‘Youth President’ hangs self on tree in Bayelsa

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Tragedy struck the Polaku community in Bayelsa State last week after Raphael Ebezpeke, a 40-year-old father of two and the youth President of the Polaku Community, reportedly took his own life by hanging himself.

Ebezpeke’s lifeless body was discovered hanging from a tree by some youths in a nearby bush last Monday, sending shockwaves through the community. According to sources, he had been grappling with mental health issues, which ultimately led to this devastating incident.

Reports from the community suggest that Ebezpeke had spoken about feeling pursued by unseen forces intent on ending his life. In January, he had fled his home in distress, only to return later. His sisters recounted how he had exclaimed, “they want to kill me,” before disappearing into the bush, where he was later found deceased.

A youth leader from Gbarain community, while expressing sorrow over Ebezpeke’s death, acknowledged his struggles with mental health. Efforts were made to support him through counselling and encouraging a healthier lifestyle. Concerns were also raised about his association with individuals involved in substance abuse, with efforts made to guide him away from such influences.

The loss of Raphael Ebezpeke has left the community reeling, highlighting the importance of mental health awareness and support systems in preventing similar tragedies.