• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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7 Ebonyi local councils reject female genital mutilation

7 Ebonyi local councils reject female genital mutilation

Seven out of the 13 local government areas in Ebonyi State have publicly rejected the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), having realised that it imposes serious health dangers on women and girls.

The seven local government areas are Ebonyi, Abakaliki, Izzi land, Ohaukwu, Afikpo North, Ishielu and Ivo.

Traditional rulers in the local government areas, who are set to perfect FGM abandonment, said stringent measures have been mapped out to ensure implementation of the new order in the land.

During the public denouncement of FGM practice by Ivo people at Ishiaka, the Ivo Local Government Area headquarters, on Saturday, October 31, His Royal Highness, Eze Moses Okafor Ngele, Agu III of Ishiagu, said they would track girl-child birth to ensure that the girls are not mutilated in the communities.

“We will set up a surveillance system in Ishiagu community that will track the birth of every girl-child and monitor them to ensure that they are not subjected to FGM,” said Ngele, who is also the chairman of Traditional Rulers Council in Ivo Local Government Area.

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“We will hand over any community member who engages in FGM to appropriate security agencies for prosecution in accordance with the Ebonyi State Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law 2018, or any other law prohibiting the practice in Ebonyi State,” he said.

Benjamin Mbakwam, UNICEF FGM consultant for Imo and Ebonyi States, while commending the communities for taking a bold step to end FGM phenomenon in the state, reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to train police and other security agencies on the campaign against FGM in Ebonyi State.

Emmanuel Abba, state director, National Orientation Agency, who has been leading the campaign against FGM in Ebonyi State since 2014, expressed hope that the communities would maintain their stand on FGM abandonment.

Abba said after achieving the target on FGM in all the 13 local government areas, they would proceed to other harmful practices in the state as none of the harmful practices are neglected.

“No, we are not neglecting any part but you know we started with FGM just this year. We brought in spotlight initiative which was based on rape, widowhood maltreatment, deprivation of women right, denial of education, forced marriage, among other violence,” Abba said.

“We started them with spotlight initiative supported by EU-UN and other agencies, so we are highlighting it now. Any moment from now we will hit the communities,” he said.