Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bode Ladipo has said the state government will, henceforth arrest perpetrators of female genital mutilation across the state.
Dr Ladipo made this known in Ibadan Thursday while speaking with journalists at a programme tagged: “The stopcut project” organised by HACEY Health and Spotlight Initiatives”, as parts of activities to mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The Commissioner for Health said the state government has put in place measures to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation in the state and that it is time for residents in Oyo state to desist from it.
According to Dr Ladipo, “Female genital mutilation is one of the traditional practices that is harmful to female folk”, and that the effects of psychological trauma arising from genital mutilation among women cannot be quantified.
“Female genital mutilation is harmful. We understand that Oyo state has the highest rate after Lagos state. It is one of the harmful traditional practices. The effect of FGM on women cannot be quantified. That is why we are saying that parents should not do it again”, he said.
Dr Ladipo added: “In Oyo state, the rate is high, but recently it has reduced. We are taken a decisive decision against it. There are laws, it is not that there are no laws. It is the implementation that we all need .We need our law enforcement officers to enforce the laws.”
In her remarks, the Executive Director of HACEY, Ms. Rhoda Robinson, tasked relevant stakeholders including the legislature, parents and religious organizations to be involved in combating violence against women in Nigeria.
Speaking through Olawatomi Olunuga of HACEY, Robinson said “the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is observed every November 25th and it aims at creating awareness for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls and FGM is one of such violence against women and girls.”
She stressed that Oyo, Osun and Ekiti states have keyed into the project to eradicate female genital mutilation, saying, “we have carried out a research study on FGM in the South-West. It was carried out in FGM prevalent states in South-West Nigeria; Ekiti, Osun and Oyo states.”