Suicide Is No Solution, an anti – suicide campaign initiative and Asido Foundation, a non governmental mental health organisation have launched a campaign against attempted suicide being a crime in Nigeria saying those who attempt suicide need help rather than punishment, emphasising that suicide is a mental health issue.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Ngozi Andrew, the Executive Secretary of Suicide Is No Solution initiative on behalf of the two groups which stated that “ Attempted suicide should not be a crime. Anybody who attempts to take his or her own life has come to the conclusion that life is no longer worth living. That individual is distressed with a strong need for professional mental health care, treatment, assistance and not punishment. Attempted suicide is a loud cry for help”
The statement also opposed the new bill which was recently passed for second reading at the House of Representatives where six months community service and counselling is being proposed for Nigerian citizens who attempt suicide. The groups emphasised that the proposed six months community service is still a punishment for persons with underlying mental and psychological disorder.
Ngozi Andrew noted that attempted suicide is still a crime in Nigeria punishable under the Criminal Code Act, Cap. C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, which carries an imprisonment term of up to one year. The groups commended the Lagos State Government for repealing the law which makes attempted suicide punishable, urging other states in Nigeria to follow suit.