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Prominent Traditional Rulers in Osun Back Moves to End FGM

By Olawale Oyegbade, The Nigerian Voice, S/W Bureau Chief 

The efforts towards ending the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has received a boost in Osun State as 83 prominent Traditional Rulers in the state lent their voices to the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation

The traditional rulers said the practice of Female Genital Mutilation should stop because it is delicate and has negative consequences on girls and women

The Team on FGM abandonment led by Mrs Aduke Obelawo stormed the monthly meeting of Osun Council of Traditional Rulers held in Osogbo the state capital and was warmly received by over 80 monarchs.

Obelawo told The Nigerian Voice that the sensitization was made possible by the collaborative effort and support of the State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs

The team which comprised of the representatives of the Ministries of Women and Children Affairs, Ms Funmilola Adewale and Adebowale Rufai, Reproductive Health (RH) Coordinator, State Ministry of Health, Mrs Olapeju Olaogun, Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Alhaja Suwebat Babalola Adubi and Value Re-orientation for Community Enhancement (VARCE). Damilare Alagbe and Vincent Enike and UNFPA Social Media Champion, David Omotoso

Mrs Obelawo Aduke saluted the Royal Fathers and appreciated the privilege availed. She appealed to all the Royal Fathers to use their positions to support the stop of FGM in their various domains.

She explained that FGM is globally frown at because of it adverse effects. She further stated that the practice had been outlawed and considered illegal by both Federal and the Government of the State of Osun

The team used the occasion to highlight some of the consequences of FGM which includes excessive bleeding, coloids formation, prolonged and obstructed labour, painful sexual intercourse, urine and blood retention, tears and a host of others.

According to Aduke Obelawo "Traditionally, it was generally believed that Female Genital Mutilation was aimed at preventing promiscuity in women and girls as well as unwanted pregnancies but reverse is the case."

She said: "FGM has no religious basis as there is no religion that evidentially supports the FGM in their respective faith. It has no health benefits either."

"So we must all be ready and eager to advocate for good parenting, raising responsible girls, teaching and monitoring them to desist from all forms of stigmatizing acts and immorality. Celebrating core values like virginity should be considered as basic alternative to mutilation."

Speaking on behalf of other traditional rulers, the Aragberi of Iragberi, Oba Dr. Folorunsho Agboade Makanju commended the team for the efforts put together towards eradicating FGM.

The traditional ruler said "please ensure you organize a conference where the general public and dignitaries will be more enlightened as this will be a helpful approach towards eradicating the FGM. Prepare a proposal and we shall help facilitate it"

Also, the Alaagba of Aagba, Oba Ogunwole Joseph and the Eburu of Iba, Oba Adekunle Okunoye pledged the commitment of the traditional rulers in the state towards eradicating the FGM. Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal, (Laminisa 1) the Timi of Ede coordinated the sensitization session.