By Uchenna Ezeadigwe & Patrick Egwu
Akachi, who hailed from Umabor village, Eha Alumona in Nsukka local government area of Enugu state, had posted a suicide note on his Facebook page titled “Sixteen Note on How to End a Life”.
“Forgive me. In case you are the one who found the body, I am really sorry. It had to be someone; you know. I have chosen Jo Nketaih’s poem as my suicide note: ‘They said you came looking for me. I don’t drown, I was the water.’ Where do atheists go when they die! Lol. Amen!” he wrote for the last time.
The deceased had, on several occasions, shared his mental challenges and suicide attempt on his social media platform, last Sunday wrote: “My mental health has been on life support for a while now. Thanks to those who call. Text. Visit. Speak to me. May we always remember. May we never forget. You may have added a few hours, months or days to my time here. But you know life support is expensive right? Thank you for trying. Amen.”
There are conflicting reports around this suicide.
An anonymous eyewitness told Orient Daily that Akachi went to an uncompleted building along Sullivan Road where he drank two bottles of Snipper, an insecticide substance of the Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane compound.
He added that some students saw him gasping for breath and raised the alarm wherein he was rushed to the University Medical Centre. He said that when efforts to revive him failed, he was rushed to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu where he eventually died.
“Some students who saw Akachi in state of coma raised alarm and he was rushed to the University Medical Centre, were he was later taken to University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu where he was confirmed dead.”
Another source also claimed that the deceased purchased and drank two litres of fuel in his home after which he lay helpless for hours before he was discovered lying unconscious. It added that he was taken to the university hospital where he was confirmed dead on arrival”.
However, when Orient Daily contacted one of the suicide’s friends, Ifeanyi, as to hints of suicide from Akachi, he responded that “He never said or showed anything. But I could remember that, few days before his death, Emeka was acting strange when I tried to chat with him. He told me that there’s pressure from home and that they (the parents) didn’t know what he was facing in school. They wanted him to graduate with a first class or Second class upper.
“I’m inconsolable right now. If I had seen the post on time, I would have done my best to reach out to him. I saw him three days ago and he didn’t look like he was nursing suicidal thoughts,” Chika Eze, another friend of the deceased reacted.
A lady who claimed to be the deceased’s course mate disclosed that efforts were made to help him out when he cried out on Facebook about his mental health but he refused to be assisted, insisting that his sorrow was his muse and he needed to be sad in order to be creative.
When contacted, the chief security officer, UNN, Mr Christ Alumona, disclosed to Orient Daily that “We received the ugly news of one of our students who died in the early hours of Monday. It is saddening that he had to take his own life due to some alleged depression he was going through”.
According to him, the school authority was not aware of his battle with mental crisis until death was announced. “We are doing anything possible to ensure that such incident does not occur again in the university”, he added.
A staff member of the university, Mrs. Ugwuanyi, however, told Orient Daily that there may be more to the suicide. She attributed his death to an ancestral spiritual force called “Ajija” which was predominant among the people of Nsukka in the olden days.
According to her, such demonic spirit still attacked people in the area even these days. “Judging from where he came from, I think some kind of evil spirit like Ajija known in this part of Igboland as ‘agent of death and destruction’ must have possessed him. It’s an ancient spirit that existed among the people of Nsukka but could still have some effects on some people especially those whose families practised juju”, she claimed.
The Enugu state police public relations officer (PPRO), SP Ebere Amaraizu, who also confirmed the incident, described it as “pathetic and unfortunate”. According to him “the police will investigate circumstances surrounding the suicide”, stressing that this was not the first time Akachi made attempt to take his life as in two occasions he had drunk kerosine and fuel in the past to kill himself but was rescued. “But on Monday he drank Sniper and was rushed to the Medical Centre first but was later moved to UNTH Enugu where he was confirmed dead, “he said.
Efforts to obtain official position of the school authority proved abortive as calls put across to the phone number of UNN’s public relations officer, Mr. Okwun Omeaku were not answered as at press time.