The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, Friday, ended the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, FGM (circumcision), in 22 communities in Ihitte/Uboma Local Government Area of Imo State.
UNICEF chief of field office, Enugu, Ibrahim Conteh, spoke at the Ihitte/Uboma local government secretariat, where traditional rulers and their subjects led by the chairman of monarchs in the area, His Royal Highness, Eze Jude Uwalaka, publicly denounced the practice of FGM.
According to Conteh, “Since 2015, UNICEF has been supporting the implementing partners to support social norms change through advocacy, dialogue, community mobilisation and consensus building to facilitate community commitments for the collective abandonment of FGM.
“We are most elated that these engagements have yielded very positive results as all the 22 autonomous communities of Ihitte/Uboma LGA have come out en masse to openly declare their resolve to abandon FGM.
“Ihitte/Uboma has joined the league of nations to firmly stand by and contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 5.3, eliminate all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations,” he said. Adding his voice, the state Director, National Orientation Agency,NOA, Vitus Ekeocha, said:
“What we are witnessing here is the outcome of various engagements and advocacy meetings with critical stakeholders on the negative health and psycho-social consequences of FGM on the female folk.
“This public declaration marks a great milestone in the history of the people of Ihitte/Uboma and we commend the traditional rulers, religious, youth and women leaders for this step in the right direction.” In his remarks, the chairman of Imo monarchs in Ihitte /Uboma, Eze Uwalaka, said:
“We the 22 communities in IhitteUboma have reached a consensus to declare on this day that FGM is prohibited and abolished from our land in accordance with extant laws. “We shall hand over for prosecution anyone who flaunts this declaration as the practice is now prohibited in Ihitte/Uboma.”