Commissioner for Health in Oyo State, Dr. Bode Ladipo has advised residents of the state to henceforth, desist from female genital mutilation. Ladipo who spoke while addressing journalists on Thursday in Ibadan explained that female genital mutilation is one of the traditional practices that are harmful to female folk.
He spoke during a program named “The stopcut project” organized by HACEY Health and Spotlight Initiatives, as part of activities to mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The event had representatives of security agencies, United Nations (UN) agencies, European Union (EU), ministries, government organizations, and the media in attendance.
Reporters at large gathered that female genital mutilation is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It was gathered that over 20 million women and girls in Nigeria have been subjected to this harmful traditional practice.
Reporters at large also gathered that Oyo State is the second state where the incidents of female genital mutilation is rampant after Lagos state. The state Commissioner for Health, Bode Ladipo, while speaking on Thursday, advised residents of the state to henceforth desist from such harmful practices.
Ladipo noted that the effects of psychological trauma arising from genital mutilation among women cannot be quantified.
The commissioner who added that the state government has put measures in place to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation in the state insisted that decisive steps have been taken to get the perpetrators arrested.
Ladipo said, “Female genital mutilation is harmful. We understand that Oyo state has the highest rate after Lagos state.
“It is one of the harmful traditional practices. The effect of FGM on women cannot be quantified. That is why we are saying that parents should not do it again.
“In Oyo state, the rate is high, but recently it has reduced. We are taken a decisive decision against it. There are laws, it is not that there are no laws. It is the implementation that we all need. We need our law enforcement officers to enforce the laws”.
Executive Director of HACEY, Ms. Rhoda Robinson, in her remark, maintained that relevant stakeholders such as legislature, parents and religious organizations must be involved to combat violence against women in the country.
She said that “The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is observed every November 25th and it aims at creating awareness for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls and FGM is one of such violence against women and girls”.
Oluwatomi Olunuga, who spoke on behalf of Stopcut, in her contribution, explained that Oyo, Osun, and Ekiti states have keyed into the project to eradicate female genital mutilation.
“We have carried out a research study on FGM in the South-West. It was carried out in FGM prevalent states in South-West Nigeria; Ekiti, Osun and Oyo states”.