Some of the stakeholders
Offenders are liable to pay fine of N50,000
By Nweze Anaga,
Stakeholders in Afikpo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State have expressed satisfaction over the drastic reduction in the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the area.
They also said that offenders were liable to pay fine if found guilty, while discouraging nurses, who still engage in it.
They warned such nurses that the age-grade system and NGOs were monitoring their activities to stop any form of abuse.
The women coordinator of FGM in Afikpo LGA of Ebonyi State, Mrs.Chinyere Okogwu, confirmed that FGM practices in the area had been reduced drastically from over 70% to less than 20% as a result of the efforts and support from religious institutions (Christian and Traditional) to stop the obnoxious practices because of its harmful nature to human health.
According to the women leader, the religious institutions (Traditional and Christian) have played significant roles to stop FGM Practices across the communities in Afikpo LGA.
Okogwu further explained that in an effort to stop FGM completely, the traditional institution, more especially the age-grade system, placed a fine of N50,000 (fifty thousand naira) against anybody caught in the practice, adding that there had been sensitization campaign, workshops, rallies to churches, markets, and other public places to create awareness for people to know the negative effects.
Also, the President General of Ohaisu Community Development Association, Dr Jaspa Okoro, said that there was a standing law by the House of Assembly which prohibits FGM Practices in Ebonyi State, noting that certain measures of punishment were outlined against offenders.
Responding, the traditional ruler of the area, HRH Ezeogo Ewa Elechi, said that in the past 12 years under his watch, alot had been done to stop FGM in Afikpo LGA.