Traditional rulers from the 28 communities in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo state have resolved to throw their weight behind the ongoing fight against female genital mutilation and cutting in their domains.
The resolution followed a sensitization meeting organized for the royal fathers by the National Orientation Agency, NOA in collaboration with the UNICEF in Owerri.
Speaking to Radio Nigeria, the traditional ruler of Amaala, Eze Simeon Umuju and his counterpart from Obichukwu community, Eze Sabastine Agomuo, blamed the age long practice in the area on ignorance.
They said they were moved by the discovery of health hazards and psychological torture associated with the practice.
Earlier, the Director National Orientation Agency in Imo State, Mr. Vitus Ekeocha noted that traditional rulers were strategic in the effort to end female genital mutilation and cutting in the state.
In a lecture which focused on the negative effects of tampering with the female genitalia, the UNICEF Consultant for Imo and Ebonyi States, Mr. Ben Mbakwem, noted that the practice had contributed to the high rate of maternal mortality and infant morbidity.
He stated that more than 3 000,000 (three million) girls and women worldwide were at risk of genital mutilation every year while 200 million are living with the effects of the mutilation.