Suicide Death and Post-suicide Cultural Practices in Southwest Nigeria: Implications for Suicide Reporting

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3126/dsaj.v17i01.61141

Keywords:

death, suicide, social interpretations, reporting behavior, victims

Abstract

Indeed, the underreporting of suicides and misclassification of causes of death has been acknowledged as a serious global concern among scholars and policymakers, especially in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). While studies have identified the criminal status of suicide as a factor responsible for the low reporting of suicide cases in Nigeria, religious and sociocultural underpinnings of suicide reporting have been ignored. This study, therefore, explores the social interpretations and cultural practices involved in handling suicide cases in 30 selected communities in southwest Nigeria. This is to unravel how these practices impact suicide reporting in the selected region. Purposive sampling was used to reach out to 90 traditional rulers, religious priests, and opinion leaders in the selected communities. The narratives of the study participants revealed that suicide is socially perceived as an abominable way to die, a revolt against one’s destiny, and a protest against the gods. Communities are in awe of the spiritual import of suicide deaths, which often informs the harsh treatment of bodies of suicide victims and secondary victimization of bereaved families, with implications for suicide reporting. The study suggests aligning cultural practices with the formal methods of handling suicide.

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Author Biographies

Richard Abayomi ABORISADE, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University

Aborisade, R, A. PhD, (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7485-2351). is a Associate Professor in criminology and victimology at the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, Nigeria. His research themes include violence against women and girls, family-based violence, victimization, the Nigerian criminal justice system and treatment of the offender, policing 21st century Nigeria, cybercrime,victimization, security and sustainable development in Nigeria. He has published in both local and international journals in these areas.
Email: aborisade.richard@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng

Oluwatoyin Gbenga BAWALLA, Department of Sociology Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria

Bawalla, O.G PhD (https://orcid.org /0000- 0001-7881-8791) teaches at the Department of Sociology Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria. His research interests include Industrial Sociology, Industrial Security Management and Workplace Relations and he is also a Member of Chattered Institute of Management (CIPM). He has published in both local and international journals in relation to his area of research interest.
Email: bawalla.oluwatoyin@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng

Comfort Oyinlola OYAFUNKE-OMONIYI, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria

Oyafunke-Omoniyi, C.O PhD (https://orcid.org /0000-0002-8923-3139) is the current head of the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria. Oyinlola’s research focuses on Juvenile Delinquency and Criminology in general. She received her PhD from the University of Ibadan, Southwest, Nigeria, in 2014, the same institution where she also bagged her master’s degree. She has published in both local and international journals on issues surrounding juvenile crime, suicide, and gender discrimination.
Email: oyafunke-omoniyi.comfort@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng

Yomi AKINDELE-OSCAR, Department of Educational Foundations and Counselling, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria

Akindele-Oscar, Y, PhD (Ibadan) (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0920-1373) is a Professor of Health and Counselling Psychology in the Department of Educational Foundations and Counselling, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria. His teaching and research activities spanned almost three (3) decades in the University. His research interests revolves round: Health and well-being, Emotional intelligence, Policing, Suicide, and Sexualities issues. He has over 60 published journal articles and chapters in peer-reviewed outlets.
Email: akindeleoscar@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng

Oladele Adelere ADELEKE, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State

Adeleke, O. A PhD, (https://orcid.org /0009-0001-8749-7165) is a criminologist who lectures at the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State. He received his doctorate from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria. His research themes include rural criminology, policing rural Nigeria, and traditional social control. He has published in both local and international journals in these areas.
Email: oladele.adeleke@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng

Damilola Adepeju OLAYINKA-ALIU, aliu.damilola@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng

Olayinka-Aliu, D. A PhD, (https://orcid.org /0000-0001-6707-6657) is a dedicated detailed and capable research fellow with years of experience in research and clinical psychological management of mental health. I have extensively published in social science journals with related expertise in cognitive theory. A confident presenter at conferences and teacher in classroom, able to explain complex information to audiences of all levels. In addition, I have conducted researches on psychosocial impacts on suicide intentions and act in the past. My research work using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in management of psychological health amongst mothers having children with physical and intellectual disabilities has been a useful contribution to knowledge.
Email: aliu.damilola@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng

Ademolu Oluwaseun ADENUGA , Faculty of Liberal Studies at the College of Law, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria

ADENUGA, A.O (https://orcid.org /0000-0003-3482-1248) teaches Criminology and Security Studies, and doubles as the Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Studies at the College of Law, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria. His area of specialisation includes Rural Crimes, Indigenous Security Studies, Community Policing, Deviant Behaviours and Violent Crimes. He has undertaken several researches which cut across the Southwest states of Nigeria. He is currently on his doctorate degree, and his work centres on the SDG 16 which is Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
Email: ademolu.adenuga@uniosun.edu.ng

Sunday Oladotun ADEYEMO, Dudley Group NHS, United Kingdom

Sunday Oladotun ADEYEMO, (https://orcid.org /0000-0003-3248-5658) is a psychologist whose interest cuts across health psychology, suicide and general Psychopathology. He presently works with Dudley Group NHS, United Kingdom
Email: os.adeyemo@oouagoiwoye.edu.ng

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Published

2023-12-27

How to Cite

ABORISADE, R. A. ., BAWALLA, O. G. ., OYAFUNKE-OMONIYI, C. O. ., AKINDELE-OSCAR, Y. ., ADELEKE, O. A., OLAYINKA-ALIU, D. A. ., ADENUGA , A. O. ., & ADEYEMO, S. O. . (2023). Suicide Death and Post-suicide Cultural Practices in Southwest Nigeria: Implications for Suicide Reporting. Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 17(01), 26–38. https://doi.org/10.3126/dsaj.v17i01.61141

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