Samuel Elias, a 25-year-old final year student of the department of religion and culture, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) has allegedly committed suicide by drinking sniper.
This is coming at a time when Jimmy Jatt, Nigerian disc jockey, had taken to social media to speak against suicide.
Kate Elias, the mother of the deceased and a staff of the university, told NAN that the unfortunate incident happened on June 17, around 5.30pm in her house at Justina Eze street Nsukka.
“I came back from work on that fateful day and discovered that the mood of my first child was bad and he was staggering when he came to collect a bottle of coke from the fridge,” she said.
“I followed him immediately to his room and started talking to him but he could not respond and when I looked closely, I discovered that his teeth had tightened up.
“As I looked around, I saw an empty sniper bottle; at this point I raised alarm and my other children rushed to the room and we tried to give him red oil but his tightened teeth did not allow the oil to enter his mouth.”
According to her, “we immediately rushed him to Faith Foundation Hospital, Nsukka and were later referred to Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka, where he eventually died.”
The mother of seven said her son could have died of depression, noting that he had been lamenting over his inability to graduate from UNN because of his final year project which had been holding him.
She also said her son had not been happy how his late father’s family had abandoned them since he died.
“I know two things he usually complained, his inability to graduate from UNN since 2016 because of the project that he has not finished as his classmates have all gone for their National Youth Service Corps (NYSC),” she said.
“Also, how his father’s family in Ihechiowa in Arochukwu Local Government of Abia State abandoned them and their mother since their father died.
“Whenever he complained of these things, I usually advised him to trust God who is capable of solving every problem.
“I do not know why he will go to this extent of committing suicide, I have seven children and he was my first child.
“It is still like a dream to me that my first son and first child has died.”
In his reaction to the incident, Tagbo Ugwu, a professor and the head of department of religion and culture in UNN, said somebody called him and told him about the unfortunate incident.
“I received the news with shock and surprise,” he said.
“I will find out from his supervisor what is wrong from the project that has stopped him from graduating.”
Ebere Amaraizu, the police public relations office (PPRO), in Enugu, confirmed the incident and said police would investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.
“The police is aware of Samuel Elias death, a final year student of the department of Religion and Culture in UNN who committed suicide on Monday by drinking sniper,” he said.
“Police will investigate circumstances surrounding the death.”
The rate at which Nigerians have been taking their own lives has reached a high-water mark in 2019. The use of sniper as a tool for suicide is also an issue of concern.
In May, Chukwuemeka Akachi, a young poet and an alumnus of the UNN, had taken his own life after reportedly consuming two bottles of the poisonous substance.
Segun, a 22-year-old candidate of the 2019 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), had attempted suicide using the insecticide via a live stream on social media, over his low scores in the April exam.
Chinedu Iromuanya, a national diploma student of Nasarawa state polytechnic, had attempted committing suicide by drinking ‘sniper’.
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