- Ekiti workers shun meeting with Fayose on Strike
The Lagos State Government says no fewer than 4,035 domestic violence cases were recorded in the last one year, adding that they ranged from rape, child abuse, sexual assault and sexual abuse to defilement, divorce and other matrimonial issues.
The government, which vowed not to shy away from prosecuting perpetrators of domestic crimes, added that the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), had been at the forefront of the war against domestic violence in the state.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, on Tuesday in Ikeja at a news conference on the activities of the DSVRT in the last one year, added that the agency handled 192 domestic abuse cases.
Kazeem explained that out of the 192 cases handled by the DSVRT, 89 were domestic assault cases, 62 were defilement cases, 18 were rape cases, six attempted rape, 10 child neglect and seven child abuse cases.
He added that 92 cases were presently being heard in court.
Kazeem said, “The Lagos State Government under the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has zero tolerance for issues relating to domestic violence and child abuse and will not relent until the scourge is reduced to the barest minimum.
“Agencies of government, including DSVRT, Office of Public Defender and the Directorate of the Public Prosecutions, have been mandated to ensure that while perpetrators of the acts are brought to justice, victims of domestic violence are rehabilitated.
“As regards provision of shelter for victims, the Ministries of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Youth and Social Development, as well as non-governmental organisations have been playing key roles in ensuring that victims are taken to a safe environment.
“All the victims of sexual assault received medical attention from the Mirabel Centre and public hospitals.”
The commissioner assured residents that the government would step up its campaign against domestic violence.
“As a matter of fact, the DSVRT will hold a free clinic for victims by Friday and we urge victims of domestic violence to call 08137960048 for professional counseling and immediate action from the government,” the commissioner added.
In the meantime, civil servants in Ekiti State under the umbrella of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, on Tuesday shunned the meeting called by the state government to resolve the ongoing strike in the state.
The workers had on Thursday began an indefinite strike to press home the demand for the payment of five months’ salaries arrears of workers among other issues.
The meeting, scheduled for Tuesday (yesterday), followed a declaration by Governor Ayodele Fayose to invoke the doctrine of “no-work, no-pay” in the face of labour’s insistence to continue with the strike.
It was to be attended by the chairmen and secretaries of the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress, the Joint Negotiating Council, the Nigeria Union of Teachers, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees and the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools.
But the labour leaders failed to show up for the meeting.
Instead, the secretaries of the NLC, TUC and JNC wrote the state government and asked for a new date, time and venue.
According to a copy of the letter sighted by our correspondent, the unions said the meeting should be rescheduled in the interest of peace.
A leader of the labour told our correspondent that the unions took the decision following the protest staged by driver unions against the strike earlier in the day.
“The leadership of the organised labour has met this morning and resolved that in the interest of peace, security of life and property, the proposed meeting should be rescheduled to another day/date and venue,” the letter said.
It could be recalled that on Tuesday, some artisans and commercial drivers, under the aegis of the Concerned Trade Unions in Ekiti State, staged anti-workers’ protests in Ado Ekiti, accusing the leadership of labour of taking N25m bribe to destabilise the Fayose-led government.
The protesters, led by the Chairmen of Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria, Mr. Samuel Agbede, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Clement Adekola, alleged that the ongoing strike was politically-motivated.
The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, gathered at the popular Fajuyi Park and marched to the Ijigbo area of the state capital to mobilise support for Fayose’s government.
Punch with additional report from Upshot