Nigerians react to call for ban on Sniper insecticide as suicide rate soars

Some Nigerians say a ban on Sniper would reduce the rate of suicide in the country.

Sniper Insecticide is a very powerful poisonous substance.

Amidst increasing rate of suicide in the country, some Nigerians have urged the Muhammadu Buhari-led government to place a ban on Sniper, a popular insecticide.

Chukwuemeka Akachi, a 400-level student of the Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), allegedly drank two bottles of Sniper insecticide leading to his death on Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

Friends say Late Akachi had a long battle with depression before his death.

Similarly, a young man identified as Segun, also consumed a bottle of the harmful substance live on social media after getting a low score in the recently released university entry examination.

Oluwadurotimi Dawodu, a Twitter user, believes a ban on Sniper would reduce access to the insecticide. This, according to him would lead to a reduction in the rate of suicide in Nigerian.

"Federal Government of Nigeria , please, place a ban on Sniper now," he tweeted with a link to a story on how a similar ban helped reduce the number of suicide in Sri Lanka.

Dawodu's tweet soon sparked mixed reactions from Nigerians. While some believe the ban would help save lives, others are of the opinion that move is misplaced priority.

"6 persons committed suicide using Sniper in the last 72 hours and no official statement from the company. And some people want us to leave sniper alone. No way! Ban Sniper now!," said Sam Eba.

Another Twitter user, Japheth Omojuwa, argued that a ban on Sniper would not reduce the rate of suicide in the country.

"What's the National Suicide Line? Where do people go if they need help? What's the government's response to these news? How do you ensure the news and stories do not create a herd effect? But no, ban sniper!" he said.

"After reading this well written piece, I wouldn’t mind a sniper and other such products ban," Omojuwa said minutes later.

However, a medical doctor, Harvey Funmilayo, says suicide is a mental health issue.

"A ban on Sniper is not an effective solution. People will find other means for suicide. When they jump off bridges or storey buildings, what do we do then? Demolish all bridges and buildings? A Sniper ban will score cheap points. But it will not solve the mental health crisis."

While a ban may reduce access, experts have advised the Federal Government to set up toll free lines and counselling centers where those battling depression and other mental health crisis can call or visit for help.

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