There is a frightening development in Rivers State as there is a rise in suicide related deaths, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Rivers State tops the chart for the number of suicide deaths in
Nigeria, based on latest figures for 2017.
The total number of suicide cases recorded in Nigeria in 2017 was 332 with Rivers State alone recording 106 suicide cases. This massive number accounts for over 31 percent of the nation's total recorded suicide rate.
For attempted suicide, TNN findings revealed that a total of 196 cases were reported nationwide, and Rivers State has the highest, with 112 cases.
In the last few months alone, according to a competent police source in Port Harcourt, there have been 16 reported cases of residents of Rivers State committing suicide, and six attempts.
This arithmetically means that one in every three suicide cases happened in the oil-rich State.
According to Eme Garrick Otuo, a Port Harcourt-based businessman, the increasing number of suicide deaths in Rivers State was due to excruciating economic hardship.
"The current economic crisis in Nigeria now leads to anxiety, depression, frustration and rise in suicide rates", he said.
Maru Godwin Wotlu, an economist and lecturer at the Port Harcourt Polytechnic in Rivers State, said the difficulties were being felt in every corner of the country.
He recounted the story of a woman with three children who was forced to beg for money to feed them. One day she had had enough and went and bought sleeping pills and gave them to the children.
“All the three children died in their sleep. They just died.” he said.