Ayodeji Bello, other key state actors intensify campaign against FGM

*As Wife of the Ooni of Ife, Queen Naomi Ogunwusi becomes Ambassador for Zero Tolerance for FGM 
By Olawale Oyegbade, The Nigerian Voice, Osogbo

The Executive chairman of Initiative For Girls' Right and Health Development, Miss Ayodeji Bello and other key state actors in Osun State have intensified the campaign against the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

At an event at the Ajose Hall, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Ayodeji who is a graduate of Sociology and Anthropology from OAU and also fellow of the Barack Obama Young Leaders Program gathered and young persons and educated them on the need to end the practice.

The Nigerian Voice reports that the event was in commemoration of the Zero Tolerance Day for FGM with the theme 'unleash youth Power' brought many youths from various schools in the state together and they learn more about FGM and it's danger.

Thee Wife of the Ooni of Ife, Queen Naomi Ogunwusi was made the Ambassador for Zero Tolerance for FGM.

Queen Naomi used the avenue to appeal to people of Osun to stop the practice of FGM and leave female children the way God created them.

Also in Osogbo, as part of activities marking the Zero Tolerance Day for FGM, an event was organised by key state actors on FGM abandonment led by the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Bukola Olaboopo, the Permanent Secretary, Pharmacist Omolara Ajayi and the United Nation Population Focal Point Person on FGM, Mrs Aduke Obelawo.

During the event in Osogbo, 582 students of Fakunle Unity Schools were sensitised on the danger of the FGM practice. Also, people of the state drawn from different sectors including artisans, commercial motorcycle operators, market women, women groups, wife of political office holders, women professionals and others were gathered at the Moremi Hall at the state secretariat and enlightened on the need to end FGM in Osun.

At the event in Ife, Ayodeji said her NGO which will mark its 5th anniversary in May this year was focusing on the campaign to end FGM because of its consequences on girl child.

Ayodeji said "We are focusing on making Comprehensive Sexuality Education a tool to crusade positive behavioural change in exchange for harmful traditional practices like FGM. We hope the laws against FGM within the state would be enforced".

Speaking further, Queen Naomi disclosed that she was not a victim of FGM and insisted that cutting the girls was wrong. She, noted that the part cut off has special purpose assigned to it by the God.

She also pledged continue support and champion the campaign to end FGM in Nigeria, beginning with Ile- Ife.

Her words "Famale genital cutting is never the solution to end promiscuity. Beheading one's someone is never the antidote for headache. Rather, children should be educated better on sexual health and reproduction which is also one of the things IGRHD is focused on."

Also speaking on the occasion, Chief (Mrs) Morounranti Ashabi said the practice of FGM violates the rights of the girl and called for the abolition of the practice.