By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Oyo State Coordinator of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Mrs. Balikis Oluwakemi Olawoyin at the weekend disclosed that female genital mutilation (FGM) is harmful and with no benefit to humanity
Mrs Olawoyin stated this while speaking at a one-day Stop Cut Project Stakeholders Capacity Building, held at Koltol Hotel Plaza Suites in Ibadan.
The Oyo State FGM Coordinator who was presenting a paper titled ” Presentation on Understanding FGM ” at the training organised for journalists, pointed out that FGM is harmful particularly to the female.
” Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is extremely harmful to the body of girls and women adding that it is now time Nigerians desist from such practice. The negative effect of FGM is irreversible”, she said.
Mrs Olawoyin added, ” Female genital mutilation has no known benefit. It has immediate and age-long term consequences. It is an extremely harmful practice. The damage caused is irreversible. The society thought that FGM is a way to protect women against being promiscuous, but we discovered that it does not.”
“We do not know when it started. It does not discourage women from being promiscuous. It has no benefit. So, the media should help us spread the message to the people at the grassroots. We appeal to the religious leaders, traditional rulers, men and to stop this act”.
Speaking further, Mrs Olawoyin said Oyo State is one of the states with highest prevalence rate of FGM in Nigeria and that the training for the journalists from the print, online, electronic media and those from various ministries became necessary in order to sentisise members of the public on the negative effects of FGM.
In her presentation entitled “Presentation on Laws and Policy”, Barrister Adeoti Tolulope described FGM as a violation of the right of females, and that all stakeholders must rise to stop the practice.
Representative of HACEY Health Initiative, Emmanuel Oni in his welcome remarks, said “FGM is a crime in the state”, and that anyone caught engaging in FGM would be be prosecuted in line with the recent laws passed in the state.
“With these laws, the government has given us the go ahead to officially prosecute any perpetrator of FGM. The passage of these laws has given us the support to work with security agencies to ensure that we bring this practice to an end”, he said.