Reverred cleric and Archbishop Emeritus of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Ayo Ladigbolu, has urged President Bola Tinubu to offer renewed hope to citizens through priority given to mental wellness in the country.
Ladigbolu, who is also the founder and Executive Director of Oyo Metro Suicide Prevention and Counselling Initiative, disclosed this in a recent interview with the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State.
He added that the first lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, inspired his decision to set up a non-governmental organisation to promote the mental health of Nigerians.
He said, “I want to appeal to President Bola Tinubu to ensure that the renewed hope promised to Nigerians by his administration does not exclude care for the mental health of citizens.
“I hope that they will remember the old and the young in their programme because it is important for the country to do whatever is necessary to stabilise the mental health of our old people and also care for the mental position of our young people as well.”
In the interview, which was conducted mostly in Yoruba, the Oyo Prince and a leading contender for the Alaafin stool, disclosed, “On June 17, 2017, during a plenary session of the senate, Senator Remi Tinubu, who today is the wife of the president, solicited the support of her colleagues for a bill that sought to make the government pay greater attention to the mental health of Nigerians, both old and young.
“But, despite her impassioned appeal to the senate, while also calling their attention to the increasing rate of suicides amongst young people, her colleagues merely paid lip service to the idea and eventually shot it down.
“It was at that moment that I made up my mind to start doing something in my personal capacity to campaign against the menace of suicides. And, since we started, we’ve been doing the best we can.”