By Uchenna Ugwu
Ohaukwu (Ebonyi) – The Wife of Ebonyi Governor, Mrs Rachael Umahi, has called for sustainable and collective approach toward the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other violence against women in the state.
Umahi made the call on Friday at a forum organised for women in five communities of Ohaukwu Local Government Area (LGA) of the state on how to end the phenomenon.
Represented by Mrs Patience offorokorie, the wife of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, she said that a sustained approach would deepen and always reawaken the people’s consciousness on the consequences of the act.
The governor’s wife thanked the Chairman of the council, Mr Clement Odah, elders, traditional rulers and women of the area for publicly declaring their commitment to end the unwholesome practice in the area.
She encouraged the youths to support the fight against FGM by monitoring and reporting those indulging in the act.
“I call on the youths to be involved in the fight to ensure that all forms of violence against women no longer exist,” Umahi said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that as part of the efforts to check the practice, the state government enacted the “Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law.
Also, the governor’s wife’s pet project, called “Family Succour and Upliftment Foundation”, has since 2016 championed the campaign against the practice in the state.
The council chairman commended Umahi for her genuine efforts to improve the status of women in the state.
He expressed joy that the ugly practice had been rejected by women, elders, traditional rulers and other individuals in the area.
Odah said that it was proper to reject the practice because of its health implications, including complications in childbirth, death, damage to the uretha, sexual dysfunction, among others.
He said that the council constituted a seven-member committee from the five communities to keep surveillance in the area and ensure compliance.
He said: “We have embarked on several sensitisations in communities where presidents of town unions, village heads, traditional rulers and other stakeholders were involved.
“We have taken a stand to reject the act after carrying out a series of campaign in our council area.”
The state Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Grace Chima, educated the people on the provisions of the VAPP law against the practice and promised the readiness of the federation to prosecute violators of the law.
Chima further promised that the federation would collaborate with Umahi’s foundation to ensure that no woman suffered any form of violence in the state.
The FIDA boss encouraged women and traditional rulers in the area to rise to their responsibilities in protecting children against all forms of violence.
Chief John Ezeoge, the Chairman, Traditional Rulers Council, Ohaukwu chapter, said that they had accepted to work toward achieving an end to the practice.
“We are here to declare an end to FGM in Ohaukwu LGA and will continue to summon our subjects to engage them in meetings to ensure compliance,” Ezeoge said. (NAN)