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COVID-19: Unilorin Euthanasia Prevention Initiative warns against suicide



The Euthanasia Prevention Initiative of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin) has warned people against contemplating suicide because of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The warning is contained in a statement jointly signed by Prof. Bashir Omipidan, Chairman of Euthanasia Prevention Initiative, and Mr Tajudeen Habeebullah, Coordinator of the Initiative, Faculty of Law, both of Unilorin.

Omipidan explained that the warning is against the backdrop of recent reports of spate of suicide across Europe in the face of the devastating effect of COVID-19 on people.

“On March 29, 2020, it was reported that a 54-year-old minister, Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse state, allegedly committed suicide after becoming deeply worried over how to cope with the economic fallout from the Coronavirus.

“Similarly, an Italian billionaire committed suicide by throwing himself from the 20th floor of his tower after his entire family was wiped out by Coronavirus,” he said.

He observed that this act can be ascribed to the history of suicide in the ancient Greek and Romans wherein those who felt that if a person is not happy with happenings in one’s community or feels depressed he or she should be allowed to commit suicide.

“It is in the light of the above the Euthanasia Prevention Initiative condemns in totality, the act of committing suicide as a result of the pandemic.

“This is because the sanctity of life cannot be overemphasised, life is precious and should not be taken on the basis of any difficulty such as this.

“The two most popular religions; Islam and Christianity frowns heavily at committing suicide for whatever reason,” he said.

According to him, the initiative therefore urged people in the country to be steadfast and to increase their level of hope as there is light at the end of the tunnel.

They also appealed to the Federal and State Governments to ensure all stimulus packages designed for the vulnerable are distributed fairly in order to avert hunger crisis.

“While thanking spirited and well meaning Nigerians for their support thus far, we appeal to those who are yet to respond to kindly do so for the sake of humanity so that the efforts of the government at all levels can be complemented”.

Omipidan also advised people to stay away from fake news, stay healthy, stay at home and stay safe.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola