A 23-year-old man, Ugochukwu Ekwe, on August 16, 2015 committed suicide at Festac Town, Lagos, over the colour of his skin, being an albino. His dangling body was discovered in an apartment on 311 Road, Festac Town, Lagos, where he lived with his parents and siblings. It was gathered that the deceased refused to eat throughout the Saturday preceding this day in protest of what he said was people’s rejection and stigmatisation because of his skin condition.
He was also said to have refused to go to church with other members of his family yesterday.
When the family returned from church, Ugo, as he was fondly called, was dangling from the end of a rope tied to the ceiling fan, and one of his siblings raised alarm. Sometime in July, the deceased had attempted to take his life before now.
A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “I was returning from church when I saw people gathered in front of the block of flats. When I enquired, I was told that Ugochukwu had committed suicide. He finished his secondary school education since 2009. “I also learned he had threatened to take his life before now, saying he was frustrated. Later, we saw some policemen from Festac Division, who removed the body.”
His mother and other members of his family cried uncontrollably as sympathisers thronged their abode.
The foundation held a press briefing on August 20, 2015 to enlighten the public on recent developments regards the deceased Albino. Mr. Jake Epelle, CEO/Founder TAF, informd members of the press of the numerous phone calls put through to the members of the deseased families. The foundation have had three meetings so far with the members of Ugochukwu’s family and also two meetings with the police in connection with the sucide. From these meeings, it has been strongly established that Ugochukwu took his life as a result of discrimination and stigmatisation from members of his family and the public due to albinism.