IMO communities end female genital mutilation




By Victor Nwachukwu

Thirty-one communities in the Ideato North Imo local government area (LGA) on Thursday declared an end to female genital mutilation (FGM) in the region.

The president of the traditional Imo institution in the local government area and also the traditional leader of the Iheme Izuogu community, Eze Kosman Kanu, made the declaration of abandonment of FGM in the area.

He commended the supporting partners, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the National Guidance Agency (NOA) for their enduring commitment to the course.

He added that the statement was in line with the state’s anti-FGM law (2017).

“We, the 31 communities of Ideato North, reached a consensus to declare that day that FGM is prohibited and abolished on our lands in accordance with the Imo anti-FGM law (2017).

“Anyone found guilty of FGM will be ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 naira to the community in addition to the other provisions of the law, and we will bring them to justice,” he said.

In his remarks, UNICEF field office chief Enugu, Mr. Ibrahim Conteh, commended communities for this decision while urging them to sustainably implement the declaration.

Conteh, represented by Mr. Benjamin Mbakwem, UNICEF consultant for FGM in Imo and Enonyi, recommended the establishment of monitoring teams in the different communities to ensure compliance with the declaration.

“UNICEF stands in solidarity with the good people of Ideato North for this achievement, and we urge that this momentum be maintained and that the resolutions be implemented in a sustainable manner.

“We also hope that a functional community monitoring team will be put in place to ensure compliance in collaboration with the IMO government and law enforcement agencies,” he said.

Also speaking, NOA Director in Imo, Mr. Vitus Ekeocha, called for all hands to be on deck to ensure the effective implementation of the declaration.

He called on religious leaders, youth as well as women’s groups to support traditional leaders in the statement he described as the result of extensive dialogue, engagement and advocacy meetings.

“What we are witnessing today is the result of various engagements and advocacy meetings with critical stakeholders on the negative health consequences and psychosocial consequences of FGM on women.

“I call on all relevant stakeholders, including traditional leaders, religious, youth and women leaders, to defend this course and ensure its continued implementation for the good of our society,” he said. -he declares.

In addition, the State Commissioner for Women’s Affairs and Vulnerable Groups, Ms Nkechinyere Ugwu, said the declaration signaled an end to harmful traditional practices and violence against women and girls.

The commissioner called on the inhabitants of the communities to remain law-abiding and to fight against FGM.

The president of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, IMO chapter, Ms Chisara Egwim-Chima, said that according to the laws in force, violators of the declaration would serve a sentence of 14 years in prison, pay the sum of 250,000 naira or would receive both sentences. .

She urged communities to abide by the resolutions to avoid the terrible consequences of disobedience.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the event brought together representatives from the 31 LGA communities, traditional and religious leaders, among others. (NOPE)


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