By Gid Ahanonu
Communities in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State have resolved to stop all forms of female genital mutilation/cutting in their locality.
This resolution was disclosed by the women leaders, presidents-general, youth leaders and champions at a review meeting of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Imo State with UNICEF and Community Local Persons for FGM abandonment in Ngor-Okpala Communities tagged Joint Programme on Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM/C) in Ngor-Okpala, held at Umuhu Secondary School.
The representatives presented copies of documents signed by their traditional rulers, indicating the level of awareness and sensitization they performed for the stoppage of FGM/C and the proposed punishment for defaulters as agreed at the previous meeting of 2nd August 2018 with the UNICEF/ Orientation Agency team from the state.
They disclosed that they visited town hall meetings, women’s August meetings, and churches as contact points of sensitization points and posted banners at sign post for people to be aware of zero tolerance for FGM/C in their areas, which is backed up with monitoring team.
In his remarks, the NOA Director in Imo Mr. Vitus Ekeocha, commanded them for carrying the crusade down to their people but added that a lot more needed to be done by agreeing with their stake holders and Ezes on a day to make a public declaration against female genital mutilation and cutting (FMG/C).
In his reaction, the UNICEF FGM consultant for Imo and Ebonyi State, Mr. Benjamin Mbakwem, commended their patience and enjoined the representatives not to relent as it was not easy to effect a change in the social norms of the society considering the cases of polio vaccination, killing of twins, breast feeding syndrome and others noting the government brought the policy to ban of FGM/C but UNFPA and UNICEF are sponsoring it.