United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information have engaged traditional rulers, religious leaders, women groups and other stakeholders in Osun State in a bid to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the state.
The stakeholders have not only pledged to join the campaign to eliminate the practice but also promised to ensure that practitioners were brought to book at a one-day engagement with UNICEF in collaboration with Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information.
At the engagement that attracted no fewer than 30 traditional rulers, the Alaagba of Aagba, Oba Rufus Olayinka Ogunwole said Female Genital Mutilation has no benefit and pose danger to the survivors.
UNICEF Senior Programme Associate for Child Protection Section and Focal Point for the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Mrs Phydelia Abbas, stated that according to Nigeria demographic and health survey, the prevalence rate of the practice was 78 per cent in Osun State in 2013 adding that it had reduced to 45.9 per cent in 2018.
Also, UNICEF FGM Consultant for South West, Mrs. Aderonke Olutayo, quoted a World Health Organisation (WHO) data that $1.4 billion would be spent every year globally to cater for survivors and other matters relating to FGM if the practice continues.
They concluded that FGM was not only a violation of dignity and rights of girls and women in the society but highly inimical to their health.
In the communiqué signed by traditional rulers and representatives of other groups of participants, they vowed that FGM would no longer be practiced in their localities, adding that whoever that contravenes the law banning the practice should be arrested and made to face the consequences of their actions.