In similar pattern, 13-yr-old girls commit suicide in Delta, Cross River

Two 13-year-old secondary school girls have committed in Delta and Cross River states, respectively, using similar methods, but for varying reasons.

According to a Punch report Monday, a 13-year-old Junior Secondary School student in Yala local government area of Cross River state, Josephine Wonah, allegedly committed following a fallout with her mother.

A blogger based in the area, Matthew Okache, stated that, following a misunderstanding with her mother, Wonah drank herbicide and died in a hospital.

Okache stated, “Josephine had a misunderstanding with her mother and the mother scolded her and she became offended, went inside the house and drank the herbicide used by her mother to kill grass in the farm.

“After drinking the herbicide, she went to her bed and lay down with nobody knowing until she started passing faeces and vomiting; that was when people realised what had happened. She was rushed to the Santa Maria Clinic along Imaje Road, Okuku, but died shortly afterwards.”

He said the girl was a student of a private secondary school in Okuku, adding, “her corpse was buried immediately as such an incident is a taboo in the area.”

The Cross River Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo, said she had yet to receive the report on the incident.

Similarly, The Nation reported Monday that a 13 year-old girl committed suicide in Warri, Delta state, over beatings she received from her elder sister for engaging in sexual affairs.

It was gathered that the incident occurred on Saturday, behind a Total Filling Station near Warri Main Garage in the oil- city.

Residents of the area, while expressing anger over the development, said she was a familiar face in the area. 

According to them, the late teen lived with an elder sister, who is also unidentified and had beaten her for having a boyfriend.

Annoyed by the sister’s action, the deceased took an insecticide and ended up dead behind the fuel station.

A source said: “It’s a shame. The girl was seen by her elder sister with a man and she beat her for having a male lover at her age. She went inside and killed herself by drinking Angle 90 (insecticide).

“She’s too small to have a man lover. Don’t look at her body, she is a small girl. They should throwaway her body, no need to bury her. Residents of the area are angry because we all know her as a little girl. We don’t know her name, but we used to see her around.”

The Delta could not confirm the incident when contacted on Monday.

However, its Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya said: “The one that happened was that of two weeks ago. This one is a different one. May be the matter was not reported to the police.”

Nevertheless, in an interview with Blueprint, a clinical psychologist, Mr Ajeigbe Ayo, who works with Minds Haven in Abuja, said reported suicide cases always cause a chain reaction and that anger was counterproductive, imploring anyone with extreme anger to seek help from professionals.

He said: “Generally, anger is a feeling or emotion (like fear, happiness or sadness) that is universally experienced by people of all ages, races and cultural backgrounds. Anger indicates a person’s response to provocations, harm, danger, frustration, threat or perception of unwanted or unexpected behaviour of an individual or group.

“Anger becomes a problem when it is felt too strongly (intensely), too frequently (all the time), or is expressed disproportionately or inappropriately. It also indicates a possible underlying mental health problems. It also reflects the possible personality disorder the individual may be living with.

“Some people express their anger in a nonviolent way, but, in others, cognitive control mechanisms required to guide one’s behavior are either nonexistent or ignored, and this comes with disastrous consequences such as killing others or committing suicide.

“The appropriate thing to do is to speak with a licensed clinical psychologist on how to better understand one’s self and learn healthy ways to express emotions. Anger is not healthy to be repressed. It is not something to be ignored. It is controllable and manageable if expressed in a healthy way.”

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