Newsletter subscribe



Posted: Sep 23, 2016 at 9:16 am   /   by   /   comments (0)



 Few years ago, the past Imo State House of Assembly passed an obnoxious legislation which many people in the state including many Christians in addition to the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese, His Grace A.J.V Obinna stood against. The main purpose of such protests was the inclusion in the legislation some vexatious provisions which many saw were contrived to be supportive of abortion in the State. With such mounting opposition, the legislation was said to have been withdrawn or passed by removing some of these provisions which tended to support general abortion in the largely dominated Christian state.

Interestingly, one of the provisions of that legislation was to outlaw in the State the old practice of female genital mutilation just like one Italian proverb opined, “The most important result is how to tame a menacing tiger even if it escapes without his teeth and paws.”

Unfortunately, the entire legislation was jettisoned which tantamount to throwing away the bathe water with the baby.

It is interesting that the First Lady of Imo State, Her Excellency Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha has begun a kind of crusade against Female Genital Mutilation in order to create general awareness for the campaign, the programme was recently launched in Imo State to which almost the entire Imo State Government Executive, led by the governor of the State His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State and other top Government Officials, Members of the State Legislature and other heavy weight in the State. In his address at the occasion, the Imo Governor condemned the ancient practice of female circumcision which he said has been outlawed in the state, warning that offenders will be jailed without option of fine. He hinted that a bill to that effect would be passed into law by the State Assembly. The Governor lamented, “Such barbaric culture which is harmful and not beneficial to the people ought to be abolished, noting that Imo State is still one of the States in the East, where female circumcision is still being largely practiced.”

While welcoming the mammoth audience, the chief campaigner and the First Lady of Imo State, Her Excellency Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha who initiated the campaign in collaboration with United Nations Fund for Population Agency, opined that women in the state have resolved to put an end to the barbaric practice which is not beneficial to the female child. She vowed that the continual practice of female genital mutilation must be stamped out especially in the rural areas where the practices are rampant and wide spread and led to emotional trauma, broken homes and even death.

Contributing, the country’s representative of United Nations Fund for Population Agency, Mrs. Beatrice Mukta disclosed that the organization has been campaigning against the practice in most African countries where the practice still subsists.

She commended the wife of the Governor for her relentless campaign against FGM in the state, reminding the audience that the practice which is rooted in cultural myth will not be easy to wipe out among many rural dwellers and those older generations which have come to have awful beliefs about its benefits.

She called on Traditional Rulers and other Traditional authorities to support the campaign for the elimination of FGM.

It must be recalled that at every opportunity, the First Lady of the State has sustained the campaign against this practice and the Formal launch of the campaign began with the mobilization of about five hundred female students from various tertiary institutions to stage a protest match including many other women.

Indeed, by starting this campaign against FGM, the Governor’s wife has without doubt raised the banner of this old practice very high. And it is expected that the campaign will be carried down to the grassroots for its positive effect.

Furthermore, she has invariably thrown a challenge to other First Ladies in the South- East and South- South to take similar, dynamic and aggressive mobilization thrust against this vicious anti social malaise because abundant medical research has shown female genital mutilation is very damaging to woman’s reproductive organ and besides, it has long time adverse effect on victims. Afterall, part of our civilization and development must include acceptance of those practices that are generally accepted by other developed societies of the world.

The First Lady of Imo State must be commended for her initiative and must be urged not to relent but to carry the campaign to all the nooks and crannies of the state. And also among other First Ladies in the south. Because, indeed, FGM is obnoxious, vicious, primitive and inhuman which must be eliminated in our societies.