By Frank Ulom
Mr Kingsley Benson, a Bolt driver has just stopped another su!c!de after saving a female passenger who intended to take her own life in Calabar, Cross River State.
Narrating the incident on Monday after taking the passenger to Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar Road, Benson said the female passenger (name withheld) made a depressing and unsettling statement after he picked her up at Bogobiri.
According to Benson, “A lady/girl requested a ride from Bogobiri this morning, I observed she was looking really sad. I tried to at least start a conversation, but she just gave a ‘fake’ smile and requested I turn on my Air Conditioner.
“Her request was what got me worried because she said ‘Driver, please turn on your Air conditioner, let me enjoy this last one’, although I ignored her first statement but before we got to her destination at Edgerly in Calabar South, the statement came up again.
“Then my instincts made me take a closer look at the nylon bag that she was with, although not transparent enough but it had the shape of this Sniper container.
“That was when I knew something was terribly wrong, in my mind I thought the government had banned the substance, it then dawned on me that she wanted to commit suicide, and I started thinking of what to do to help her.
“I knew there wasn’t time to start talking, so I told her I needed to make a quick stop at Watt Market and she agreed, I thought of driving to Atakpa Police Station but I changed my mind because something told me that Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital would be the best place to make a stopover.
“As I entered Calabar Road, I told her I needed to buy fuel because the hospital also has a Filling Station, immediately I drove into the premises, I went straight to report what I observed – I told them I am a Bolt Driver and explained my observation.
“Immediately they took her into their facility and checked her bag, they discovered she had Sniper and said she wanted to end it all when I dropped her at home. They asked me to leave and took her details, I believe she will be talked out of the situation.”
The Hospital Management could not be reached for comments but an anonymous source said the girl’s family has been contacted.
CONVERSEER reports that Sniper is an insecticide that was banned by the Nigerian Government in 2019.
The DDVP, 2,2-Dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate compound, marketed in Nigeria by Swiss-Nigerian Chemical Company, as a synthetic organophosphorus, was, however, converted to an indoor insecticide by Nigerians.
“We have also placed a ban on the manufacture of smaller packs of Sniper which are easily purchased for household use,” Husman Bukar, Director, Veterinary Medicine and Allied Products Directorate, NAFDAC said.
Adding, “Recently, some suicide cases have been associated with people drinking Sniper. Henceforth, we call on the agrochemical industry to enhance their distribution channels so that this product (Sniper) gets to only accredited distributors and marketers.”