Groups Solicit End To Genital Mutilation

Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan

Two nongovernmental organizations (NGO), Onelife Initiative for Human Development and Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) have called on the governments to put an end to female genital mutilation.

They made the call in Ibadan during a programme tagged: “End Female Genital Mutilation Poster Art Competition Award Ceremony”.

Speaking on the rationale behind the campaign, the Program and Media Manager, Onelife Initiative for Human Development, Mr.Sola Fagorusi, said the idea is to reduce the prevalent level of female genital mutilation in Nigeria.

Fagorusi said: “To ensure that the next generation of mothers won’t indulge in mutilation. The global figure says that 100 million girls have actually been mutilated. 10 per cent of the statistics is in Nigeria. The implication of this is that 20 million girls have been mutilated”.

Speaking on the effects of FGM, Fagorusi pointed out that it affects the female in many uhealthy ways ranging from shock, which may result in death, obstruction for women in labour and difficulty in delivery and Vesico vagina Fistula.

He said: “It has psycho-social effect where the woman doesn’t enjoy sexual union with her husband and cause broken home”.

Faulting the insinuation that if a female is not mutilated, she would be promiscuous, Fagorusi said: “Promiscuity has nothing to do with mutilation. We are talking about character and value system. If parents bring up their children properly then we won’t be talking clitoris or any part of the body responsible for indulging in female genital mutilation.

He also faulted the belief that various religions support it, adding that there are laws such the Child Right Law 2006 in Oyo State, the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act,2015, and Violence Against Women Prohibition Law Oyo State 2016 which all frown at the practice.

Speaking from legal perspectives ,Barrister Ronke Ige from Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC)  described it as a family crime, saying there are various legal provisions locally, nationally and internationally to seek redress on the  matter.

Quoting relevant laws such as Violence Against Persons. Prohibition Act 2015;Violence Against Women Prohibition Law Oyo State 2016 Sec. 6(1) and punishable under sect. 6(2), Ige said no person shall be subjected to torture or to in human or degrading treatment.

According to her, it is against Cap 1V Section 34(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution, which talks about dignity of human beings.

She called on the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other related matters (NAPTIPP), which is mandated to administer the provisions of this Act and collaborate with the relevant stakeholders including faith-based organizations (NGOs).