Worried by the recent rating of Osun State as number one on the hierarchy of the six Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) most endemic states, the wife of Osun State Governor, Alhaja Sherifat Abidemi Aregbesola has warned perpetrators of the risk of going to jail.
Addressing a press conference in Osogbo, Alhaja Aregbesola expressed sadness that despite efforts being put in place to eradicate the practice, the recent rating by the National Demographic Heath Survey (NDHS) calls for drastic step to stem the ugly trend.
She vowed not to only continue to intensify campaign against the practice but ensure that whosoever is found culpable henceforth is brought to book.
Brandishing copies of the law of Osun State that prohibits the practice of FGM in the state, the First Lady said after the on-going campaign and widespread awareness in all the nooks and crannies of the state, violators would be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.
Alhaja Aregbesola further posited that FGM is also a violation of fundamental human rights as it is sometimes carried out at a very young age when there is no possibility of individual’s consent.
She noted that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), through a study, has confirmed that the practice of Female Genital Mutilation in the endemic states in Nigeria was only anchored on various traditional beliefs and the social pressure to conform to culture.
According to her, “documented studies have shown that the health implications of FGM range from dangerous infections arising from unsanitary conditions in which the practice is carried out to death through severe bleeding as well as pain and trauma as mutilated infants, girls and women face irreversible lifelong health risks among other consequences.”
Aregbesola noted that the reason adduced by those engaged in removal of the external female genitalia was not tenable and that they were just inflicting unwarranted lifelong trauma on the circumcised females and denying them sexual pleasure simply for cultural beliefs and tradition.