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Lockdown: Lagos response team to use technology to track sexual violence

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Lockdown: Lagos response team to use technology to track sexual violence

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) is set to use technology to aid victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Newsmen report that President Muhammadu Buhari, while addressing the nation on March 29, ordered a two-week lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and Abuja to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Coordinator of the DSVRT, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, told newsmen on Monday that there had been a rise in the number of distress calls to DSVRT hotlines.

“We have to take advantage of technology as much as possible. We have gone online now, we are attending to clients via our email, social media and our hotline.

“We are doing a lot of conference calls, speaking to both the alleged abuser and victim, we are doing referrals to the closest family support units at police stations because some of them are still operational.

“We are doing a lot of counselling, we have our clinical psychologists speaking to victims, but what we are really advocating for safety.

“If anyone feels that she is at risk of domestic violence, she should at least go to a trusted family member to stay,” she said.

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The DSVRT coordinator said that the organisation had in the past week housed survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.

“With this imminent lockdown, we do not know how the movement will be.

“If we cannot move people into shelters this period, we are advocating that people should  take advantage of their support system such as a trusted family member.

“I will like to encourage family members to check on the welfare of relatives whose spouses are abusive.

“Please, do not send a text or WhatsApp message; rather, give them a telephone or video call,” she said.

Vivour-Adeniyi said that such care would restrain abusers since they would be aware that there is a support system on the lookout for any form of crime by them against survivors.

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She said the DSVRT could be contacted via www.dsvrtlagos.org or via hotlines on 08137960048, 09062887843 or 09062887869 while the DSVRT psychologists could be reached on 09062887865 and 09062887844.

In a similar development, Mr Ebenezer Omejalile, Operations Manager, Advocates for Children and Vulnerable Persons Network, has said the  movement restriction had adversely affected the NGO’s responses to cases of abuse.

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He said there had been a rise in complaints received by his organisation as perpetrators of abuse were taking advantage of it to commit gender-based violence.

Omejalile told newsmen that in spite of the restriction, the NGO had found various ways to provide support for victims of sexual and domestic abuse in Lagos.

“What we now do is that we call the social worker who lives closest to the area of the distress call to attend to the survivor.

“We also counsel the survivor(s) over the  telephone or we do a conference call or a video call; that is how we have been able to reach out to them this period,” Omejalile said.

NAN

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Computer Village: Community seeks LASG intervention over looming crisis

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The Ogunbiyi Community Development Association (CDA) in the Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State has urged the state government to intervene over alleged constant harassment by hoodlums at the Ikeja Computer Village market.

Mr. Timi Davies, Vice Chairman, Ogunbiyi CDA, who also doubled as the chairman of a coalition of associations in Computer Village, told newsmen on Wednesday that his people were tired of constant harassment on residents by thugs.

Reports have it that the trader’s shutdown the biggest ICT market on Saturday in protest against the constant assault on the people by some hoodlums.

Trouble started on Saturday when the CDA erected a gate at Idowu Lane in the market which was allegedly removed and carted away on the order of the Iyaloja who also ordered the arrest of t two men, including the CDA Chairman.

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Davis urged the state government to come to its aid and intervene before the matter degenerated into a major crisis in the community.

He said, “This is an ICT business hub, this is not a market where they sell pepper and tomatoes, therefore, installing Babaloja and Iyaloja here is a misnomer. Computer Village does not belong to the market women association for Christ’s sake.

“We have made our position clear that we do not want these people, they do not represent us because we have our own different associations to which we belong.

“Moreover, they have continued to harass and assault people here to the extent that customers are already running away from the business environment for fear of being harassed.

“What happened Saturday is that the CDA erected a gate at Idowu lane to protect the market from burglars which were witnessed during the lockdown.

“We approached the local government, being our supervising body, and we were given the approval, but in the evening, Iyaloja sent hoodlums to remove the gate while she also ordered the arrest of the CDA chairman and others.

“Their offense for being arrested was that they didn’t take permission from Iyaloja and Babaloja before erecting the gate to protect their goods from being stolen.”

Davis said that the traditional title of Iyaloja or Babaloja did not give them permission to govern the community which was under the CDA created by the law of the state.

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He called on the state government to intervene to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the area.

Reacting, the Iyaoloja of Computer Village market, Mrs. Abimbola Azeez-Isokpehi said “the Idowu Lane where the gate was erected had always been part of Computer Village.”

Azeez-Isokpehi said there was arch built by TECNO mobile with signboards of Iyaloja which was erected at all the entrances of Computer Village.

“Suddenly, some people just thought they can cordon off Idowu Lane, claiming it is not part of Computer Village and they want to be alone.

“These unscrupulous elements wanted to try my authority by removing Idowu Lane as part of Computer Village.

“That was why they went to erect the gate there without my knowledge and I cannot be looking for people who hold the keys to the market when I am in charge,” she said.

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Lockdown: Abubakar Rimi Market, Kano. loses over N15m revenue

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The management of the Abubakar Rimi Market, Kano, says it has lost over N15 million in revenue since the lockdown of the state aimed at curbing COVID-19 spread.

Mr. Muhammad Bashir, the market’s Director of Administration and General Services, gave the figure while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Kano.

“As a result of this loss, we cannot even pay our staff salaries; we pay our staff from the revenue we generate.

“Every month, we generate over N12 million out of which we normally spend over N8 million as workers’ salaries,” he said.

Bashir said that huge business activities in the market were making social distancing difficult.

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The director said that the management of the market had, however, received over 20,000 face masks from the Kano State Government for distribution to traders and customers to reduce COVID-19 spread.

Bashir appealed to the state government to assist the management with funds to enable it to pay workers’ salaries.

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The director said that payment of workers’ salaries would reduce hardship induced by the 45-day-old lockdown.

He hailed the state government’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Tanzanian gov’t to crack down on hiking of sugar price

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Tanzanian Authorities said on Wednesday it will launch a crackdown on sugar traders who have been hiking the price.

Japhet Hasunga, the Minister for Agriculture, said the crackdown followed complaints from the public that traders sold the commodity higher than the indicative price set by the government.

“The crackdown will target one shop after another and traders, who are found for hiking price of sugar, will face the full force of the law,’’ said Hasunga.

“If there are traders who think the crackdown is a joke, let them continue selling the commodity at a high price.

“They should not blame anyone when they face the music,’’ added the minister.

On April 24, the government announced an indicative price of the commodity, which is 2,600 Tanzanian shillings (about $1.12) a kilogram, after sugar price had gone up.

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The rise in sugar price was allegedly attributed to traders, who had hoarded the commodity in warehouses, to create an artificial shortage.

Hasunga said Tanzania’s sugar demand stood at 470,000 tons a year, while the country’s five sugar processing factories had the capacity of producing 378,000 tons in 2019.

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