The Wife of the Governor, State of Osun and President, Ilerioluwa Development Initiative, (I.O.D) Mrs Kafayat Oyetola has called on all relevant stakeholders to team up with government in forming a win-win synergy to eradicate the age old harmful practises of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
She noted 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.
The Osun First Lady stated this at the banquet hall of the Government House Oke-fia, Osogbo on the occasion of the 2021 International Day of Zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation with the theme ” NO TIME FOR GLOBAL INACTION, UNITE, FUND, AND ACT TO END FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION.”
She appreciated their commitment and resilience, which, according to her, have helped in bringing down the curve of the dangerous traditional practice.
She added that, though various reports from in Osun on dealing with FGM have been quite encouraging, still the prevailing data about Osun in the latest report of the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey requires more efforts from all and sundry to continue to put eyes on the ball in forming the required synergy of multi-sectoral approach.
The current COVID-19 pandemic in the world according to her, has unfortunately placed an additional heavy burden on the society thereby crippling the drive to eradicate the dangerous traditional practices of Female Genital Mutilation.
The Wife of Osun Governor during the meeting also frowned at the increasing rate of gender based violence which she noted also spiked during the lockdown period of COVID-19 with the attendant cases of rape victims on the increase in the society.
The Osun First Lady said the unfortunate development prompted the forum of first ladies in Nigeria to put in place a well driven awareness and intervention programme to curb the barbaric act.
To drive home her commitment to fighting the incivil , unhealthily dangerous and hazardous practises, Mrs Oyetola 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.
Speakers at the meeting led by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu pledged their unflinching support in eradicating the act in the state of Osun.
Among other strategic action plans, the stakeholders also suggested that more media sensitization and awareness campaigns coupled with adequate but 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.