Seven local government areas out of the thirteen that make up Ebonyi State have publicly rejected the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, having realized the dangers it poses on women and girls.
The local governments are Ebonyi, Abakaliki , Izzi land, Ohaukwu, Afikpo North, Ishielu and Ivo Local government area.
Traditional rulers in the local government areas who are set to perfect FGM abandonment, said stringent measures have been mapped out to ensure implementation of the new order in the land.
At Ishiaka the council headquarters of Ivo Local Government area on Saturday , October 31, during the public abandonment of FGM practice by Ivo people, His Royal Highness, Eze Moses Okafor Ngele, Agu lll of Ishiagu, said they will track girl child birth to ensure that they are not Mutilated in the communities.
Agu lll , who is also the Chairman, Ivo Local Government area traditional rulers council, said, “we will set up surveillance system in Ishiagu community that will track the birth of every girl- child and monitor them to ensure that they are not subjected to FGM.
“We will handover any community member who engages in FGM to appropriate security agencies for prosecution in accordance with the Ebonyi State violence against persons (prohibition) law 2018, or any other law prohibiting the practice in Ebonyi State.”
UNICEF, FGM consultant IMO and Ebonyi, Mr Benjamin Mbakwam, while commending the communities for taking a bold step to end FGM phenomenon in the state , reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to train police and other security agencies on the campaign against FGM in Ebonyi State.
Dr. Emmanuel Abba, State Director National Orientation Agency, who has been leading the campaign against FGM in Ebonyi State since 2014, expressed hope that the communities will maintain their stand on FGM abandonment.
Dr. Abba said, after achieving the target on FGM in all the 13 local government areas, they will proceed to other harmful practices in the State as none of the harmful practices are neglected.
“No we are not neglecting any part but you know we started with FGM just this year, we brought in spotlight initiative which was based on rape, widowhood maltreatment , deprivation of women right, denial of Education, forced marriage among other violence. we started them with spotlight initiative supported by EU -UN and other agencies so we are highlighting it now. Any moment from now we will hit the communities.