…Commissions RCCG’s Drug Rehabilitation Centre In Epe
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday urged parents, guardians and caregivers to watch out for drug addiction signs in their children and wards, saying the negative impact of drug abuse is not only harmful to the victims but can threaten the peace of the society.
Speaking in Araga-Epe while commissioning the Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry (CADAM) Rehabilitation Centre of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Governor Ambode said it was important for parents to be vigilant as victims of drug addiction can be easily lured into crime which would ultimately threaten peace and development.
He lauded RCCG and its leadership for deeming it fit to join the fight against the menace of drug abuse, just as he assured that the State Government would support the initiative to achieve the desired results.
He said: “As we support this rehabilitation centre, let me use this opportunity to implore parents, guardians and care givers to be vigilant in order to detect early signs of drug addiction in their children and seek help from appropriate quarters before it gets complicated.
“On our part as a government, we shall continue to take preventive measures through public awareness campaign especially among our youths so that they are adequately informed on the danger inherent in drug abuse.”
While appreciating the General Overseer of RCCG Worldwide, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and his wife, Folu Adeboye for dedicating efforts and resources to treat and rehabilitate people who have gotten addicted to one form of drug abuse or the other through the centre, the Governor said it was inspiring and instructive that the duo and others behind the initiative thought it necessary to use the platform of the church to join in the fight against the social menace.
“CADAM has, on its own, picked up, treated and rehabilitated many people who have been addicted to drugs and given them a new life. CADAM, with their own resources, clothes, feed and shelters these affected citizens and gives them a chance to live again,” he said.
The Governor, who also noted that the services rendered to beneficiaries of the CADAM initiative were free of charge, said with the quality of facilities at the new rehabilitation centre, he was optimistic that many lives that had been compromised as a result of drug addiction would be redeemed, stabilised and given a new hope for a better and meaningful future.
He acknowledged the fact that the centre was the first functional drug rehabilitation home in Nigeria, saying that the State Government would partner with the church to support the laudable initiative in needed areas.
He said: “This is the first rehabilitation centre in Nigeria which is functional and also effective. I want to commend RCCG for setting the pace to intervene on behalf of government because this is what government should be doing but this intervention comes with a lot of respect and commendation from us and we have no reason than to just partner with RCCG and CADAM Centre to ensure that this facility is 24/7 functional.
“Given the incredible impact this facility will have on the society, I am pleased to say that this is a project that the Lagos State government will support. We are committed to making life better for our people and supporting good causes. This is a great cause and deserves not only the support of the State Government but of all well-meaning Nigerians, institutions and corporate bodies,” the Governor said.
He said aside the personal support to come from his family and friends, the CADAM Avenue Road which is in deplorable state would be rehabilitated as part of the ongoing by-pass road project linking Epe to Ijebu-Ode through Poka and Mojoda, while efforts would be put in place to make the centre functional 24/7.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Pastor Adeboye who was represented by his wife, recalled that the CADAM initiative was founded in 1991 by Pastor Ezekiel Odeyemi, who coincidentally is a Special Assistant to the General Overseer of RCCG.
She explained that it started as a department in the Church to visit homes of addiction victims and hospitals to pray and minister to their physical needs, but that the name was changed in 1996 specifically to permit a wider psycho-social dimension as well as to remove stigma associated with addiction, stigma directed at the addicts and their families.
She said since inception, the centre had assisted more than 2000 beneficiaries, most of whom have become professionals and well-to-do persons in the society.
She also said that over N200million have been spent so far to put up the facilities, saying that the centre would soon commence full implementation of educational and skill acquisition programmes.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday counseled victims of breast cancer not to see the disease as death sentence but rather embrace early medical solution to overcome it.
Governor Ambode, who said this while receiving the wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu at Lagos House, Ikeja on courtesy visit with members of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), said it was time for people to see solution to the disease from medical point of view and not only view it from spiritual or cultural points.
The Governor said though it was true that there is spiritualism, but that the common-sense approach to overcome breast cancer is to seek early medical solution.
He said: “This is more about the people at the lower level. People talk so much about spiritual issue on cancer. Yes, there is spiritualism but again there is common sense. This is obviously more about common sense and we don’t want to continue to lose our people.
“On our part as government, we will do more of public enlightenment, we will do more of advocacy and whatever it is that the association is doing, I want to be put in the front burner because I want to be a partner in this. I believe that anybody having good health, there is hope for good life and that is the way we should treat every citizen that we come across in the course of our duty.”
The Governor commended Mrs. Akeredolu for coming up with the initiative to raise awareness about breast cancer, and pledged to do everything necessary to support the overall objective of the group.
He said: “The most significant part of this is that you (Akeredolu) happen to be the President of the association, not because you are the First Lady of Ondo State, but because of the fact that you have been a survivor and an advocate of the issue of breast cancer prior to becoming the First Lady and that is very significant for me.
“I say this not because you are a survivor but because you are a proud one at that and also trying to send a message that breast cancer is not a death sentence. Twenty years after surviving it, you are seated here and we are propagating something that we should also sell to all Nigerians.
“The strong point of this association is more about advocacy to liberate our people from all these cultural myth and things that have actually held us down and eventually allowing Nigerians that have been held down by this to become part of the productive sector of the country which is the main purpose.
