An Official, Plateau Women Affairs Ministry, Mrs. Charity Dimlong speaking at NUJ anti-suicide workshop in Jos, Nigeria.

By Joel Gomiyar

The Permanent Secretary, Plateau State Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Hassana Atoka, Thursday said mothers should keep close relationships with their children to listen and relief them of any social or psychological burden.

The lack of this, Mrs. Atoka said is responsible for growing suicide cases in Nigeria.

Represented by the Ministry's Director of Women Affairs, Mrs. Charity Dimlong at an anti-suicide campaign organized by the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ, the official apologized on behalf of mothers for failing in their responsibilities to their children.

“I want to sincerely apologize to the youths on behalf of all mothers for failing to show you sufficient love and care, leaving you to face difficult choices alone,” she said.

Mothers giving attention to their children could identify and neutralize suicidal thoughts before they are acted upon, added the Plateau State Chairperson, Nigeria Union of Women Journalists, Mrs. Jennifer Yerima.

Dr. Tungchama Philip, a Consultant Psychiatric with JUTH and Dr. Bapi William, the Public Relation Officer of the Nigerian Medical Association, in separate contributions blamed eroding social relationships for growing suicide in the country.

“No one talks to the other to know how they feel even in the neighborhood and so when problems arise, we each battle and possibly die in silence,” he said.

Sadly, one person committing suicide negative impacts at least six people around him, the Medics said.

Instead of penalties, the NUJ Chairman, Mr. Paul Jatau said love should be considered for all persons including those who have attempted suicide, which is criminal in Nigeria.

“Even though our law criminalizes suicide, but I think that law is outdated, I know that section 327 of the criminal law says that anybody who attempted taking his life is liable to one year imprisonment. But I don’t think is right, we need to show those who have problems love” he said.