A jail term of five years awaits anybody who practices female genital mutilation in Ebonyi State, the state government has warned.
The warning was handed out on Tuesday during the flag-off of the campaign against female genital mutilation in the state at the Women Development Centre, Abakaliki.
In her speech at the occasion, Governor Dave Umahi’s wife described female genital mutilation as a harmful traditional practice against womanhood, which must end.
“We can’t continue to live in dark ages at the detriment of our women in the name of female circumcision or genital mutilation,” she said.
‘’Our women have suffered a lot in this traditional harmful practices against them and we must stop it, we must wage serious war against the practice.
‘’A situation where women reproductive organs are butchered in the name cultural practices is no longer unacceptable.”
She noted that in Nigeria, Ebonyi ranks second after Osun State, with 74% prevalence rate of female genital mutilation.
Mrs. Umahi said that informed her decision to campaign against the practice through her pet project, Family Succour and Upliftment Programme.
Mrs. Umahi said she would soon approach the state house of Assembly to amend the law against the practice.
Earlier, the state Chief Judge, Alloy Nwankwo, who was represented on the occasion by Justice Destina Oko of Onueke High Court, said anyone caught practicing the act in the state will bag five years imprisonment with option of N2, 000 fine.
In his remarks, Governor Umahi said he will retrieve a law before the state House of Assembly against female genital mutilation which has not been passed and amend it to provide severe sanctions against violators.
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