The wife of the governor, State of Osun and President Ilerioluwa Development Initiative (I.O.D) Mrs Kafayat Oyetola has urged relevant stakeholders to team up with the state government to eradicate the harmful practises on genital mutilation against girls.
She made the call at the banquet hall of the Government House Oke-fia, Osogbo during a stakeholders’ strategic consultative meeting to commemorate 2021 International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
This year celebration is themed; “No Time for Global Inaction, Unite, Fund, and Act to End Female Genital Mutilation.
Speaking, Mrs Oyetola stressed that with the provision of an improved but relevant health care for women and girl child arising from the complications of Female Genital Mutilation, the harmful practice will go into total extinction in the society
She said though various reports from all quarters in Osun on dealing with FGM have been quite encouraging. Adding that the prevailing data about Osun in the latest report of the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey required more efforts from all and sundry to continue to put eyes on the ball in forming the required synergy of multi- sectoral approaches.
According to her, the current Covid-19 pandemic has unfortunately placed an additional heavy burden on the society thereby crippling the drive to eradicate the dangerous traditional practices of Female Genital Mutilation.
She further expressed displeasure at the increasing rate of gender based violence caused by the recent COVID-19 lockdown as cases of rape were on the increase.
“The unfortunate development prompted the forum of first ladies in Nigeria to put in place a well driven awareness and intervention programmes to curb the barbaric act.
She pledged the need for more multi-sectoral intervention and advocacy including intervention programmes within the context of COVID- 19 to suppress the 2013 statistic of 76.6% of Nigeria Demographic and Health Statistics in Osun.
Among other indices she identified tradition, religion, myths and misconception as responsible for the obnoxious practice of FGM.
At the forum, Oyetola commended various stakeholders commitments and resilience which have helped in bringing down the curve of the dangerous traditional practice.
Among other strategic action plans, the stakeholders suggested were more media sensitization and awareness campaigns coupled with necessary incentives for whistle blowers alongside proper circulation of FGM laws should be put in place to achieve tangible results in the drive to end the practice in Osun and Nigeria as a whole.
Representatives from the health, media, NGOs, the Legislative and Executive arms of government led by the State Commissioner for Health Dr Rafiu Isamotu pledged their unflinching support in eradicating the barbaric act in the state of Osun.