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Ebonyi state commended for proscribing female genital mutilation

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…Babatunde Opalana 

A Non-Governmental organisation, African Youth Initiative on Population, Health and Development (AfrYPoD) has commended the people Izzi clan comprising of 26 communities and three Local Government Areas (Abakaliki, Ebonyi and Izzi) in Ebonyi State for proscribing the age-long practice of female genital mutilation.

The President of AfrYPoD, Dr. Laz Ude Eze, in a commendation letter on Wednesday, said the clan on Monday, June 19, 2017 in Ebonyi State made a public declaration on the abandonment of the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in their land  noting that Ebonyi State with a prevalence rate of 74% (NDHS 2013), ranks the second highest in FGM practice in Nigeria.

Eze said that in the declaration signed by the Izzi clan traditional ruler’s Forum and custodians of Izzi culture, the royal fathers stated: “It, therefore, stands that we have today expunged and outlawed the practice of Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting from the culture of Izzi clan and mandate Izzi traditional rulers to publicize it in their domain”.

This declaration, he stated, marks a watershed in the history of the people of Izzi land and brings huge relief to generations of young girls and women who will henceforth live a life without female genital mutilation

“Since 2016 when we joined the efforts to help end FGM in Ebonyi State with the support of The Girl Generation, this is the most significant success story ever recorded. We commend the Government of Ebonyi State, the Traditional Rulers Council and Development Partners for championing the efforts to eliminate FGM in the state. We also recognise especially the great works done by the Wife of the Governor of Ebonyi State, Mrs. Rachel Umahi, through her organisation – Family Succour and Upliftment Foundation in making the public declaration against FGM possible.

“We love what we saw in Izzi land and we are excited that other communities and clans in Ebonyi State are also preparing to expunge and outlaw FGM from their cultural practices. We call on the Ebonyi State House of Assembly to enact a law immediately to ban FGM; this can be achieved by the domestication the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act 2015.”

Eze said that AfrYPoD felt encouraged by the government and people of Ebonyi State and therefore reaffirm the body’s commitment to keeping raising young champions against FGM to ensure sustainability of the gains being made.

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