Akachi expressed his long-term struggle with depression and thanked the people who had helped him stay alive for so long. In the note, which has since received thousands of comments on Facebook, Akachi wrote thus:
“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.”
Friends of the deceased have come out to say that they tried to stop him after the message was posted on Facebook, but their calls went unanswered. Akachi wasn’t in his hostel when people rushed down to stop him, and his friends had to search for a while before they traced him to the abandoned building on the other side of campus. It was too late. The deceased had already consumed two bottles of the pesticide Sniper.
He was taken to the UNNknl Medical Centre and was promptly treated for ingesting a poisonous substance. Unfortunately, Chukwuemeka Akachi didn’t make it. He died surrounded by family and friends.
Six Nigerians reportedly attempted or died by suicide in the same week as Akachi’s death. All these suicides have one thing in common: the victims ingested Sniper.
Sniper is a pesticide for industrial use, but Nigerians are using it to kill mosquitoes and cockroaches in their homes. Sniper is a DDVP, 2,2-Dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate compound not suitable for domestic use, but many people have flouted the warning of the pesticide’s manufacturers because it kills household insects faster.
Lately, Sniper has made the news for being the go-to poison for suicide. While many people have called for a ban on Sniper, others are advocating that the government should start treating mental health issues with seriousness. Those against the ban on Sniper are of the opinion that mentally ill people will always find another way.