By Kayode Fasua
Economic hardship and fear of failure have been identified as some of the factors responsible for prevalence of suicide in Africa.
This was disclosed at a sensitisation programme against Suicide in Africa and unveiling of the West Africa arm of the Africa Project Against Suicide, APAS, held at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, at the weekend.
The Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who was represented by Prof Adebayo Bamire-Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, described suicide as alien to Africa, even as he encouraged people to speak up when faced with challenges.
A medical doctor and an Osun State monarch, the Aragberi of Iragberi, Oba Folorunso Makanju, also pointed at drug addiction among the youths as parts of causative factors for suicide missions.
Also speaking, a clinical psychiatrist and another monarch, the Olobaale of Oba-Ile, Oba Adekunle Oyeyemi, said Nigeria lacked enough psycho-therapists who could help suicide victims in their state of depression, while he called for more sensitisation programmes against suicide in the country.
Unveiling APAS Nigeria, the International director of APAS , Pastor Honey Olawale, said the project was borne out of the need to interrogate and sensitise the people about suicide tendencies, and about the need to keep hope alive.
He maintained that the group would be moving to various schools to sensitise students against suicide.
An highlight of the event was the award presentation to four distinguished individuals and organisations for their outstanding performance in the society.
Among the awardees are: Oba Dr Folorunso Makanju, the Aragberi of Iragberi; Senator Ajayi Boroface, and Ethiopia Airlines.
Delegates from Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Ghana attended the inauguration.
Speaking at the event, APAS Eastern Africa coordinator, Mr. Daniel Madalanga, advised well-to-do Africans to develop “this continent with their wealth”, stressing that poverty could be reduced in Africa, if urgent steps were taken.