Ekiti State government has disclosed its desire to ensure the eradication of female genital mutilation in the state, calling on other states where the practice subsist to pick up the gauntlet and end what it called ‘crime against the girl-child’.
The disclosure was made at a High Level Meeting on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Action Health Incorporated, hosted by the wife of the Ekiti State governor, Mrs Feyisetan Fayose, in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, Friday.
In his keynote address and opening of the first session of the meeting, Governor Ayodele Fayose maintained that FGM would become a punishable crime in the state soon, recalling that his government, at his first coming, enacted the Child Rights Law.
Fayose state that it was criminal for anybody to halt or recreate God’s creation, noting that if God did not want females to have any part of their genitals, He wouldn’t have created them.
“We will stop female genital mutilation. I agree with the wife of the governor that said its lessons should be taught in schools. We will take the battle to those people doing it.
“We all need to change our attitude. Let us stop blaming government for everything. Let us join hands together on this. As governors, in and out of office, we must behave like soldiers. We should stay together, come what may; regardless of political parties. In Ekiti, we play leadership, not politics. That is why we honoured the former deputy governor of APC with this women development centre,” he said.
Earlier, Mrs Fayose, in her welcome address, had chronicled the evils associated with FGM, calling on the state governor and his counterparts in the South-West to assist in stamping out the menace.
She expressed her resolute desire to pursue the stoppage of the archaic and unhealthy custom.
Also in attendance at the meeting were the Deputy Speaker, Dr. Kolapo Oliusola; Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Pastor Kola Oluwawole, and members of the House; the wives of the Oyo State governor, Chief (Mrs.) Florence Ajimobi; Osun State governor, Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola; UNFPA representative, Dr. Omolaso Owoseni ; and the Director of Action Health Incorporated, Mrs. Nike Esiet, among others.