The Anti-Vandal team of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC, Ogun State command, have arrested Abiodun Onipede pictured above, for attempting to commit suicide over his inability to refund a N50,000 ‘Lapo’ loan. Vanguard reports that Abiodun was arrested while attempting to use a rope tied to a tree to take his life inside a bush along Ayetoro road in Abeokuta. A member of the anti-vandal team who was about to ease himself in the bush, spotted Abiodun and raised an alarm.
When he was interrogated, 34-year-old Abiodun said he is a commercial Tricyclist and also a 200 level drop-out of Federal College of Education, Osiele. According to him, he had lost one of his children due to his inability to pay the hospital bills. He had raised money for the child surgery which was successful but, later lost him after complication. He said his inability to perform his responsibility as the head of the family forced him to attempt suicide. He added that his failure to pay the ‘Lapo’ loan, an informal money lender syndicate forced him to take the decision to take his life. ‘Lapo’ loan is a popular loan among the Yoruba entities; where people are being lent money with a high interest.
“I am a 200 level Drop-out of Federal College of Education, Osiele, I dropped out because I could not get financial assistance to continue. Due to the health problem of my child in 2008, I had to drop out so that I could have some money to take care of my sick child. But, we later lost the child in 2009 because we were unable to pay some hospital bills after people have helped us in raising 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 have been sacked from the TRACE. I am frustrated because am owing a lot of people ranging from house bill to electricity bill, and some other bills. I am ashamed of myself because am not a responsible man, I cannot cater for my family as a head. The Lapo officials have used OPC to arrest my wife because of the money, if not for the help of my pastor. Am just frustrated because I have to pay N3,000 every Friday and I am presently jobless. And I still have like N24,000 to balance. I cannot pay the hospital bill 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 added to my conclusion 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 giving my family tough times for sometimes now, because, I cannot afford to be repaying N3,000 every Friday.
“It was not my fault, am just a frustrated man that does not know what else 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 and other things that are important”.
Public Relations Officer of NSCDC, Ogbonnaya Dyke said Abiodun will be handed over to the police, after the NSCDC Intelligence Unit has done proper work.
“Since the matter is under our Crisis management team, we have to swing into action to address the situation. It is a crime against the state for someone to try to take his life. Necessary actions will be taken by the Corps in addressing the situation. He is going to be handed over to the police after our intelligence Unit has done its proper work”