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Why more people are committing suicide in Katsina

In Dutsi town, Fatima Mamman wept profusely when she stumbled on the lifeless body of her son, Sahabi Mamman, dangling on a thick rope round…

In Dutsi town, Fatima Mamman wept profusely when she stumbled on the lifeless body of her son, Sahabi Mamman, dangling on a thick rope round his neck.
Sahabi, a 32-year-old primary school teacher, had locked himself in a room in his three- bedroom house in the town and committed suicide on Sunday, January 3.
In an emotion-laden voice, Fatima told Daily Trust that Sahabi had promised to visit her again two days to the fateful day. That wasn’t to be; little did the doting mother know that would be the last conversation she would have with her son.
“I heard his voice floating in from the front of my house. I asked that he be called and he came in. I asked how he was and he responded he was okay and would visit the next day. That tomorrow never came for Sahabi,” she wailed.
Fatima recalled that Sahabi had been showing some signs of disorder in the last couple of months. He had developed some queer traits. Sahabi had become withdrawn and would be hallucinating, telling people he would soon be seen no more. Uncomfortable with his eccentricities, she had taken him to a hospital for medical attention.
“We were about to return for a check-up when he died. Two days after he promised to come and I didn’t see him, I asked his younger sister to go to his residence and call him. When she got there, what assailed her sight was the dangling body of her brother,” the distraught mother said.
Some residents of the town believe that Sahabi’s suicide may not be unconnected with frustration arising from his wife abandoning him and getting married to another man who is presumably better off.
The deceased, a teacher, was said to have failed in meeting up with some financial aspects of his matrimonial obligations, which resulted in his wife absconding from home and eloping with another man.
No sooner had this happened when the corpse of another young man, 26-year-old Mansir Nasir, was found dangling in a shop at Yankara market on Monday, February 1.
Nasir hailed from Unguwar Mudi in Muduru town of Mani local government area of Katsina State but had moved to Faskari local government to earn a living, Daily Trust gathered.
As discussions among traders at the Yankara market went, the late Nasir was said to have suffered a business downfall after returning from Lagos where he was formerly based. Upon his return to Katsina, he moved to Yankara market to start all over again, running a ‘mai ruwa’ (water vending) business.
Two days to the unfortunate incident, Nasir, according to Malam Abdullahi, a community leader, became so sober and frustrated he secluded himself from his fellow traders. He wasn’t seen among others until the following day when some traders found his lifeless body hanging by a rope in his stall.
For Mohammed Bala, it was a sorrowful experience seeing the lifeless body of his house mate hanging by the neck in their home at Gangaren abattoir in the Rahamawa area of Katsina town. His 25-year-old friend, simply identified as Musbahu, had committed suicide on Sunday, December 20.
The late Musbahu, who hailed from Dutsinma town moved to Katsina to work at a water packaging company. Neighbours had actually discovered the body first when they observed that the house had surprisingly remained locked all day.
A witness told our reporter that a ladder was used to cross over the wall into the room as the main entrance of the room was locked from within. It was upon getting into the room that the corpse was found with a rope round the neck.
 Another house mate, Baban Yara, told Daily Trust that frustration began creeping into Musbahu’s life after he lost his job at the water packaging company. After he had been paid a month’s salary in lieu, Musbahu established a stall where he was doing petty trading selling things like biscuits and sweets.
“For four days, he stopped coming to sleep in the house. We don’t usually use keys to lock the house but will just draw up the main entrance,” Yara narrated. “But on the fateful day when we returned home, we found the door locked from within, which was unusual. We couldn’t even force it open. It was from there we began to suspect something was wrong somewhere,” he added ruefully.
Bala confirmed to Daily Trust that the late Musbahu was into drugs before he died. A neighbor, Abdulfatah Umar, corroborated Bala’s assertion, saying that when the body, with the clothes still on, was untied and taken to the police station, a search uncovered psychotropic substances in the pockets.
To a neighbour, Malam Khalil Khasim, taking one own’s life has never been a solution to any problem; Khasim actually described it as a senseless way of solving a problem. Citing various chapters of the Holy Quran that talked about, he said Islam forbids suicide. There is no reason why one should take his life in any way or whatsoever means.
The Katsina State police command said that from ongoing investigations, there was nothing to suggest foul play in the three suicide cases.
Katsina State police spokesman, Deputy Superitendent Aminu Sadiq, who confirmed the incidents, said drug influence cannot be detached from suicides that had been happening in the state.
Sadiq said that in that regard, the command had visited over 250 schools to sensitise pupils on the menace of drug abuse and other social vices.
A social activist, Gidado Farfaru of the Katsina Gender and Social Inclusion Platform, related the spate of suicides to what he called parents and governments’ failure in their responsibilities.
Farfaru is worried about the suicide trend in Katsina State as he stressed the role of parents and governments in shaping the future of youths with a view to preventing suicides.
“Majority of parents nowadays lack responsibility in this regards. The moral and social training that ought to have been given to wards and dependants is no more. Schools and teachers who should also shape the younger ones are failing to meet up, so the problem is multi-faceted,” he said.
On how to check the suicide trend, Farfaru said a good government policy can help to provide job opportunities, and also assist the self-employed in the marketing of their products. Games and other recreational activities, he added, should be provided to keep the youth busy and healthy.

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