By Nofisat Marindoti
As campaigns against Female Genital Mutilation mount, governments at all levels have been urged to take the bull by its horn in tackling the practice of cutting girls by collaborating with Non-Governmental Organisations who are into advocacies against the deadly practice.
This call was made by a leading NGO based in Osun state, Value Female Network (VFN) on Tuesday, a day set aside to mark International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
Speaking on a programme (Frank Talk) on Rave FM in Osogbo, Mr. Samuel Abimbade, a founding member of VFN and director of Gender Innovation in the organisation, emphasised the need for governments at all levels to partner with NGOs like VFN to ensure an end to the practice.
Abimbade, an adolescent and sexual reproductive health expert, decried the rising practice of FGM in the state and asked the state government to work more on proper monitoring of traditional birth attendants and traditional circumciers to ensure that they do not carry out this practice secretly.
To achieve this, the IPAS Nigeria Youth ambassador advised the state government to collaborate with VFN and other concerned organisations to reach out to prevalent communities in the state, sensitise them and ensure that promoters of the harmful practice desist from it.
Calling on residents of Osun and other states of the Federation to end cutting of girls, Abimbade argued that FGM does not prevent promiscuity as some quarters erroneously make people to believe.
Abimbade said researches had shown that most commercial sex workers were mutilated thus ruling out the speculation that the practise make girls not to be wayward.
Also speaking in the same vein on a programme (AM Cafe) on Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) on Tuesday, the Coordinator of VFN, Miss Costly Aderibigbe disclosed that a recent investigation by the United Nations revealed that over 200 million girls had been mutilated.
Aderibigbe said aside the immediate complications of the practice like bleeding and FGM has increased maternal mortality rate in Nigeria. She said the practice has not benefit whatsoever and that no religion is being commanded to mutilate girls.
She said VFN will continue to sensitise the public on the negative effects of FGM and the need for it to be stemmed urgently.