A man identified as Abiodun Onipede has been arrested for attempting to commit suicide over his inability to refund a N24,000 debt.
The man was arrested by the anti-vandal team of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ogun State Command, while attempting to take his life in a bush along Ayetoro road in Abeokuta.
Onipede, our correspondent gathered, had tied a rope to a tree and was about to hang himself when a member of the team who wanted to ease himself in the bush stumbled on him and prevented him from committing suicide.
The suspect, who is an Okada rider, had dropped out of school at 200-level at the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, due to a financial challenge.
He was also said to have lost one of his children due to his inability to pay the child’s medical bills.
By the time he could raise the money, Onipede who was an employee of Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, said his child died after a surgery.
Thirty-four-year-old Onipede later said his inability to perform his responsibility as the head of the family led him to attempt suicide.
He added that his failure to pay the ‘Lapo’ loan, an informal money-lending scheme, made him miserable.
He said, “Due to the health problem of my child in 2008, I had to drop out of school so that I could raise some money to take care of my sick child. But the child died in 2009 because we were unable to pay some hospital bills after people had helped us to raise money for the surgery.
“I was duped by some people and they even threatened me, and this made me to leave Abeokuta for Akwa-Ibom State. It was when I came back after a year that I discovered I had been sacked from the TRACE.
“I am frustrated because I owe a lot of people ranging from house rent to electricity bill, and some other bills. I am ashamed of myself because I am not a responsible man. I cannot cater for my family.
“The Lapo officials have used members of the Oodua Peoples Congress to arrest my wife because of the money. I am just frustrated because I have to pay N3,000 every Friday and I am jobless. I have about N24,000 to balance.
“I cannot pay the hospital bills of my mother. I can’t take care of her, I was told she is now on the street begging to survive. No family to help me. We have been living in abject poverty.
“What convinced me to commit suicide was due to my inability to refund the ‘Lapo’ loan I collected when I wanted to start my tricycle business. The officials of the Lapo have been harassing my family because I cannot afford to repay N3,000 every Friday,” he said.
He, however, said he regretted his action, adding, “It was not my fault. I am a frustrated man that does not know what to do.
“I wish to go back to school; I want the government to help me with a job that can cater for my family.”
The state Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Ogbonaya Dyke, said, “Since the matter is under our crisis management team, we have to swing into action to address it.
“It is a crime against the state for someone to try to take his life. Necessary actions will be taken by the corps to address the situation. He is going to be handed over to the police after our intelligence unit has done its work.”