By Emeka Nwokocha
Christian youths under the aegis of Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria (CYON), St. John Mary Vianney Catholic Church, New Layout, Ekpan Chapter, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State, have staged a rally to express concern over increasing rate of suicide among young people across Nigeria in recent times.
The rally was held on Sunday 23 June, to kick-start a week long youth week in the church.
The placard carrying youths attracted the attention of passersby and motorists as they matched through Jakpa road and other major streets in Ekpan, chanting various slogans and condemning suicide in strong terms. Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “suicide doesn’t end pain, it passes it to someone else,” “don’t lose hope, no condition is permanent,” and “say no to suicide.”
Speaking to journalists, the president of CYON, Mr. Shedrack Ifechukwude Epechi, said that the rally was a well thought out exercise to strongly condemn and discourage youths from commiting suicide. Epechi also stated that the rally was aimed to raise awareness of the public especially the young people about the need to jettison the option of suicide as a solution to whatever difficult situation they might be in. Continuing, Epechi expressed concern about the frequency of reports of suicide cases across the country, even with the tertiary institutions having a fair share of the harrowing incidents.
He frowned at the hurting trend, wondering why a young boy or girl would want to take his or her by committing suicide over issues that ordinarily should not warrant such careless and devilish act. He emphasized need for a collective action to halt the ugly trend, even as he expressed worry about reported cases of young students in tertiary institutions that committed suicide over less troubling issues. “I do not understand why a young man would contemplate suicide because his girlfriend jilted or abandoned him. In the same vein, why would a young girl kill herself because her boyfriend had a querrel with her,” he lamented.
Continuing, Epechi said it was inexplicable why a young boy would commit suicide because he scored low marks in JAMB examination. He called on the youths to have a rethink, saying, “in whatever troubling situation, no matter how worse it might be, suicide must not be contemplated.” He urged the youths to have faith in God in all their endeavours, even as he charged them to brighten their hope in God and rely on Him in everything they do in all spheres of life.
Epechi however, noted that depression resulting from inability to meet up with unrealistic expectations might not be unconnected with the growing incidents of suicide among youths in recent years. He called on Nigerians to promote love in the society in order to curb the menace.
The rally was rounded off at the church premises.