Ekiti State government has read riot act to parents that still engaged in Female Genital Mutilation (circumcision)
The Gender/Family Planning coordinator in the Ministry of Health, Mrs Olukemi Akinleye spoke on behalf of the state government, while inaugurating the Local Technical Committee on Female Genital Mutilation, (FGM) in Ikere-Ekiti.
She tasked fathers and mothers to assist relevant stakeholders in prevailing over their wives and daughters in the society to stamp out female circumcision.
She stressed that the involvement of the head of every house and in the stoppage of the scourge became imperative due to the fact that no woman would circumcise her child without the consent of the father.
She reminded the committee members that a law against the Act had been enacted since 2002 in the state, but stressed that lack of sensitization had hampered the enforcement of the child right law.
“A law to prohibit Female circumcision or Genital Mutilation, No 6, 2002, Ekiti State of Nigeria, titled: Female Circumcision (Prohibition) law, was enacted by the House of Assembly.
“It provides that no person shall circumcise or mutilate the genital organ of any female child, whether or not her consent is obtained. Any person, who performs the operation of FGM, coerces, entices, induces, any person to undergo female circumcision or caused her genital organ to be mutilated is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of N10,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years in the first instance and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3years without an option of fine for every subsequent conviction.”
She noted that circumcision may result in disastrous consequences on the physical and mental health of the victim.
She listed the effects to include: infliction of avoidable mental, psychological and physical pains on the victim, complications, which either lead to excessive bleeding (hemorrhage), infectious diseases, like Sexually Transmitted Infections, (STI) tetanus, HIV, among others.
“The state government believes in the peaceful approach into the matter, before applying the law, but if we realize that those concerned are not ready to change, the government may be force to apply the law,” she said.
Akinleye thanked the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF for partnering with the state government at ensuring that the FGM was reduced to the barest in the state, and appealed to the committee members to take the task as a personal project which must be achieved.
Addressing the members, the UNICEF representative in Ekiti, Osun and Oyo states, Mrs Aderonke Olutayo, identified Ekiti as the second high prevalent rate with 74percent in the south west, after Osun that has 77percent rate.
She said that the survey by the fund revealed that the prevalence was high in six local government areas of Ekiti state, including Ekiti west, Ikere, Ado, Ido/Osi, Ikole and Ekiti southwest.
She gave the prevalence rates as Ekiti west-85.2, Ekiti southwest-82.3, Ikere-79.5, Ado-Ekiti-68.1, Ido/Osi-65.8 and Ikole-46.4 percent.