The National Orientation Agency (NOA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have called on the Imo State House of Assembly to enact the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act.
This according to them, will save the girl-child from all forms of violence.
The agencies made the call at a workshop with community leaders from Njaba and Isu Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Imo State on the need to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Imo held in the LGA.
Speaking at the event, NOA State Director, Nazzy Njoku commended the Imo Assembly for enacting the Female Genital Mutilation (prohibition) Law (No. 6 of 2017) and charged the state assembly to expedite action on the VAPP Act.
He however, said that an enactment of the VAPP Act would go a long way in reducing the practice of FGM in the state to its barest minimum.
His words, “FGM may not end without proper legislation and this is why we commend the Imo House of Assembly for enacting the Imo state FGM prohibition Law (no 6 of 2017) and hope that soon, the VAPP Act will be adopted in Imo”, he said.
Also, NOA Director in Njaba LGA, Mrs Nkechi Onunwa said that although FGM is a cultural practice, it should be discontinued as “it is not advantageous”.
Speaking, the UNICEF facilitator for FGM in Imo, Vitus Ekeocha said that the workshop was part of the Agency’s community-to-community dialogue with community leaders for the elimination of FGM in the 21 communities of the LGA.
Ekeocha who described FGM as a form of violence against persons stated the negative effects of FGM such as low self esteem and sexual dysfunction in marriage can further be avoided with the enactment of the VAPP Act in Imo.
Also, the UNICEF Programme Officer for FGM in Imo, Chigozie Orjiako urged community leaders to appeal to residents of their communities to consider ending the practice.