Custodians of Culture in twenty six communities of Izzi Clan cutting across three Local Government Areas in Ebonyi State have abolished Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, in view of its negative effect on womanhood in the area. At a public declaration on the abolition at Izzi Nnodo Cultural Centre Amagu, the UNICEF Chief of Field Office Enugu, Mr Ibrahim Conteh commended Traditional Rulers in the State for their prominent role in curbing the obnoxious practice.
The three Local Government Areas are Izzi, Ebonyi and Abakaliki while the Chief Custodians of Culture were led by the oldest man in the clan, Ishuke Ogbedege Nkwuda said to be One hundred and twenty years old. Reading out the declaration, the Secretary, Izzi Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Emmanuel Nwojiji explained that though mutilation of female genitalia had been an age long tradition of the Clan, it had brought much health hazards on women hence the abolition.
He explained that Autonomous Communities in the Clan had mapped out various ways to punish offenders including denial of right to farmland and excommunication for a period of time. The UNICEF Chief of Field Office Enugu, Mr Conteh represented by WASH Specialist in the Office, Mr Amos Kudzala noted that Ebonyi State had the second highest FGM prevalent rate in the country and urged Communities to step up sensitization against the practice.
The Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Rachel Umahi emphasized that her pet project, Family Succor and Upliftment Foundation was engaging other Clans and Local Government Areas across the state for a similar public declaration. Highlights of the event were unveiling of stone inscription on the declaration by the Wife of the Governor and presentation of Lecture on the implications of FGM by the Medical Director, National Obstetric Fistula Centre Abakaliki, Professor Sunday Adeoye .