Read What Former President Olusegun Obasanjo Said About Female Genital Mutilation
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned female genital mutilation, saying that its consequences far outweighed the cultural value attached to it.
Speaking at a one-day international summit on female genital mutilation held at the ancient Mapo Hall, Ibadan on Monday, he advised all members of Circumcision Descendants Association of Nigeria who are responsible for the act to have a rethink.
The ex-president who was represented by Dr. Femi Majekodunmi said the consequences of female genital mutilation far outweighed the cultural value attached to it.
According to him, female genital mutilation has been declared as a violation of human rights by World Health Organization, but the deep rooted practice is still prevalent in Africa, middle east and Asia where over 200 million girls and women alive today have been affected.
Other dangerous effects of the practice, as he noted, include severe pain, excessive bleeding, infections and tetanus, genital tissue swelling, urinary problems, shock, infertility, sexual problems among others.
The summit also attracted the attention of first ladies of Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Ondo States.
Also invited to the event were traditional rulers like the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adewale Akanbi and others.
While speaking at the event, the Grand Patron/Chairman, Board of Trustees of the association, High Chief Abiola Ogundokun said while his members would stop the practice, he advised that the government should “look at the other side of the practice that had been useful, to also consider the need for support to this family whose source of livelihood is being taken from them in a manner that will provide alternative sources of income to alleviate the possible economic effect that may likely affect their families”.
If this could be done, he said, “We hereby put a total stop to female genital mutilation now. We should mobilize community stakeholders like circumcisers to support campaign for the eradication of the practice in the six states of the South West zone.
“Also, wives of governors and commissioners of Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Health to spearhead the campaigns in their states,” he said.
The wife of Osun State governor, Mrs Sherifat Aregbesola who was represented by Mrs Kafayat Oyekola said experts had come with clear findings that the practice is most prevalent in Yorubaland especially in Osun, Oyo, Ekiti and Lagos States.
Female genital mutilation has continued unabated in South West, South-South and South East,