COMMUNITIES IN NGOR OKPALA TO BANISH PERPERTRATORS OF FGM
Communities in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State have vowed to banish anyone who engages in the obnoxious cultural practice of mutilating the genitals of the girl child.
The traditional ruler of Okpala Umuekwune Community, Eze Bara Ikegwu made this known at Umuhu-Ngor during a meeting organized for Stakeholders in the fight against the practice.
Report from UNICEF indicates that Ngor Okpala ranks high among areas with prevalence of female genital mutilation in Nigeria.
Although there are claims that the people have jettisoned the harmful traditional procedure during which part of the female genital organ is being mutilated, there are reported cases of mothers using hot water to massage the genitals thereby leaving the organ numb.
Advocates of this ugly practice have argued the measure is not only for cosmetic purposes but to help check promiscuity.
The traditional ruler of Okpala Umuekwune, Eze Ikegwu said severe sanctions awaited anybody that engaged in the practice.
According to the royal father, “we have carried out the campaign vigorously in our community and have passed a very strong law to banish any member of the community that engages in female genital mutilation.”
The traditional ruler of Alulu, Eze Princewill Nwaogu and his counterpart from Egbelu Umuekwune, Eze George Nwosu said they had put machinery in motion to monitor those who encouraged the act.
Eze nwaogu stated that “If you are eventually caught practicing that you will be sanctioned for one cow and in some areas where we know they are practicing quacks we send people who are whistle blowers.”
For Eze Nwosu, “It is unfortunate that Ngor Okpala is still being listed as one of the places where this bad cultural practice is still being prevalent.”
The Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF Field Office, Enugu Mrs. Nkiru Mmaduechesi said with the renewed efforts and enthusiasm demonstrated by the people female genital mutilation would soon be a thing of the past.
She used the forum to narrate the benefits of stopping the practice.
“The Children will not suffer the pain, the trauma associated with it, the risk of infectious diseases will be minimized and they will also have good family life,” she explained.
The State Director, National Orientation Agency, Mr. Vitus Ekeocha said the Agency in collaboration with UNICEF had in the last 3 years embarked on sensitization to the people.
He expressed the optimism that Ngor-Okpala would soon denounce all forms of female genital mutilation.