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85 Osun Communities Agree To Stop Female Genital Mutilation

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By Nafisat Arogundade, Osogbo

No fewer than 85 Communities in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun state on Friday declared their readiness to stop the olden days of Female Genital Mutilation practice.

They made the declaration at the Female Genital Mutilation Abandonment/ Elimination public Declaration organised by National Orientation Agency in collaboration with the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), held at Akinorun grammar school Ikirun.

The 85 communities that made the declaration were under Dagbolu and Seke communities and they are all located within the local government area.

CityMirrorNews reports that no fever than seven heads of communities were present at the event.

The communities heads who made the pledge to completely stop the Practice are; Muraina Akande, Dagbolu,Yusuf Olasunkanmi of Temidire, Dauda Adekunle of Oja Oluode, Bakare Tiamiyu Seke community, Gasali Jimoh of Abimbola Community, Akanmu Omotayo of Agbonro-pete, Agboola Ganiyu of Odo-Amo Community and Rafiu Adelake of Olosun community they were all declared their intentions to end FGM in the communities.

Addressing their people, the communities heads vowed that they would stop FGM practice and enforce it on their people to eradicate menace completely in their domain.

Heads of Seke and Dagbolu communities singed an agreement and renounced female circumcision just as they promised to enforce it on their people so as to be able to kick the menace out if their communities.

They however received certificates of oath, promising to support UNICEF and NOA efforts eliminate the practice

Earlier, Mrs Aderonke Olutayo, UNICEF consultant for South West, (Osun,Ekiti and Oyo state) described Female Genital Mutilation, a cultural practice of removing part of the female genital either as a customary rite of initiation into womanhood or as a check against promiscuity, as harmful.

According to the UNICEF representative, the harmful practice is prevalent in developing countries, especially in Africa.

She said the affected females live with the negative consequences of the practice, which undermines their physical, emotional and socio-economic described FGM as a harmful traditional practice, a gross violation of the fundamental human rights of women, which seriously compromised their health and psychological well-being.

“It poses increased risk of infection or prolonged labour, bleeding, still-birth and maternal death during childbirth as well as leaves lasting physical, emotional scars and an irreparable damage.”

She urged stakeholders to collaborate in the campaign to end its menace in their respective communities.

The state director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Prince Olalekan Adejobi said the agency had carried out series of programmes to sensitise the public on the effects of female genital mutilation.

Adejobi said that the agency and UNICEF has gone to 140 communities under three Local Government of Ola-Oluwa Local Government,Ife Central Local Government and Ifelodun Local Government to make public declaration for FGM abandonment after meeting with them

He, thereafter appealed to the residents in the state to always abstain from the acts, saying female circumcision does not bear any positive fruit but rather a basket of dangers and sometimes death to the women

Honourable Lamidi Omoloye Shittu, Ifelodun local government urged the communities to do away with Female Genital Multilation

He appreciated the effort of the UNICEF and NOA for the enlightenment programmes which they have organised for their communities saying he was ready to join the campaign team against the act as the communities came out for public declaration

He furthered pledged not to cover or overlooked anyone that perpetrate the act after the public declaration and to make sure that the person will not go unpunished.

CityMirrorNews that after the public declaration, UNICEF will set up a surveillance support system to ensure compliance

It would train more ENDFGM Focal community Champaign, work more with women, men, secondary school girls and law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to enforce the law

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