Group calls for end to FGM in Nigeria

The National Coordinator, Side by Side for Gender Justice in Nigeria, Mr Vincent Daniel, has advocated for an end to Female Genital Multilation (FGM) in Nigeria calling on state government to intensify efforts at enforcing the law in their states.

Daniel pointed out that this is the only effective and efficient way of discouraging people from indulging in the act, while calling on stakeholders to join hands with the government to eradicate the menace in the society.

The NGO, in collaboration with African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development and the Christians Aid, which  premiered a movie, called for royal decree and panel discussion in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital as part of ways to create awareness on the dangers in the continued practice of FGM.

Daniel said, “ The objective is that the movie will inspire stakeholders in the state to take action in their respective communities and groups at ending FGM. From the reports we have, FGM is endemic in Ekiti and we must take action by advocating for it to end.

“ There is law in the state but there is need for the enforcement of the law so that people will see the danger in it and abandon the obsolete practice of cutting.“

He pointed out that the group would soon commence advocacy visit to traditional and religious leaders in communities across the 16 local government areas of the state.

In her speech, a lawyer and head of Ekiti  State Sexual Referral Centre, Rita Ilevbare, said scientists have proven that there were no benefits in the continuous cutting of female organs, calling on the people to stop the practice.

She explained that the wife of the governor, Bisi Fayemi, had introduced series of interventions where some practitioners dropped their tools and were financially empowered for them to focus on other businesses instead of the FGM act.

“Culture is not a reason for the continuous practice of FGM in our state. Also, scientists have said that there is no benefit in the act, it has no scientific backing. People say it help our girls from being promiscuous but I can tell you that Ekiti has prevalent of teenage pregnancy and FGM, this act has not achieve anything,“ she said.

According to her, Section 7 of the Ekiti State Gender-Based Violence (Prohibition) Law 2019 clearly prohibited the circumcision or genital mutilation, adding that the government would continue its efforts at eradicating the practice in the state.

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