By NWOGHA NDUBUISI ANDY, Abakaliki
The Chairman, Ezza North Traditional Rulers Council in Ebonyi State, HRH Eze Igboke Ewa has cautioned against the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), pointing out that jail term awaits anyone who engages in the act.
Ewa made this statement at Ebiaji, the headquarters of Ezza North LGA when 12 communities in the area publicly renounced the practice.
The traditional ruler in the event witnessed by the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and National Orientation Agency (NOA) said, even when the communities had stopped the practice of FGM, there was need to publicly denounce the phenomenon and therefore, stated that anybody caught should be punished.
According to him;“Ezza people have for long stopped this practice , but now that the government has come into it, it is better so that if anyone still engages in this practice let him/her stop it.
“There is a jail term waiting for anyone who engages in this practice. If we found anyone who is still in the obnoxious act, we will take such person to government.
“So it is a very message they are bringing to us and as FGM practice has been stopped before, today we are putting a final full stop to it”, he stated..
It was gathered that the communities including Ekwetekwe, Ogboji, Umuezekoha, Umuogara, Osiegbe, Amuda, Nkomoro, Umuezeoka, Oriuzor, Amaewula among others, openly declared total stop to the practice. Addressing the people, Chief UINCEF, Enugu Field Office, Dr. Ibrahim Conteh, commended the decision of the communities, saying they have contributed to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 5:3 “eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations”.
Conteh said: “UNICEF is in solidarity with the good people of Ezza North local government on this feat, and we kindly urge that this momentum be maintained, resolutions sustainably implemented, functional community surveillance team put in place to monitor and ensure compliance, and collaboration with state government and law enforcement and duty bearers will be trained to further support the efforts of the community stakeholders to end this practice in Ezza North Local Government Area.”