Taofeek Muraina never had it good as a child. His adulthood is not even better. This, perhaps, explains why the 40-year-old bricklayer thought it wise to die rather than being put to shame by friends and neighbours.
Twice this year, he has attempted suicide. The first time, Punch Metro learnt, was about five months ago, while the second one was on December 5.
On December 5, he had wanted to poison himself when a neighbour arrived on time and raised the alarm.
Muraina has been battling with an acute eye condition since when he was a child. As he grows, his condition worsens, making life unbearable for him.
Explaining reasons for attempting suicide, he said, “Life is unbearable for me. I was born with an eye problem. My wife, Tawa, left me and dumped our 10-year-old son with me. I learnt that she has got married to another man. Photo after the cut
“I attempted to commit suicide by poisoning myself while my son and neighbours were not at home but my landlady got home while I was preparing the mixture.
His landlady, Mrs. Aminat Oseni, who said that Muraina had been her tenant for five years, explained that it was the second time that he attempted taking his own life.
Oseni said, “He (Muraina) is a friend to my son, Fatai, who is a welder. My son appealed to me that we should accommodate him when he came begging for accommodation.
“According to him, he was sent packing by his former landlord on the ground that the landlord’s family wanted to make use of the apartment. But he said the landlord only ejected him because of his eye problem.”
Muraina, whose left eyeball gorge from the socket, said, “This is causing acute pain for me. I have been living in pain since I was born. It became worse during the crisis within the National Union of Road Transport Workers three years ago at Moniya. I was hit in my eyes by an object and since then it had been worse.”
His relatives, according to him, came with a promise that they would help him but they never showed up again.
Muraina’s landlady said, “When they saw him they burst out crying. They said that they would take him to the hospital but they could not do so for lack of funds.”
A Mass Communication Student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Yusuf Oseni, said Muraina had not been having any medical attention as a result of poverty, adding, “That is why five months ago he attempted to commit suicide by hanging.
“Having tried all available means to help himself, he decided to take his own life. He has no money to treat himself in the hospital. He is alone with his problem. When he went to the University College Hospital, he was asked to pay N10m.
Muraina, a resident of Gunwin Akingbile, Moniya, Ibadan, Oyo State, said the excruciating pains he experienced on a daily basis had made life difficult for him.
He said, “I am a bricklayer and I mould blocks. People in the neighbourhood always make jest of me. I take native treatment because I cannot afford the cost of surgery.
“I decided to end it all because I could not afford the cost of surgery and no one wishes to help me. With my condition, I still manage to work to feed myself and my son but people hate me.”