The Innocent Sniper
The spate of suicide in Nigeria has been on the increase in recent times. Though the number of those that have died by suicide annually is still a far cry from those that die daily in road accidents across the country, and it is also not comparable to the one hundredth of those killed by malaria monthly, the attention of the government has, however, been drawn to the role of ‘Sniper’ in these deaths.
My Edo people used to say, “Nagbọn riẹn riẹn ẹghi zẹ iro dan”, which by English interpretation means, “Someone enjoying a good life does not nurse evil thoughts”.
I was not surprised by the actions of the Nigerian government to punish Sniper for the shortcomings of the government. History has shown that knee jerk reaction is a common trait of Nigerian leaders, as they are known for treating the leaves of an ailing plant without checking the roots.
The reports of all those that have committed suicide available to the public, does not show that any of them was a public office holder. No politician on the list, not even a local government appointee! That again brings to mind the wise saying of the Edo people, that no one enjoying life thinks of death!
The Nigerian government is not only insincere in their attempt to curb the spate of suicide, but they are also making a mockery of the leadership of this country! They have failed to look into the major causes of suicide in the country. The ban on Sniper is not only a lame attempt, but it is also a reflection of their ineptness and a lack of understanding of the problems bedevilling the people.
For example, the boy that took his life after failing his medical exams was it Sniper that was responsible?
The one took his life after he was jilted by his girlfriend, was it Sniper that was responsible?
Before Sniper came on board, people have been committing suicide by hanging themselves with ropes on trees and ceiling fans, why have they not ban the sales of ropes and ceiling fans?
Those that have jumped into the Lagoon to take their lives, have the lagoon being emptied because of the rate at which it is being used to commit suicide?
The government should look at the main issues.
The value of human life needs to be improved in this country.
Our academic institution needs to build men and women that would major on their natural talents, and not forcing every animal to be rated at how they can swim.
This would end up making a monkey commit suicide, as it can never succeed, nor can it ever be the best if the rating is via a swimming contest.
Unfortunately, that’s how our educational system has been designed.
The government must show that the lives of her citizens matter by putting the right infrastructure in place.
A child whose parents have made him believe he is useless and has no value to himself, nor to humanity, would not hesitate to take his life when the chips are down.
The rate at which the government turns a blind eye to the ill-treatment of her citizens within and outside the country is more than enough to make the citizens lose value for their own life.
The hunger, restiveness, political unrest, and insecurity is enough to make the people feel hopeless. And anyone in a hopeless situation would contemplate taking its life.
The Nigerian government at all levels, should address the root causes and leave Sniper alone! It is innocent!
Enough of chasing shadows let’s face the weightier matters!