“When we are able to solve this; when we are able to advocate very well on the issue of cancer, we are technically increasing the GDP of Nigeria because it then means that more people will be part of the production sector,” the Governor said.
He said the State Government, through the Ministry of Health and other agencies was already doing a lot on issue of breast cancer, but that more efforts would be geared toward scaling up the advocacy especially at the grassroots.
Besides, Governor Ambode also appreciated the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu for his efforts in securing the release of the six students of Igbonla-Epe Model College.
Earlier, Mrs Akeredolu said she was at Lagos House to introduce BRECAN to the Governor as part of activities marking the formal launch of the Lagos State chapter of the association on Friday, as well as seek the support and partnership of the State Government to jointly tackle cancer in the country.
The Ondo First Lady, who formed the association twenty years ago after surviving breast cancer, said the main objective of BRECAN was to raise awareness and advocacy about the issue, saying that early detection and medical solution is key to save victim.
“People now misconstrue the issue of breast cancer to be a cultural issue or spiritual attack and so they resort to prayer centres. But the truth is that breast cancer is a medical issue. Early detection and care is key. If you notice any unusual change in your breast, go for check-up and not prayer centres,” she said.
…Set To Launch Short Code To Report Cases
Between January and September 2017, a total of 852 cases of domestic violence and related cases were recorded in Lagos State, the State’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has disclosed.
Speaking on Tuesday at a media parley held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa to commemorate the Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Month, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem said out of the total number, there were 564 domestic violence cases, 60 defilement cases, 30 rape cases, 11 attempted rape, 123 child neglect and abuse cases, and 84 other cases.
Kazeem, who is also the Chairman of DSVRT, disclosed that the trend from the data showed an increase in men coming forward to report cases of domestic violence, just as he said that this year alone, a total number of 55 men came forward to report in contrast to 14 men that reported last year.
He said the data revealed that most of sexual assault cases were perpetrated in the afternoon during weekdays, while corroborating that 95 percent of the perpetrators of sexual violence are known to the victims, which according to him, necessitated the need to embark on sensitization campaigns for parents on parenting skills and child abuse prevention tips as well as trainings for children on child’s rights, child abuse, safety and how to preserve evidence.
While some of the cases have been charged to court, Kazeem said the State Government through the Ministry of Youth and Social Development and other stakeholders, provided shelter for the survivors.
Aside that, the Commissioner said all the survivors of sexual assault received medical attention from comprehensive Primary Health Care Centres and referral centres, among other efforts to properly rehabilitate and re-integrate them into the society.
Kazeem, however, noted that under the present administration, the interventions of DSVRT were gradually breaking the silence around issues of sexual and gender based violence in the State.
“There is a growing confidence urging people to speak out more, there is an astronomical increase in reporting of cases in the media. Lagos has indeed revolutionize the way sexual and gender based violence is being tackled in Nigeria with all the pioneering initiatives of Governor Ambode,” Kazeem said.
Besides, the Attorney General revealed that the State Government has concluded plans to launch a short service code that would afford residents the opportunity of reporting cases of domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse and other related offences with ease.
He said the initiative was aimed at ensuring that victims of all forms of abuse reach out to the appropriate agencies and receive timely information on what to do and where to get assistance.
“This would be achieved by members of the public using keywords, that is, ‘Child Abuse to 6820’ or *6820# and an interactive menu browser to get the relevant information from such users such as name, location, specific case or complaint which would in turn ensure that the whole response team is automatically activated.
“Anybody that needs to report a case of child abuse, rape or domestic violence or requires a child or a woman to be rescued can make use of the platform and should receive timely and accurate information”, Adeniji said.
The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has begun a six-month intensified campaign against all forms of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the State with a target to reach out to two million residents to lead the crusade against the menace.
Coordinator of DSVRT, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi who disclosed this during a training session for Media Practioners on Best Practices for Investigating and Reporting Sexual and Gender Based Violence cases, said the development was in a bid to ensure that no community is left behind in the fight against all forms of SGBV.
According to her, the DSVRT would be embarking on intensive sensitisation campaigns at communities like Fagba, Ajuwon, Surulere, Ikeja, Kosofe, Ikorodu, Iwaya, Epe, Badagry, Onike, Ijanikin, Ojo, Idimu, Lagos Island, Alimosho and Agege.
She also said that inner communities in Badore, Sangotedo, Oke Yaya, Owutu would also not be left out of the intensive campaign to reach out to at least two million Lagosians.
“The campaign will be conducted through door-to-door canvassing, engagement of children in schools, town hall meetings, market rallies, engagement at religious gatherings, and visitation to salons.
“There would also be an extensive media outreach through Billboards, radio and television jingles in English, pidgin and other indigenous languages,” Vivour-Adeniyi said.
The DSVRT Coordinator also said that the Team would ensure that relevant details on Domestic Violence prevention are distributed through Local Governments and Marriage Registries to intending couples.
She said the aim of the six months intensive campaign is to drive increased awareness within the populace, improve on coordination of response and more effective prosecution of cases with better witness corroboration, and ultimately a reduction in the number of SGBV cases within the State.