Ekiti State government has read the riot act to fathers and mothers-in-law who still engage in Female Genital Mutilation (FMG).

The government said those who still perform FGM would henceforth face punishment,.

FMG otherwise known as female circumcision is the act of removing or cutting part of the female’s genital, particularly the clitoris by circumcisers, especially at infancy.

The practice has existed for so long that people believed it is because religion or culture dictates that people should do it.

Six states top the list of prevalence in Nigeria.  Among them are Osun, Ekiti, Oyo, Ebonyi, Imo and Lagos.

But the Ekiti government is already taking the bull by the horn by stop the practice.

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The government has entered into partnership with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to end the act in the state.

The Gender/Family Planning Coordinator in the Ministry of Health, Olukem Akinleye, while speaking during the inauguration of the Local Technical Committee on Female Genital Mutilation, in Ikere-Ekiti on Tuesday, said the practice had wreaked a lot of havoc on many marriages.

She tasked fathers and mothers-in-law to assist relevant stakeholders in prevailing on their wives and daughters in the society to stamp out female circumcision.

Akinleye stressed that the involvement of the head of every house and mothers-in-law in stopping 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 sensitisation has hampered the enforcement of the child right law.

She said: “A law to prohibit female circumcision or genital mutilation, No 6, 2002, Ekiti State of Nigeria, titled: Female Circumcision (Prohibition) Law, enacted by the House of Assembly.

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“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 3 years without an option of fine for every subsequent conviction.”

Akinleye thanked UNICEF for partnering with the state government at ensuring that the FGM is 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, Aderonke Olutayo, identified Ekiti as the second highest prevalent rate with 74 per cent in the South-west, after Osun that has 77 per cent rate.

She said that the survey by the fund revealed that the prevalence is high in six local government areas of Ekiti State, including Ekiti West, Ikere, Ado, Ido/Osi, Ikole and Ekiti Southwest.

Olutayo 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 per cent.

She also made different illustrations showing the violation of female child rights through the cutting of the female genital organs in a film showed to the committee at the inauguration to show the extent of damages done to the female child.

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