By Sodiq Yusuf
Five communities in Ilesa West Local Government, State of Osun, have abandoned Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and declared their commitment to end the practice.
The communities include Olowogbowo, Ajimoko, Alafia Quarters, Ayetoro and Concord communities within the council area.
The community leaders, Rev. Arowolo Alonge, Mr. Sadare Oladepo, Mr. Rafiu Olayinka, Chief Abiola Ayeni and Chief Awodola, said the decision was unanimously taken after realising the danger associated with the practice and have put in place community sanctions of fine payment for violators
The public declaration of FGM abandonment in the communities was organised by Action Health Incorporated, (AHI), in collaboration with the state Ministries of Health and Women & Children Affairs, with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
AHI Programme Officer, Miss Abdulrasheed Nuriyah, said the objective of the exercise was to ensure and secure full commitment of the Communities on the FGM abandonment in their areas.
The FGM Analyst with UNFPA, Uzoma Ayodeji, expressed joy over the development and charged the people of the communities to ensure total eradication of the practice.
The Gender Desk Officers, Ministries of Health, Women, Children & Social Affairs, Toyin Adelowokan and Ms. Olufunmilola Adewale commented that the battle to end FGM in the state was yielding good results with appreciable number of communities that have willingly accepted to end the practice.