Amby Uneze in Owerri
The UNICEF Enugu Field Office has pledged to assist the nine local government areas in Imo State that had adopted the action plan for the implementation to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) to the letter.
UNICEF chief in Enugu office, Dr. Ibrahim Conteh, yesterday in Owerri stated that the world body would create the enabling environment to effectively put it into practice of the action plan.
Conteh, who was represented by UNICEF’s FGM consultant for Imo and Ebonyi States, Mr. Benjamin Mbakwem, added that multi-sectoral coordination as well as data collection and utilisation would be strengthened so as to promote response to the action plan.
He called on the LGA representatives to disseminate the message to their various communities for a more efficient implementation of the plan.
The nine local council areas of Imo State had jointly adopted an action plan to end the age-long practice of female genital mutilation.
Representatives of the LGAs adopted and signed the action plan at a one-day state-level meeting to validate FGM elimination organised by the UNICEF and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Owerri yesterday.
The LGAs are Ehime Mbano, Ideato North, Ihitte-Uboma, Ikeduru, Isu, Ngor-Okpala, Njaba, Oguta and Owerri West.
The resolution was read out by the representative of Oguta LGA, Eze Albanus Ozuruoha, the traditional ruler of Uwaorie Agwa Autonomous Community, Oguta LGA of Imo State.
Ozuruoha, who thanked UNICEF for their commitment to the elimination of FGM, pledged to ensure that the practice was completely abolished in the affected LGAs.
“We, the representatives of the nine LGAs, have committed to the implementation and monitoring of the action plan with a view to ensuring that FGM is no longer practiced.
“We are also committed to strict enforcement of the Imo State anti-FGM law of 2017, continuous education of mothers, and support of all efforts made by different communities towards the elimination of the obnoxious practice,” he said.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the state Ministries of Women Affairs, Health, Budget and Planning, and office of the wife of the governor as well as security agencies, traditional and religious leaders.