By Emmanuel Addeh
The increasing rate of suicide among young people, general inequality in the country and the plight of the physically challenged, yesterday came under the spotlight at the Africa Union Development Agency/New Partnership for Africa’s Development summit in Abuja.
Speaking during the second ‘Consultative Forum on Sharing Experiences for the Conduct of 2nd Peer Review of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’, President, Medical Women International Association (MWIA), Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi, described the situation as worrying and urged stakeholders to be more supportive of people with mental health issues like depression.
She noted that apart from the role of government, individuals and families must take the growing menace of suicide seriously by encouraging closer family ties.
“ Your voices must be heard. Women can’t be silent when all over the world there’s crisis. We have to completely get rid of guns and ammunition. We want our own home-grown solutions. Women shouldn’t be given fish or taught to dish. They can own the lake.
“But there’s also something that is happening in our country that is very strange. It is the increasing level of suicide in the country. Today there are thousands of people all over the country dealing with mental illnesses. We need to stop trivialising the situation” she noted.
Nwadinobi said that one way of reducing the suicide rate was by mentoring and value reorientation at the family level.
In her remarks, Gloria Akobundu, the National Coordinator/ Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD, said the meeting, otherwise called ‘The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)’ was set up to brainstorm on some challenges like mental illness, gender inequality and bad governance plaguing the country.
She said: “This is a consultative meeting and interaction with citizens of Nigeria. It is to gather an assessment report of where we were, where we are and where we want to be.
“It is a welcome development where citizens will come up with their opinion and knowledge to add value to the country. It is inclusive governance which is the vision of the present administration. Every citizen is very important and every opinion counts”
She added: “So, the whole thing is about getting it right from the outset, especially from the home front. We must look at what we can do to address the inequalities, how to bridge the gap . That is the vision of the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
“We must look at what we need to do because this is the nucleus of national planning, the kind of citizens we need to have. So, this will form our position on what should be incorporated into the document”