Osun State Government has reiterated its readiness to collaborate with both local and international agencies in its bid to end Female Genital Mutilation.
The Commissioner for Women, Children and Social Affairs in Osun State, Barr. Olubukola Olaboopo stated this resolve at a pre-mobilization meeting on the movement for good to end Female Genital Mutilation, held in Osogbo.
In her welcome address, at the United Nations Joint Programme, the Commissioner, who was represented by the Coordinating Director in the Ministry, Mr Jide Falade described the practice as both deadly and harmful, saying it is illegal and a violation of human rights.
He called on parents, grandparents and other stakeholders to join hands with the present administration in the struggle to end the age-long practice.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Child Protection Specialist for UNICEF, Mrs Hadiza Ibrahim Abba, disclosed that the purpose of the meeting was to initiate and strengthen a community-led movement to eliminate female genital mutation in five States of Nigeria where there is high prevalence of the harmful practice, including Osun, Oyo, Ebonyi, Ekiti and Imo States.
Hadiza pointed that the Movement for good to end Female Genital Mutilation also aims to reach 5 million people though the platform with a view to creating a movement that says “No to FGM” and promoting community action to bring concrete action to households and community levels.
While speaking , the Special Adviser to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola on Women and Social Affairs, Mrs Toyin Araoye, commended UNICEF on it’s various efforts at saving the girl child from the evil practice of FGM and for spirited efforts to end it completely in Nigeria.
Araoye used the opportunity to hint the meeting about the giant strides of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola at curbing the wicked act, while stressing that Mr Governor, through the unrelenting efforts of the First Lady, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, had facilitated the signing Osun Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill into law.
According to her: “it is now a taboo for a person or group of persons to engage in the harmful practice of FGM and anyone found guilty will face the full wrath of the law.”
Araoye also noted that the First Lady, through the lleriOluwa Development Initiative, had led her advocacy team on campaigns and sensitization against FGM to various rural areas in the State.