By Olayinka Olawale
National Parents, Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) on Monday decried the spate of suicide among adolescents, urging parents and guardians to be more vigilant and monitor activities of their children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a student recently committed suicide for failing to score high grades in the just concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
Reacting to the spate of suicide of adolescents, Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo, 2nd Deputy President of NAPTAN, told the NAN in Lagos that parents must pay more attention to their children to avert suicide tendencies.
He said suicidal act was condemnable but the cause should be addressed.
“Honestly, it is very sad, very disappointing and yes it is very condemnable. But condemning it alone will not bring the solution; we as parents must be alert to stop this menace.
“Parents must be alert always to identify changes or any suicide tendencies in their children.
“Children, especially undergraduates, need constant monitoring in order to avert any danger.
“Nowadays, many of us parents do not have time for our children anymore, we only worry about their upkeep but neglect the social life.
“When we talk of time, it is divided into two; normal time and quality time — and what our children need is quality time,” he said.
Speaking on the case of the undergraduate who committed suicide, the NAPTAN Deputy President said the incident might not be unconnected with the economic situation in the country.
He said economic situation may lead to suicide, adding that ‘’one cannot rule out depression’’.
“It is not right for anybody to commit suicide for whatsoever reason but for a depressed person, they will not think that it is not right.
“A depressed person only acts on impulse,’’ Ogunbanjo said.
Speaking on students committing suicide because they failed JAMB, Ogunbanjo said failure was part of life and there was no success without failure.
Parental care is also very important for our children and quality time with them to check their class work, homework and assignment, particularly at the primary and secondary school level.
He urged parents to spend quality time with their children and wards to put their children in check.
“Failure is part of success, failure makes you learn, it makes you know what to do next to succeed.
“But it is unfortunate that our youths will commit suicide because they failed JAMB examination.
“Parents have a lot to do, they should stop harassing their children over their performance in examinations.
“Parents should spend 15 to 30 minutes everyday with their children to put them in check,“ he said.
Commenting on the case of the undergraduate who drowned in a swimming pool in Abuja recently, he urged the parents of the victim to pursue the case to a logical conclusion in order to serve as deterrent to other students who may be contemplating such evil act.
The NAPTAN official described the act as evil which should he condemned by all.