By NWOGHA NDUBUISI ANDY, Abakaliki
Few months after the public declaration for the abandonment of female genital mutilation by the custodians of Izzi clan, Ishiuke-Izzi, a case of severe bleeding after performance of the act on one Miss Nnedinma Simeon Obeji waa on Saturday recorded at Obegu-Omege Okpuitumo community in Abakaliki LGA of Ebonyi State.
The victim was rescued after a tip off, by non governmental organization, Child Protection Network team led by Flora Egwu who rushed her to Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, where she was confirmed to have undergone what was termed FGM type 2.
According to Chief Egwu while narrating the incident, she hinted that the team was contacted through the traditional ruler, where they traced the girl to their village before taking her to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment was freely administered on her with drugs offered to her before she was handed over to the family.
She said that the group after the public declaration for the abandonment of the act instituted a group of community based child protection network to monitor and report to her office, believing that some die hard believers of the old tradition would not abide by the order except it was enforced by their community leaders.
The NGO Coordinator, further revealed that her team after the public declaration met with all the traditional rulers of the clan through the help of the custodians of the clan and they established a fine which has helped in curtailing the continuous administration of the female genital cutting at rural communities.
She said that several cases had been recorded including the genital cutting of three months old baby at Nkaliki, and an attempted plan of cutting of seventeen pupils of same age grade during school holiday at Igbuhu in Ndiebor Inyimagu communities.
It was also gathered that at NdiMbam village, four fresh cases were also discovered including the case of bleeding some years after the cutting of one, Oluchi Ofoke, Nwaminioke Ozioma, and Chiamaka Obeji.
Speaking with the traditional ruler, Okpuitumo Autonomous Community, HRH Eze, Stephen Ukpa, KSJI (JP), he expressed shock that such act was still been exercised in the community after the village accepted the VAPP Law, he presented to the cabinets and was made to circulate at the entire villages where the public announcement was carried out in both churches and other social gatherings.
Eze Ukpa reiterated that he would leave no stone unturned to ensure the old tradition was totally wiped in the psyche of his people.
He added that he has through his cabinet established fine for the defaulters of the law.
“I presented the VAAP Law before the traditional assembly and we now pass new law that forbid the act in my community to ensure nobody go back to the old tradition.
“A defaulter is made to provide, 4 big kolanuts, lap of dry meat, 4 kegs of palmwine, N40,000, a crate of stout, soft drinks and Life Beer, or the person who cuts the daughter is made to leave his leased land until he fulfils the fine alternatively, face government sanction and the woman who administered the cutting will also be made to pay same fines.
Meanwhile, Mrs.Egwu appealed to the traditional ruler to reach out to their Edda Community counterparts who helped in providing the woman whose job was administering the cutting before the day of their next meeting.
Whereas, she handed over the orphan girl to the traditional ruler prior to the date, Mr.Aleke invites the eldest person in their family for the official handover of the girl to the traditional ruler for care.
Meanwhile, a 14 year-old-orphan, Chidera Aleke, was rescued by the team from her uncle, Mr. Linus Aleke after she was confirmed to had suffered domestic violence.
Our reporter gathered that Miss Aleke after she finished her primary six was subjected to untold hardship by her uncle and was made to live in an isolated compound whereas the uncle only visits her at his convinience with a reason that she does not obey him, thereby, subjects her to living wild life where she has no access to education.