Suicide in Nigeria; Meaning, Notable Cases, Causes, Effects, Solutions

The rising incidence of suicide in Nigeria is alarming. In this post, we take a look at suicide in Nigeria. Here we will discuss the notable causes, effects and possible solutions to this menace.

Presently the deplorable state of Nigeria’s economy has become so alarming that the hard times as led people into taking drastic actions and one growing trend that seems to be making the headlines is the issue of suicide.

The menace of suicide in Nigeria has reached a frightening proportion and it has pervaded every sector of society.

There is nothing more saddening than a broken mind, a mind refusing to rise, a mind hung up on the pessimism of life and not feeling any positive vibe, a mind engulfed in darkness and not daring to see the light, a mind that has succumbed to defeat without the zeal to fight and most of all a mind that has no hope to heal. And this is where depression and eventually suicide comes to play, the main acts in this sad tale.

What is Suicide?

Suicide is the deliberate action taken to terminate one’s life. It is a serious cause for worry as life no longer holds much value to people who seem to be going through a difficult time or who are in the state of depression.

Suicide is a world problem and has since gain prominence over the years. There is no longer that notion that everyone is afraid to die because now people commit suicide like it is a natural thing to do.

Recently, suicide has become the leading cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 29. Young people are more vulnerable when it comes to the suicidal issue because they are at a point where they think the only solution out of a problem is to take their lives.

Depression which is a major cause for suicide is not an issue to be swept under the carpet. It is very important that people who suffer from depression should be cared for and loved and should also be around people at all time.

Read Also: How to tackle fear, depression, and low self-esteem as an unemployed graduate

The factors responsible for suicide in Nigeria can be traced to economic hardship, drug addiction, failure, broken relationships, societal discrimination, family pressure, rape, extreme poverty, etc. There are many people who are not capable of withstanding life’s difficulties and the best way they think can take them out of it is to end their lives.

Social Media has also pushed the popularity of suicide as people now make life video footage of themselves committing the act. Some people even leave suicide note on their social media account before they end their lives. The question on everyone’s mind is how this devastating issue can be solved.

The common suicide victims are school students, bullying has led to cases of suicide and this is not only restricted to schools but even on social media, there is also the issue of cyber bullying that has also influenced the act from young users.

Read Also: Tips For Dealing With Depression

Notable Cases of Suicide in Nigeria

The prevalence of suicidal ideation in Nigeria is on the rise. Accordingly, to the World Health Organization suicide data, reported by Vanguard Nigeria, 800,000 people die by suicide annually and Nigeria. This statistics rates Nigeria is among the top suicide-prone countries in Africa.

1. On the 6th of April, 2019, a suicide case was reported of a lecturer at the Department of Mathematics in the University of Ibadan who committed suicide because of his unfulfilled dreams of completing his PhD programme.

2. 19th of April, another suicide case was reported of a 100 level student of Kogi State University named Ayinba who died by suicide after she was reportedly jilted by her boyfriend. She was said to have taken sniper, a pesticide.

3. 29th of April, there was another suicide report of another 100 level student of chemical engineering at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State who ended his life after drinking two bottles of a sniper.

4. 4th of May, a 26 years old hairdresser in Lagos was reported to have end her life after her boyfriend of two years ditched her.

5. May 14th 2019, it was reported that a member of a Pentecostal church in Lagos committed suicide after suffering depression from his accommodation problems.

6. 15th of May, a 17-year-old in Jos was reported to have drunk sniper after he learned that he failed the 2019 Jamb exam.

7. 21st of May, Uzakah Timi Ebiweni, a 300 level medical student at Niger Delta University was reported to have drowned himself in the river after being advised to withdraw from medical school.

8. Another suicide case of a student of the Department of Hospital Management at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu was reported to have committed suicide because of his girlfriend decision to jilt him.

9. A 22 year old petty trader was reported to have committed suicide after losing #7000 she realized from her trade. She was said to have drunk sniper.

From the cases, you can see that student suicides in Nigeria are the commonest. There are numerous cases of suicide that happened this year and it is just six months into the year yet this ugly trend seems to be happening at close interval with almost the same cause for the action.

Immediate action need to be taken by the government to prevent this menace as people that need to contribute to the development of the country are ending up six feet deep because of suicide.

Read Also: Domestic Violence in Nigeria – Causes, Effects, and Solutions

Causes of Suicide in Nigeria

The following are the causes of suicide in Nigeria:

1. Deplorable Economic Situation

Nigerians are facing really hard times because of the poor economic situation and this has resulted in a loss of jobs, poverty, low standard of living, etc.

People find it really difficult to feed themselves and their families and people in these circumstances see not much hope in living such difficult lives and end up committing suicide.

2. Depression

Depression rate in Nigeria is high due to various personal and societal problems. There are many reasons why people fall into depression. The state when one completely lose interest in anything in life as there is no hope to go on living.

Heartbreak, rape, drug addiction, unfulfilled dream, loss of a job, failure. All these results to depression and as such also leads to suicide.

3. Drug Addiction

People that are addicted to drugs are often victims of suicide.

4. Rape

Rape victims also are prone to suicide as they can’t cope with the traumatic experience.

5. Failure

Another cause of suicide is a failure. People that keep failing at what they do don’t see themselves good in anything and their insecurities get the better part of them which results to depression and eventually suicide.

6. Broken Relationships

Jilted lovers can’t stand heartbreak and end up committing suicide.

Effects of Suicide in Nigeria

1. Depletion in the workforce as individuals capable of contributing to the economic development of the country keep on committing suicide.

2. Bringing immense sorrow to the families of suicide victims.

Read Also: Drug Abuse in Nigeria – Causes, Effects, and Possible Solutions

Possible Solutions to Suicide in Nigeria

1. Government should provide for the masses and this can reduce the burden of economic hardship.

2. Institutions should be established to carter for depressed victims

3. Job creation would also reduce the cases of suicide as individuals who are productively engaged will not harbor such thoughts of ending his/her life and suicide would be reduced.


Suicide is a serious issue and if measures are not taken to curb the menace, then it would be something that cannot be managed in the long run.


1. The Addressing rising cases of suicide among teenagers in Nigeria

2. How to Get Rid of Suicidal Thoughts: Suicide Signs & Prevention

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