An apprentice tailor in Lagos, Adenike Fatai, has committed suicide barely three months after her boyfriend, Bayo Atanda, reportedly did the same thing.
Fatai, who hailed from Kwara State, reportedly took a poisonous substance suspected to be sniper around 8.30pm, last Thursday.
The 25-year-old woman lived with her mother on Igbekele Street, Iyana Cele bus stop, Shibiri area of Lagos State.
City Round learnt that Fatai had been battling depression since her boyfriend, whom she was living with in Orile, a neigbouring community, reportedly took a poison and died.
It was gathered that family and friends of Bayo did not believe the photographer committed suicide, accusing Fatai of killing him. The accusation allegedly heightened the trauma Fatai was going through.
Although no suicide note was found in the room, our correspondent who visited Fatai’s Facebook page observed that her status updates revolved round death and depression.
On June 30, she bemoaned the loss of her boyfriend, who had died two weeks earlier.
She wrote, “How would you do this? Why! Adebayo Olaleye Atanda Peter; still can (can’t) believe this is happening to me. I can (can’t) even say goodbye to you. Ifemi, ayomi; may Almighty Allah forgive all your sins. Rest on!”
Less than a month after, on July 25, she took to Facebook to express how much she missed her lover stating that, “The saddest part in life is to say goodbye to someone you want to spend your lifetime with.”
“Feeling angry with myself,” she wrote in the comment section of the post with a friend appealing to her to stop thinking negatively.
The following day, she wrote, “Yaa Allah (Oh God); heal my heart, make it steadfast and make it strong enough to accept what you have destined for me.”
On August 15, she waxed philosophical quoting the late American journalist, Norman Cousins, who died of heart failure.
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live,” the post read.
She uploaded some pictures of herself in cheerful mood few days later. But on September 8, four days to the suicide, she posted the image of an archer ready to shoot an arrow, with a caption, “Ofa iku ojiji koni bae tomotomo (The arrow of death won’t strike you and your children).”
Speaking with City Round during the week, the deceased’s mother, Tawa, said she met her dead when she returned home from a prayer session that evening.
She stated, “That day, she finished cooking around 7pm and ate. She was outside after eating while I went to the mosque. Around 8pm, she came to the mosque to collect the key to our apartment and I told her to check the shop.
“On getting home some minutes after, I saw her lying on the floor with a bottle of sniper beside her. I called for help but it was late.”
Revealing the events leading to the relationship between the lovers, the mother said plans were ongoing to choose a date for their introduction.
She said, “She was learning tailoring in her sister’s place in Ikorodu. All of a sudden, her boss sent her away. She told me she had got another place to learn the vocation in Orile and that she would be living with a friend. I asked her to come and learn it at my place but she refused.
“Whenever I asked to see the friend, she would say she was not around. It was when I threatened to disown her that she told me she was living with her boyfriend. I tried to convince her that what she did was wrong, but she said the man’s (Bayo’s) house was close to where she was learning tailoring. I met with the man and he said he really wanted to marry her. He looked very gentle. We were planning the introduction when he died.
“On a Sunday around 11pm, my daughter called me and started crying on the phone. She said Bayo drank sniper. They took him to the Lagos Island General Hospital, but he died the following morning. That time, she said she would follow him and I tried to caution her.”
Tawa said Fatai became depressed and relocated to her sister’s house in Ikorodu, adding that she returned to her house after her condition had improved.
“I never thought she was thinking of suicide because she looked happy. Some clerics warned us that death was hovering around her and I prayed over it.
“I learnt she called somebody that evening and told the person that she wanted to go and meet Bayo and that she would drink sniper. I don’t know the kind of love she had for him.
“There was a day a friend of Bayo called her and accused her of killing him. I told her to ignore them. The mistake I made was that I should have changed her SIM card,” she added.
The deceased’s father, Idris, said, he did not know his daughter was battling depression as they hardly saw each other.
He stated, “Since her mother and I separated, I usually talked to her (Fatai) on the phone. Probably she would have told me what was bothering her if we had the opportunity of seeing each other.”
The deceased’s neighbour in Shibiri, where Fatai died, told our correspondent that she liked to be alone.
“I have observed recently that she rarely mingled with people, but I didn’t know she was contemplating suicide. It was so unfortunate,” the resident, who identified himself only as Sola, said, adding that the incident was reported at the Ojo Police Station.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, could not be reached for comment on the incident as calls to his mobile rang out.