The Centre for Women’s Health and Information has called on the security agencies, courts and legal practitioners in Nigeria to join the fight against Female Genital Mutilation in the country.
During an awareness campaign, organised for magistrates at the Oyo State High Court of Justice to mark the International Day of Female Genital Mutilation, CEWHIN Programmes Coordinator, Mrs Adebanke Akinrimisi, in a statement made available to our correspondent, said that a stiffer measure against the practice would be vital to its eradication.
Akinrimisi said, “Female Genital Mutilation is a harmful traditional practice in Nigeria that may lead to the death of the victim while negatively impacting the lives of women by causing recurrent urinary tract infections. Similar campaigns have been carried out with the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to solicit their support in this regard. The issue is more prevalent in the South-West.
“Oyo State is one of the places where FGM is very high, which means that there is a lot of work to be done to eliminate the practice. The prevalence of the practice in the various local government areas of the state shows that Kajola is leading others while Oyo-West and Ibarapa follow closely.”
Akinrimisi expressed joy that magistrates in the state had joined the campaign to stamp out the practice.
She frowned on the initial soft penalty against the practice, which prescribed two years’ imprisonment or a fine of N20,000 for offenders, while expressing the hope that the new law, which stipulates four years’ imprisonment or a fine of N100,000, would help in the fight against FGM.