A Non-Governmental Organization has advised the Nigerian government to stop being hypocritical about its desire to put an end to the scourge of Female Genital Mutilation practices in the country.
“It is shocking to see that so many states still don’t have FGM laws, and even where they do have one, enforcement of the law is generally weak with no evidence of any prosecution found even in those states where the practice has been banned for more than 15 years ago. This is something Nigeria needs to sort out if it’s serious about ending FGM,” said Ann-Marie Wilson, the Executive Director of 28 Too Many.
In a recent event in Enugu, a woman was locked in the battle for her life as she and her two children have disappeared into thin air following a massive hunt for them by extended family members in Odoshenlu community, Ogun state over disagreement on female genital mutilation of her daugther.
According to our sources, Funmi Akinwumi decided to hide her daughter based on what she considered threat to their lives following the order by the head of her community, that certain female children within the community be circumcised as demanded by customs and tradition of the people. With consideration for health and other negative implications for their daughter, she and her husband had rejected the order putting their lives at risk as the community leaders sought their pound of flesh. She and her children had to flee to other parts of the country after some unknown persons attempted to abduct their daughter from school.
We gathered that the family head, Adetoyinbo, later issued a warning that if they fail to submit their daughter for the circumcision, the community’s leadership will deploy all means, physical and spiritual, to enforce compliance. Since then, this family which is in clear default of this order to submit their daughter to the FGM have not been seen.
A visit to their residence shows the place has been vacated. A neighbor told us they did so because the abductors might come back. We gathered that the issue has been up for some years now. The police couldn’t do anything about it.
Recall that Nigeria accounts for a tenth of the estimated 200 million girls and women globally affected by FGM, which usually involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia. Although the ancient ritual remains deeply entrenched in some southern regions, more than 60 percent of Nigerians call for its end according to a study facilitated by TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s legal pro bono service.