A good governance, human rights and social justice advocacy group, Youth Advocates for Peace, Justice and Empowerment Network (YAPJEN) on Monday carried out a walk against suicide in Anambra State, Nigeria.
The sensitization walk, which has as its theme #inspirehope #stopsuicide, began from Nnamdi Azikiwe University School gate Ifite through to Arroma Junction and Government House Awka in the state capital. Members of the advocacy group who all came out en masse to raise the awareness for the sudden increase in the rate of suicide among the Nigerian Youths, sensitized and educated the citizens against giving in to depression and to aspire for greatness.
Briefing newsmen at the event, Amb Timothy Nwachukwu, the Executive Director of YAPJEN, told the youths not to give up on their dreams and condemned the act of young people taking their own lives. “Suicide is not an option, don’t allow depression to ruin your dreams, the nation needs you, your family loves you, suicide is not an option,” Nwachukwu said.
He identified depression and frustration as some of the reasons young people take their lives. He recounted that over 13 young people and 42 others had taken to suicide in the last six months in Nigeria. He further called on the Government to provide certificate backed loans to jobless undergraduates, promote sporting activities that will discourage suicidal attempts, create jobs, provide basic amenities and other essential facilities to make life meaningful for the average Nigerian.
Also speaking, Udochukwu Ofomata, the P.R.O of YAPJEN, admonished the youths not to give up on their dreams, say no to depression and live their dreams.
He noted, “Our message is very clear. The Youths should say no to depression and stand up to live their dreams.” He further called on the Government to have a dedicated phone line for the depressed and a counseling center in designated places across the country; end hunger, provide certificate backed loans, and reduce tuition fees and the cost of education for the poor. Sporting activities should also be promoted and other activities geared towards the development of the Nigerian youth.
Also, Ifesinachi Sabina Okonkwo, the Director of Finance of YAPJEN and other members of the group, well meaning Nigerians and the youths also expressed their optimism for a better tomorrow and a great future.
She recalls that the rate of suicide in the nation has become unbearable. At the least provocation and annoyance, people just resort to taking their lives in a bid to end their pains. She said the statistics of suicide has thus increased, as she called for attention and redress. Regretting the act where young people now take liquid contents (Sniper) to end their lives, she said 11 students and 31 others committed suicide in one month only.
She stated that posterity would be kind to YAPJEN for the efforts in making positive impacts among the youths and for aiding the Government in providing a sustainable environment, where everyone can make progress relatively, ensuring a peaceful coexistence among Nigerians.
Speaking to newsmen, Solomon Nwojiji the President of Rotaract Unizik and Comrade Collins the SDG Unizik Coordinator called on the relevant agencies of the state government to rise to the occasion and stem the growing rate of suicide prevalent among the youths.